Responsibilities (brief outline): I manage the Research Planning and Advanced Development Group. This group consists of an autonomous Lead Analyst, and the Manager of the Hardware Development and Maintenance Group (HDMG) who is under my supervision. My responsibilities are to 1) provide long-term planning, and organizational support for Departmental research, 2) explore and develop new concepts in hardware and software for research support, 3) install and supervise the maintenance of Departmental equipment, and 4) to provide support for the Computer Vision and Robotics Laboratory and that research group.
Research activities and publications :
Ideas developed and applied in the area of responsibility: The major areas of activity this year were: 1) engineer and coordinate AH1-26, 1-50, and GSB 211 undergraduate laboratory upgrades; 2) defined, coordinated, and assisted in the move of 7 faculty, PDFs, graduate students, and the Algorithmics Laboratory to Athabasca Hall. 3) assisted Dr. Watson, Stroulia, and Greiner with their startup equipment; 4) upgraded Sunkay (primary file server); 5) expanded the CMPUT 485 laboratory; 6) set up the RIMS laboratory; 7) assisted in the preparation of the successful NSERC application for the Networks group, configured and implemented hardware/software upgrade; 8) built a rotating ultrasound device for Dr. Zhang; 9) assisted with Dr.Basu's successful IIPP application and purchases; 10) designed and implemented robot scissors for RIMS opening; 11) assisted with the planning and decommissioning of the Reading Room to make way for the CAVE; 12) assisted with the IIPP and CFI applications to fund the new laboratory building; 13) prepared a major portion of the Information Technology plan; and 14) worked with the architect to define the Design Development report which was passed by FDC.
I supervised Rene Leiva, the electronics shop supervisor and assisted in defining Rob Lake's activities when he was not on secondment.
The two Athabasca Hall laboratories were replaced with a combination of Xterminals and NT servers. I assessed the growing server complement and decided to consolidate all the servers in AH1-28 (it was designated to be used for consulting but was underutilized). This reduced the costs and made the administration much easier. The GSB211 upgrade was financed from this and other savings.
I tracked the design and renovations that were required to move part of the faculty, graduate students, and laboratories to Athabasca Hall. I assisted and coordinated the physical move and subsequent tuning. I coordinated and assisted the hardware group in getting the hardware moved. The transition went relatively smoothly.
I assisted three new faculty in defining the requirements for their research hardware/software acquired the systems and integrated them into the department environment.
Through a combination of funds we were able to replace the Sunkay file server. I engineered the hardware replacement and assisted COG with the logistics of replacing this critical function.
I assisted in the acquisition of additional equipment for the CMPUT 485 course. To accommodate the additional students I devised a plan to share CAB 426 on alternating terms.
After settling in the occupants of Athabasca Hall I designed the layout of the RIMS laboratory and set up the equipment that had been donated to the laboratory.
I worked with the Communications Networks group to configure and cost evaluate and upgrade. This was submitted to NSERC and was funded ($74,926). I then worked with them to develop and execute an implementation plan. The plan had two phases, and the first phase - replacement of the file server, upgrading the laboratory network, and part of the workstations has been completed (I specified, purchased, and installed the hardware and software - Linux).
Dr. Zhang had need for a motor driven ultrasonic sonar for a mobile robot experiment. I researched the motor requirements, and built the necessary hardware and interface.
I worked with Dr.Basu and the other members of the Imaging Systems and RIMS groups to define and price a hardware upgrade that was submitted to IIPP for funding. The request was funded ($140,000) and I have been assisting in the acquisition and installation of equipment.
For the opening of RIMS (the laboratory and the Institute) Dr. Szafron wanted something high-tech and flashy. He mentioned having a robot cut the ribbon (the laboratory was too small to hold the function so the remote control made sense). I took the idea and built some hardware for the existing robot. I had a graduate student do the robot software (see the attached write up). I designed the client/server software to do the remote control and worked with Rob Lake to get the web interface done.
Dr. Green, was successful with an NSERC major grant to fund a CAVE. To house this we needed additional space and decided the only choice was to close the Reading Room and use it. I assisted in the logistics to accomplish this.
I contributed some sections and reviewed the IIPP and CFI applications for funding for the new Laboratory building. I have also worked on some of the other fund raising campaign materials and negotiations.
I wrote a major section of the Department's Information Technology Plan.
I worked on the Building Committee and architect to define the Design Development report which was submitted and approved by FDC. We have started working on the detailed design documents (1::50 scale drawings).
Self-improvement courses or programs enrolled in: I attended many of the departmental colloquia in addition to reading technical and academic literature.
Professional activities (memberships, positions held, meetings attended): I am a member of IEEE, IEEE Computer Society, and the ACM with enrollment in the robotics, mobile computing, and multimedia special interest groups. I am also an active member, and President, of the local UNIX User's group. I participated in a Distance Education Technologies workshop in Saskatoon (Sept.5&6).
University offices held, committee work: I was elected to serve a 3-year term on GFC by the FSO's commencing in October 1997. I was an active member of the Computing Resources and Policy Committee, and the Space Planning Committee. I was a member of the CNS task force studying remote access to UofA computer systems.
Any additional information relating to career: I interacted with the following university departments CNS (networks group, on multicasting and ATM technology transfer), the Library, Chemistry, Physics, Electrical Engineering, Psychology, and Education concerning workstations, Ethernets, UNIX, and various other aspects of computing. In addition I had discussions with the following companies or organizations about various computing topics: Calgary City government, Dendronics, and BioTools. I wrote over 300,000 words of email during the year. I gave tours to the faculty candidates and several other visitors.