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Release: Immediate

UI engineering classroom receives computer equipment grant

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa College of Engineering's state-of-the-art electronic imaging classroom has received a Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) equipment grant valued at $384,325 that will keep it a leader in engineering education and provide a high-speed network link to UI Hospitals and Clinics.

According to the developers of the 15-month-old "Quantitative Imaging Electronic Classroom," the funding is an indication of the program's continuing success. "The grant is a direct result of our accomplishments in the area of electronic delivery of image processing instruction, leadership in web-based image-processing educational material, and support from the College and the UI," says Milan Sonka, UI associate professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Sonka and Edwin Dove, professor of biomedical engineering, have used the 40-seat classroom and its 21 advanced UNIX work stations and other equipment since fall 1996 to develop a curriculum that uses the World Wide Web. Students receive their lectures on their computer screens and can interact with each other and the instructor, or use the work stations for independent problem-solving. After class, they can review class materials on the Web, replaying the visual part of the lecture with the freedom to complete their homework anywhere in the world.

The field of electronic imaging is becoming increasingly important in a variety of fields including industrial design and medicine. The classroom complements existing UI strengths in medical imaging and image processing, educational psychology and instructional design and will be used to design new classrooms and courses as the College embarks on its $26 million modernization project, scheduled for completion in 2001.

The donated HP equipment includes a 240 MegaHertz computer for instructors, memory upgrades for student stations, a high-end 300 MegaHertz personal computer and other instructional and research equipment.

The classroom originally was made possible by HP grants of $890,000 in equipment and $110,000 in visual display upgrades, as well as $50,000 of supporting materials from the College. Steve Collins, UI professor of electrical and computer engineering and radiology, provided integral support in establishing the classroom.

The digital image processing Web site can be found at: