News Story

KMi AND EARTH SCIENCES TO FEATURE IN SKY'S LEARNING CURVE

Chris Valentine, Wednesday 13 October 1999 | Annotate
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A television crew from Illumina TV (who produce the 'Learning Curve' programme for Sky's Technology channel) visted KMi and Earth Sciences to pick up the story of the Virtual Microscope. Professor Tom Vincent provided an introduction by describing the wide range of research activities undertaken in KMi and how the link had been established with Earth Sciences when the need for a Virtual Microscope was first identified. Tracy Carlton went on to explain and demonstrate the latest version of the Virtual Microscope being used for OU Foundation Science and Geology courses. Transmission date is not yet known.

Historical footnote: the need for a Virtual Microscope was first identified in 1992 when Dr Peter Whalley, IET/KMi, met with Dr Dave Williams, Earth Sciences, to discuss how students unable to participate in laboratory and field work because of physical impairments might be helped through computer emulations of laboratory experiments. Initially this involved capturing high quality magnified images which were made accessible on a computer. A great deal of use was made at that time of the Kodak PhotoCD process which had only just become available. Subsequently, the interface went through various development phases. The current version used by students was produced in Earth Sciences. However, as technology has moved on, new versions have been prototyped in KMi. A Web/Streaming Video version can be seen on the Multimedia Enabling Technologies Group (METG) Web site.

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Chris Valentine

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