Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tech lab valuable resource for students - Campus

Tech lab valuable resource for students - Campus


Graduate students, faculty and staff in the College of the Arts have access to an Ohio State computer lab with some of the best hardware and software available.
The Emerging Technologies Studio is a high-end Mac computer lab in Hopkins Hall used for audio and video courses, video editing and printing and graduate research, said William Strucke, systems manager for the College of the Arts.
He said the lab is well known to students with art or design majors because of the quality equipment, but undergraduates are generally restricted unless they are in a video class offered by the Department of Art.
"Unfortunately, I often have to tell students why they can't use the lab," Strucke said. "It's paid for by graduate student money so we have to limit use to make sure it's always available for them."
Mike Kaylor, senior systems manager for the College of the Arts, said there has been an increase in undergraduate student requests to use the lab, but the lab is designed specifically for teaching and research within the College of the Arts.
Strucke said that because the College of the Arts will be merging with the College of Humanities July 1, students with a major in humanities should be able to use the lab as well.
This is not certain yet, but if it does happen, the same undergraduate restrictions will remain in place, he said.
Kaylor said ETS has 24-hour access and is constantly in use.
"We have 3-D animation and video course projects that are worked on and rendered around the clock," he said.
Strucke, however, doesn't think there is enough demand for more labs like the Emerging Technologies Studio.
"If anything we could probably reduce the number of facilities so that we can create more specialized labs, especially when you consider that most students come in with laptops of their own," Strucke said.
He said the university should require all incoming students to purchase a laptop that meets a certain minimum specifications requirement.
"We already have a PC and Mac standards program in place and students can buy very high-end machines for at least half of the retail cost through the Wired Out store in the Central Classroom building," Strucke said.
The College of the Arts offers nine other labs that provide software similar to what is offered in the ETS, he said.
"We consider the ETS our most advanced facility, though each lab is specialized in some way," Strucke said.
The ETS offers more than 40 Mac computers with numerous audio and video editing programs, and new this year are two video editing stations that include dual 22-inch widescreen displays and Blu-ray DVD burners, according to the lab's Web site.
The hardware in the lab is updated every two years, depending on budget limitations, Strucke said. Most of the software is updated every year.


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