HP Catalyst Project Showcase: The Global Collaboratory & Pedagogy 3.0

27 March 2012 - 9:00am - 10:00am

Join us for this free, live webinar at 9 am Central US time in our virtual room.
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Learn about work taking place in two Catalyst Consortia, with special focus on projects that are part of the Global Collaboratory and Pedagogy 3.0 Consortia.


"East African Computational Chemistry Infrastructure Project" by Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology
Have our students learned, and learned well? At Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) in Kenya, one measure is if students can use the knowledge they gain to help improve their community. MMUST is exploring how to use a collaborative online learning environment to address two major social challenges in East Africa: mitigation of environmental toxins and the development of natural anti-malarial products.

Through a grid service infrastructure for computational chemistry (via an HP server) that links to other institutions, students and researchers at MMUST and its partners will share access to high quality chemistry resources at Binghamton University that would normally be out of reach due to cost. The platform will be connected to the existing Brain Gain e-infrastructure and will allow access to molecular databases and support computer techniques as a means to explore and alleviate Africa’s ongoing struggle with malaria and other environmental issues.

The project will also determine the best combination of computational and chemistry teaching techniques, tailored specifically for students with a background in the African educational system, and aimed at solving real problems that exist in East Africa. Because computational chemistry has grown to be an essential component and research tool for the curriculum, all chemistry departments must maintain a high level of expertise to remain effective. The East African Computational Chemistry Infrastructure project is providing the means for the next generation of scientists in East Africa to gain these skills.

"Hands-on Information Technology Virtual Laboratory: Powered by Cloud Computing for Global Collaboration" by East Carolina University The speed of scientific and technological advances, along with ever-present resource constraints, makes it very difficult for academic institutions to maintain technical currency in instructional labs. At East Carolina University (ECU) in Greenville, North Carolina, however, information and distributed computing technologies (IDCT) make it possible to share computing capacity and deliver remote hands-on learning experiences effectively and efficiently. IDCT also brings unprecedented collaborative opportunities between well-equipped schools and less-funded schools, and between developed countries and developing countries. The project will leverage existing or new cloud computing systems and build a repository of virtual environments to share among faculty and students in secondary and tertiary educational institutions globally.

Virtualization technology allows a single physical computer to run multiple isolated virtual machines concurrently. Advances in virtualization and distributed computing have facilitated the development of cloud computing — a model of delivering information technology applications and services, on demand, over a private or public network. The ECU team will demonstrate how virtual labs provide a cost-effective way for schools to stay constantly connected and up to date. Their research will include establishing which collaborative tools are most effective so they can share this acquired expertise globally.

Teachers involved in the project will have access to tools to design online laboratory modules, where students can perform experiments to better understand abstract concepts in science, technology, and engineering. Additionally, a repository of research and information will live in the virtual environment, so that instructors and students can easily contribute their ideas in real-time.

Have questions? Email communications@nmc.org.

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