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Structures of life: Ever more complex buildings are crucibles of ideas and innovation

(Page 5 of 5)

Fuller Learning Center

The Fuller Learning Center control room

The Fuller Learning Center includes two high-tech video teleconferencing rooms and this control room, which sits between them. See larger image

The H. Laurance and Nancy Fuller Learning Center provides unsurpassed videoconferencing and presentation capabilities on campus and "the most advanced capabilities to connect with the medical college," a use that is given priority over other uses, said Greg Bronson, technology project leader for classroom technologies at Cornell Information Technologies. The center's main offerings include two high-tech conference rooms that are free to Weill Hall users and available for an hourly rate to other Cornell departments.

Video-teleconferencing room

Seats in one of the video-teleconferencing rooms in the Fuller Learning Center. See larger image

A 64-seat conference room, the Nancy M. and Samuel C. Fleming Lecture Hall, is set up for presentations with a wide screen that can be split into two frames for separate content. It is fitted with cameras for long-distance audiences. In addition, the center features a 30-seat tiered room with stadium seating and a curved screen, which optimizes sight lines, using similar principles as IMAX technology. The room makes use of a new suite of tools based on a system called Access Grid, which allows a savvy presenter or a technician to seamlessly project tens of frames on the screen, each with separate content. Workshop participants, for example, may view a wide screen filled with numerous video feeds showing participants from off-campus locations and multiple frames with Web pages and slides, all simultaneously. Viewers off campus can also view the screens via a video feed. Seats are equipped with built-in microphones. When a speaker presses the microphone's button, cameras in the room pan to his or her seat. CIT technicians are available to man events from a control room between the two conference rooms.

Each room supports high-definition video, and the 30-seat room was planned with the capacity for future upgrades to 3-D viewing.

"These rooms were designed with knowledge of where the technology is headed," added Bronson.

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