In October, 2011 CIVS held a grand opening for the newly remodeled space located in Powers Building at Purdue University Northwest’s Hammond campus. The facility features a sixty-two seat Immersive Theater, an innovation conference room, visualization lab, simulation lab, and administrative support offices. The space has been designed to spur creativity and to inspire new innovative approaches to research and problem solving.
The Immersive Theater
The sixty-two seat virtual reality theater is a room designed to immerse and simulate reality. The state- of-the-technology built into the room design will allow users to develop, discover and explore virtual worlds and simulated models from blast furnaces to city landscapes. The theatre will be tool to help identify and solve problems for business, industry and community development and outreach. The space will also be used for inspiring young students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through outreach programs and development.
- 4-screen Flexing Virtual Reality System
- 12’x7’6” with 2560 X 1600 Resolution for Center and Floor Screens
- 7’6”x7’6” with 1600 X 1600 Resolution for the Sides Screens
- Circular Polarized Glasses
- Optical Tracking System
- High-End computer with 4x Quadro video cards
- Electric Projection Screens for Conference
- 62 Theater Seats with Power
User and Visitor Experience
- 3-D Visualization for Simulated Modeling
- All Encompassing Design for a Virtual Reality Experience
- Intuitive and Interactive for Collaboration
- Enhances a Better Understanding of Concepts for Learning
- Sharing Information locally and globally
- Innovative Educational Tool for Creating Knowledge
The research labs provide space for twenty-five undergraduate and graduate researchers. The demand for applied research in computational fluid dynamics and virtual reality is growing and a direct force to advance and expand research into many new areas for industrial, educational and governmental institutions. The new space will meet this demand by allowing students to apply their research directly to education, business, industry, and the community. The research labs will be a place where ideas are shared, problems are solved and innovation takes place.
The new space allows for all staff to be located in one area; bringing the director, research scientists and office support personal into this location. The new space will allow for easier student and faculty access to CIVS and will also provide for better collaboration between faculty, students and staff.
Due to the nature of immersive VR systems at educational and research institutions, there is very little commercial software available that suits the visualization needs of our faculty. So, the majority of the software used with the VR Systems is a mixture of OpenSource and in-house code. One of the more popular OpenSource projects for VR application development is VR Juggler. Originally developed at Iowa State’s VRAC, VR Juggler takes care of the more difficult and tedious aspects of VR programming such as displaying 3D images on multiple screens of arbitrary size and location, and utilizing various tracking systems and input devices. Using VR Juggler allows a programmer to focus at a higher level on the visualization itself and any interactions that might occur. VR Juggler can run in a simulator mode, which allows programmers to develop applications on regular PC displays, and run them on the VR system without needing to recompile their code.
About Walter Miner
Overview of Miner
Miner is a compute cluster operated by the Rosen Center for Advanced Computing (RCAC).
It was installed at the Hammond campus on December 25, 2009. It is the first major research cluster on the Hammond campus and represents a great step forward in Purdue Northwest’s ongoing plan to foster more local, cutting-edge research. Miner consists of 232 2-core Intel Xeon systems with either 4 or 6 GB RAM, 50 GB of disk, and 1 Gigabit Ethernet (1GigE) local to each node.
Miner is named in honor of Walter E. Miner, former of Director of Computing at Purdue Northwest. More information about his life and impact on Purdue is available in an RCAC Biography of Walter E. Miner.
Detailed Hardware Specification
Miner has a single sub-cluster with two types of nodes having either 4 GB or 6 GB RAM. All nodes in the cluster feature 1 Gigabit Ethernet (1 GigE).
|Sub-Cluster||Number of Nodes||Processors per Node||Cores per Node||Memory per Node||Interconnect||Disk|
|Miner A||232||Two 3.2 GHz Single-Core Intel Xeon||2||4 or 6 GB||1 GigE||50 GB|
Miner nodes run Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 (RHEL5.5) and use Portable Batch System Professional 10.4 (PBSPro 10.4) for resource and job management. Miner also runs jobs for BoilerGrid whenever processor cores in it would otherwise be idle. Operating system patches are applied as security needs dictate. All nodes are configured to allow for unlimited stack usage, as well as unlimited core dump size (though disk space and server quotas may still be a limiting factor).