Georgia Collaborative Research Initiative – Case Study

An interdisciplinary lab on the Georgia Tech campus is working closely with a lab on the Emory campus across town. Currently, graduate students are doing research in labs on both campuses. They work at Emory when they are focusing on the biological parts of the research and they work at Georgia Tech when they are focusing on the computational parts of the research. Merging these two aspects of the research has been cumbersome. Because the different aspects of the research are closely tied, it is common for the student to need to refer to expertise that is located across town instead of across the lab. Also, when new students start working on these projects, the veteran students experience difficulty in training them when coordinating locations is part of the equation. Currently, driving across to town to meet or talking on the phone to ask a question has been the solution. Recently, the use of AV iChat with iSight cameras has helped but does not give them all the capabilities that they need.

Clearly there is a need for researchers at Georgia Tech and researchers at Emory to work together as if they were in the same room. Connecting these labs with a dedicated high bandwidth link will enable them to share uncompressed digital video and audio between the labs. The quality of this audio and video will give them the ability to have complex conversations without the latency issues of traditional video conferencing. Also, the ability to pull in computational and imaging data with the video will help enable training scenarios. This requires much more consistent performance than is available over Internet 2 today. The dedicated nature of a SLR connection, as opposed to the current shared paradigm, will provide the quality of service needed for this application and many others.