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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 1, 2003

Dean Wins President's Technology Innovation Award

Eric Dean, chief curator of the Office of Visual Materials in the School of Art and Art History in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa, has been awarded the 2003 UI President's Award for Technology Innovation for his work on a Digital Image Library. The award, given at the University Convocation Sept. 30, recognizes the most creative use of technology in teaching in the past year and carries a $3,000 cash prize.

The Digital Image Library is a web-based application used by thousands of UI students who review the images for studio art, art history and humanities courses. Used by both graduate and undergraduate students, the Digital Image Library includes images documenting major works in fields of African, Asian, European and American Art.

The Digital Library went online in October 2000 and currently has received 3 million requests for images from UI students and faculty. It has 277,000 data records and 22,530 digital images available. In the fall 2003 semester, the Digital Image Library is supporting 21 courses from both studio and art history.

"This material, which previously has been unavailable to students for individual study, is a great educational asset for students in the School of Art and Art History, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the entire university," Dean said.

In the past, the Office of Visual Materials provided faculty with 35mm slides of works of art to share with students in class, but it was difficult for students to review slides outside of class. Recognizing the need to help students review the slides independently, Dean began working on a web-based application to view the same images online as were seen in class.

The application contains features that allow students to view the images without the identifying information so they can test their knowledge of the material. Faculty can also upload their course syllabi and handouts to the application.

STORY SOURCE: University News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2550

MEDIA CONTACT: George McCrory, 319-384-0012,