University of Illinois System 2017 PELP Program Visits the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL)

November 8th, 2017

Categories: Academic, Applications, Devices, Education, Networking, Software, Visualization, VR

University of Illinois System PELP 2017 participants in UIC Electronic Visualization Laboratory's (EVL) CAVE2™ Hybrid Reality Environment.
University of Illinois System PELP 2017 participants in UIC Electronic Visualization Laboratory's (EVL) CAVE2™ Hybrid Reality Environment.


WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2017 - The President of the University of Illinois System, Timothy Killeen, this week led a delegation of ~18 University officials on a two-day visit to one of its campuses, the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). On the second day, the last stop, prior to a wrap-up meeting at University Hall, was to the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL), a major research resource in the Computer Science Department.

This trip was part of the President’s Executive Leadership Program (PELP), whose objective is to broaden participants’ understanding of higher education issues and to strengthen their skill sets in leading and managing a public institution at the university or system level. The group travels to four meetings over a 12-month period; this year the trips include Washington DC (to meet with legislators and Federal funding agencies) and to sister campuses in Chicago, Urbana-Champaign and Springfield.

PELP visits have a theme, and the theme of visiting the Chicago campus (UIC) was to learn about “Leading a Public University in a 21st Century Global City.” In their initial request to visit EVL, they asked to have students present their work. EVL simply complied - and in one hour, attendees received a compressed introduction of EVL’s 44-year-old history from Director Maxine Brown, introductions from EVL-affiliated faculty (computer science, design and communications), introductions by PELP visitors, and nine virtual-reality, medical visualization, visual analytics, human augmentics and computer-supported collaboration demos - all presented by undergraduates, Masters and PhD students.

The morning after the visit, a grateful email was sent by organizer Sarah Zehr, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs in the Office of the Executive Vice President/Vice President for Academic Affairs for the University of Illinois System. She thanked EVL for a “phenomenal tour” and said, “Several of the Fellows mentioned how much they enjoyed seeing the work the students were doing. I was impressed you were able to get so many faculty and students together to provide a whirlwind overview of the capabilities of the lab. It was much appreciated!”

EVL Director Brown responded that its faculty, staff and students are ‘family’, so the energy, enthusiasm and pleasure that everyone takes in showcasing their work is genuine. Humorously, during the demos, while students presented - faculty mentors interjected and students in the audience where giving real-time input to their friends with hand signals.

EVL appreciated the opportunity to show such distinguished attendees the breadth of its research activities and to hopefully stimulate more inter-campus collaborations in the future.

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ATTENDEES (not including EVL students):

EVL Faculty Attendees:
Andrew Johnson, CS; Robert Kenyon, CS; Liz Marai, CS; Luc Renambot, CS; Debaleena Chattopadhyay, CS; Dan Sandin, CS/Art; Daria Tsoupikova, Design; Steve Jones, Communications

U of I Administration: Timothy Killeen, President; Barbara Wilson, Executive Vice President and Vice President for Academic Affairs

2017 PELP fellows:

Steve Everett, Dean, College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts; Fernando Howell, Director of Capital Planning and Project Management, Facility and Space Planning; Jerry Krishnan, Associate Vice Chancellor for Population Health Sciences, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs; Michael Pagano, Dean, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs; Clark Stanford, Dean, College of Dentistry; Nikos Varelas, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs

UIS (Springfield): Vickie Cook, Executive Director, Center for Online Learning, Research and Service; Lucía Vázquez, Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

UIUC: Paul Ellinger, Associate Chancellor and Vice Provost for Budget and Resource Planning, Office of the Provost; Cheryl Hanley-Maxwell, Dean, College of Applied Health Sciences; Robin Kaler, Associate Chancellor of Public Affairs; Kimberlee Kidwell, Dean, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; Sharee Robinson, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research; William H. Sanders, Professor of Engineering and Head, Electrical and Computer Engineering

University of Illinois Regional Campus at Peoria: Meenakshy Aiyer, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, College of Medicine, Peoria

University Senates Conference: Harley Johnson, Professor and Associate Head of Graduate Programs, Department of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering, College of Engineering, UIUC