The Computer Science and Software Engineering department offers various facilities for students to use. These facilities include the numerous computer labs located in the ground floor of Benton Hall and the HIVE, a huge immersive virtual environment. The CSE department has recently updated some of the labs in Benton Hall for use not only for labs, but also as a lecture space. There is an open lab where students can work on homework or projects with their peers.
Benton Hall has one large, general-use computing lab. It is open about 85 hours a week (8-12 M-R, 8-5 F, 12-5 Sat, 2-12 Sun). This lab is restricted to those taking CEC courses and provides access to software needed for coursework and student projects. Benton 016 has approximately 44 Windows computers.
The division attempts to replace 1/4 of these computer systems every year. With the exception of applications that integrate with specific hardware needs or have prohibitive licensing, the same image (and software) is run in all classrooms and labs.
Printing is provided as part of the University pay-for-print system. The lab includes black & white and color laser jet printing.
In addition to the general lab, the division supports several instructional labs/classrooms:
The HIVE is joint research project between the department of Computer Science and Software Engineering and the Department of Emerging Technology in Business + Design.
The HIVE (huge immersive virtual environment) is a state-of-the-art virtual environment facility on the Oxford, Ohio campus of Miami University. Construction of the HIVE was funded by grants from the U.S. Army Research Office (ARO) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The HIVE offers completely untethered tracking of multiple users in a physical space of 1,100 square meters. Immersed users of the HIVE wear a Head Mounted Display (HMD) containing integrated headphones and a wearable rendering unit. Everything the user sees and hears is computer generated. It is a unique facility due to the size of the incorporated tracking area. Tracking area dimensions are 25 x 44 meters.
Users are able to navigate naturally through virtual worlds by simply walking. Unlike treadmill or walk-in-place systems, there is no need for users to learn artificial movement metaphors or go through a training period during which they learn to walk in an unnatural manner. Instead, once the wearable rendering unit has been donned, users can begin virtual navigation immediately. While navigating, they will receive the same kinesthetic and vestibular information that they would in everyday life. Natural navigation such as is experienced in the HIVE has been shown to increase user feelings that the world through which they are moving is actually real.
The large physical size and wearable rendering unit of the HIVE allows an increased feeling of presence. Through the use of Redirected Walking (RDW) algorithms, the HIVE can seamlessly simulate virtual worlds of unlimited size. HIVE research focuses on answering questions related to RDW and making the capabilities of the HIVE completely portable so that immersive virtual environments can be available to a much wider audience at a reasonable cost.
The HIVE is located in Phillips Hall next to the Goggin Ice Arena.
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