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Date: May 13, 2004

UVic Engineering grad students win BCNet coolest applications contest

According to BCNET—a non-profit society for the development of advanced networks in B.C.—UVic engineering graduate students make the coolest stuff.

UVic computer science student Brian Corrie and electrical and computer engineering student Daniel Vanderster won two of four categories of this year’s BCNET Coolest Applications Contest, which was held at the 4th Annual Advanced Networks Conference in Vancouver last month.

Corrie won the $2,000 award for the most innovative submission, the Distributed Tabletop Collaboration project. A digital tabletop differs from a conventional computer monitor in that the screen is actually an entire tabletop and users use their hands to manipulate objects instead of using a computer mouse. When users sit at opposite sides of the digital tabletop a natural and casual interaction takes place. Corrie’s project looks at the benefits of the digital tabletop and issues involved in creating that same natural interaction between users who are in different locations or even different cities.

Vanderster won the $2,000 award for the proposal with best broadband potential, the Grid Canada project. In recent years, the computational challenges faced by researchers in the natural sciences have quickly outpaced the abilities of resources at Canadian academic institutions. In an effort to solve these grand challenges, a new paradigm in computing—grid computing—promises to provide researchers with access to unprecedented computational power. By combining the resources of multiple sites, the grid will allow users to have transparent access to remote resources. Using the facilities at the Universities of Victoria and Alberta, and at the National Research Centre, the Grid Canada project seeks to design and implement a national computational grid of over 200 processors.

SFU student Behnam Bastani’s project won the best chance for commercial success category and UBC student Stephen Montgomery’s submission won the best overall category. The four students were selected as the “best of the best” from a pool of candidates from graduate school programs at BCNET member institutions, which include UVic, BCIT, SFU, UBC, and UNBC. For more information go to www.bc.net.

Media contacts:
Brian Corrie (Computer Science) at (604) 268-6978 or bdcorrie@uvic.ca
Maria Lironi (UVic Communications) at (250) 721-6139 or lironim@uvic.ca

UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available on the World Wide Web at http://communications.uvic.ca/media

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