The School of Science, as a member of the Australian Mathematical Science Institute (AMSI), has established a state of the art Access Grid Room.
The international centre of excellence for education in mathematics (ICE-EM) is establishing a network of subsidised Access Grid Rooms (AGRs) at Australian Mathematical Science Institute (AMSI) member universities.
Australian mathematics departments and schools have been able to obtain part funding (about half, at approximately 90K) for an AGR within their precincts through five funding rounds. Participating universities provide top up funding to establish AGRs at their institutions. Funding is provided by the Australian Government through the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.
AMSI member institutions that have been funded to date include
The Access Grid Room is a two way interactive form of telecommunications based on the Access Grid software. The Access Grid software brings together a multitude of resources including multimedia large-format displays, presentation and interactive environments, and interfaces to visualisation environments. Usually these take the form of smart boards, data projection and interactive software incorporating digital ink and conferencing facilities. These resources are used to support group-to-group interactions across the Grid. The Access Grid community is a world wide movement towards open access and interaction across the grid.
The primary reason for the development of this network of AGRs is to promote high level mathematical communication and interaction between AMSI member universities. The main goal is to deliver high quality honours and postgraduate courses through the AGR into member institutions. This will increase the variety and quality of programs offered at universities within the Australian context, where expertise is widely spread geographically. The AGRs allow the mathematics postgraduate community - and professionals - to access international experts who are visiting Australia. The AGR network will enable AMSI member institutions to present seminars, lectures, honours and masters courseware, and multimedia resources remotely and interactively, and in return, to participate in events presented by other AMSI institutions.
The AGRs will also provide a means of carrying out collaborative research with peers within Australia and internationally. Where appropriate, they can be used for undergraduate mathematics teaching, as well as professional development for mathematics teachers.
The AGR within the Mathematical Sciences at RMIT is fully equipped with standard video conferencing equipment (i.e. ceiling mikes and speakers with inbuilt echo-cancelling), a set of three electro-board smart boards and one retractable projection screen.
These are all run via an AMX control system and are interfaced with the grid via a high performance computing system. Access Grid 3 software is run to enable cross grid communication and interactivity with state of the art mathematical software via Virtual Network Computing (VNC).
Acknowledgement of country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer