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Short Course Registration Information

AMS Short Course on Interactive Immersion Learning: Flying Through Data Onboard The GEOpod

Sunday, 6 January 2013


  Synopsis: GEOpod is an intuitive, interactive Java module that allows users to navigate and probe an immersive 3-D world. GEOpod features authentic geophysical data, which is based on actual physics, thus exhibiting technical accuracy, scientific soundness and fidelity. GEOpod leverages the Unidata Program Center’s open source Java-based visualization software, the Integrated Data Viewer (IDV), to import and render meteorological data. We will demonstrate how the GEOpod gives a user a first-person perspective of flying through a data volume, and provides an intuitive, engaging interaction style designed to appeal to students and motivate them to explore the volume and gain a comprehensive understanding of meteorological concepts. GEOpod provides a number of useful devices and features to facilitate and enhance this exploration process, while maintaining a clean, easy-to-use interface which is accessible to novices and experts alike. The workshop is intended for faculty and students in undergraduate atmospheric or related sciences programs.

      Course Goals and Objectives: 1) To introduce faculty and students to a virtual 3-D immersion application that allows them to navigate through data at the controls of a virtual probe called GEOpod; 2) to expose them to a new learning tool, complete with missions and assessment rubrics, that uses real, geophysical data instead of artificial simulations to understand atmospheric structure and concepts; and 3) to provide an exciting game-like immersion that will stimulate interest and lead to better understanding.

      Format: The 3 ½ - hour Sun. afternoon short course will be divided into three main parts. In the first hour we will provide an introduction to GEOpod and demonstrate its capabilities. The second hour will focus on hands-on, instructor-guided activities with participants using their own laptops to explore the features of the software. In the third hour, participants will be given two missions to complete. A course wrap-up and user survey will fill the final 30 minutes.

      Participants are required to bring their own Windows-based (Vista or later) laptop with at least 4 GB of RAM; GEOpod is not compatible with MAC OS. No previous IDV experience is necessary. 

      This course is sponsored by the NSF.

      Maximum enrollment: 30.

      The instructors are meteorologists and a computer scientist from Millersville University: Drs. Richard Clark, Sepideh Yalda, and Gary Zoppetti. Technical support provided by Millersville students and the Unidata Program Center. For more information please contact Rich Clark at Millersville University, P.O. Box 1002, Millersville, PA 17551 (tel: 717-872-3930; email: Richard.Clark@millersville.edu.