Universities and research labs around the world are turning to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater to join a state-of-the-art video conferencing network.
For the next year, UW-Whitewater will run the TelePresence exchange for National LambdaRail (NLR), a nonprofit Internet provider for universities and research sites.
TelePresence is a brand of video conferencing technology that uses high definition cameras and audio equipment.
"It's an immersive experience that enables educational and research institutions to collaborate and share knowledge," said Elena Pokot, assistant vice chancellor of Instructional, Communication and Information Technology (iCIT). "The quality is so good that participants feel like they're in the same room."
To make the collaboration experience complete, participants can connect their computers and share content, such as pictures, documents, videos or websites.
Students, faculty and staff members at UW-Whitewater use TelePresence to connect with classrooms and meet with colleagues around the world. About 250 sites in 14 countries are on the network. UW-Whitewater is responsible for making the connections happen.
"UW-Whitewater was tapped because of our technical and professional expertise," Pokot said. "Nick Ciesinski, our network architect, will help current members connect with one another, troubleshoot issues and assist new members joining the network."
Managing the TelePresence network is already creating new relationships, Pokot said.
"Places that never heard of UW-Whitewater before are approaching us to join this global community," she said. "From astronomy to chemistry to business, to education, the potential collaborations are endless and we're limited only by our imaginations."