Gigaconference Introduces New Lines of High-Definition Videoconference Products

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Dec. 15, 2006 – Some of Charles Csuri’s newest high-definition artwork was showcased during Gigaconference II, held Dec. 5, 2006, in Chicago, Ill.  Known as the “father of computer graphics,” Csuri is professor emeritus of The Ohio State University’s (OSU) Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD).

The Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) provided the technical expertise, equipment and networking to virtually transmit Csuri's presentation to the Gigaconference. Sponsored by Internet2 and operated by OSC and OSU, the event introduced the educational, business, medical, and performing arts communities to the most sophisticated videoconference equipment available on the market. Csuri was on hand at OSC in Columbus, Ohio, to provide a discussion about the development of his computer artwork.

“Hosting Chuck Csuri allowed us to test this new equipment in ways we haven’t been able to do previously,” said Pankaj Shah, director of OARnet, OSC’s networking division. “The equipment and connectivity required to develop a highly visual show demonstrates just how far we have come technologically since the Gigaconference began only two years ago.”

Dr. Robert Dixon, OSC senior systems developer/engineer and chief research engineer for the OSU Office of the CIO, said this year’s event marked the first time in the seven-year history of the Megaconference and its spin-off events, (Megaconference Jr. and Gigaconference) that equipment and bandwidth capabilities have been high enough to handle Csuri’s high-definition artwork. Some of Csuri's images are over 500 megabytes.

Csuri is best known for pioneering the field of computer graphics, computer animation and digital fine art, creating the first computer-generated art in 1964. Between 1971 and 1987, while a senior professor at OSU, Csuri founded the Computer Graphics Research Group, OSC Graphics Project, and ACCAD, which is dedicated to the development of digital art and computer animation.
 
“It’s just a wonderful thing that could not have happened before this event. We finally have the ability to display very large images with very fine detail,” said Dixon. “We have crossed the boundary into high-definitionPeople in the fields of art, music, and other performing arts  are taking a very close look at this now with great interest.”

The Gigaconference’ two-hour program was part of the Internet2 Fall Member Meeting that ran Dec. 4-7 in Chicago, and featured new products by LifeSize, Polycom, Codian, and Tandberg. The companies conducted live demonstrations of how their high-definition equipment is being used in real-world, practical applications using the H.323 international videoconferencing standard.

The networking infrastructure for the Gigaconference included the Internet2 national backbone, Internet2 Commons, and OSC’s OSCnet. The Internet2 Commons, which is jointly operated by OSU and OSC, is a remote collaboration service for large-scale deployment of Internet videoconferencing tools that are available to members of the Internet2 community and their collaborators.

OSCnet, operated by OSC Networking,  is the nation’s most advanced statewide fiber-optic network for education, research, and development serving K-12 schools, colleges and universities, hospitals and clinics, and public television stations. OSC and OSCnet are technology initiatives of the Ohio Board of Regents.

Participating institutions included Indiana University, University of New England in Australia, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, SURFnet, Saint Francis University, National Institutes of Health, Stanford University School of Medicine, Texas A&M University, University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Helsinki, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute, the Cleveland Institute of Art, and the Mid Atlantic GigaPoP in Philadelphia for Internet2 (MAGPI).

For more information on the Gigaconference, go to http://commons.internet2.edu/gigaconference2005.html.  To learn more about Csuri’s work or ACCAD, visit http://www.csuri.com or http://accad.osu.edu/.

About Ohio Supercomputer Center
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2007, the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) is a catalytic partner of Ohio universities and industries that enables Ohio to compete for international, federal, and state funding, focusing on new research and business opportunities.  It provides a reliable high performance computing and high performance networking infrastructure for a diverse statewide/regional community including education, academic research, industry, and state government.  Funded by the Ohio Board of Regents, OSC promotes and stimulates computational research and education in order to act as a key enabler for the state's aspirations in advanced technology, information systems, and advanced industries.  For additional information, visit http://www.osc.edu.

About The Ohio State University
The Ohio State University (OSU) is a coeducational public research university in Ohio. The university was founded in 1870 as a land-grant university and is currently the largest university in the U. S. Although Ohio operates a decentralized system of higher education, Ohio State is widely considered both within Ohio and outside of its borders to be the flagship institution of the state's public system of higher education.

About Internet2
Internet2 is the foremost U.S. advanced networking consortium. Led by the research and education community since 1996, Internet2 promotes the missions of its members by providing both leading-edge network capabilities and unique partnership opportunities that together facilitate the development, deployment and use of revolutionary Internet technologies. For more information on Internet2, go to www.internet2.edu.

About Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design        
The Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design, known also as ACCAD, is a research center where graduate students and faculty from across The Ohio State University study and conduct research in areas involving computer graphics and technological innovation. ACCAD forms partnerships with visual and performing artists, designers, art historians and critics, computer scientists, engineers and architects who provide multidisciplinary experiences for its graduate students. ACCAD graduates make a huge impact on the American film industry in special effects and computer graphics, contributing to movies such as Shrek I & II, Finding Nemo, and Ice Age. They also work at major studios such as Disney, Industrial Light & Magic, Rhythm and Hues, Electronic Arts, and Blue Sky Studios. To learn more about ACCAD, visit http://accad.osu.edu/.

Subjects: