Author

Jason Withee

Date of Award

5-2010

Level of Access

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Computer Engineering

Advisor

Bruce Segee

Second Committee Member

Rick Eason

Third Committee Member

Yifeng Zhu

Abstract

Scientific research using supercomputer modeling has lead to extraordinarily large data-sets that cannot easily be interpreted as numbers. They are best viewed graphically as images or graphs. Often these images and animations created from the data-sets have resolutions greater than 100 Megapixels. To improve analysis of the data, researchers have circumvented resolution limitations of today's commodity displays, which are at best about 2 Megapixels, by using commercially available systems or building their own custom distributed displays made from a system of computers and displays. Although building a custom distributed tiled display is often times orders of magnitude cheaper than buying commercially available systems, they are still extremely expensive for some. Both of these methods require special configuration of hardware and software packages that the end user must be familiar with. Because of their size and special configuration both of these methods require dedicated hardware that cannot easily be used for other tasks. This thesis explores the idea of designing and using a system that would allow for high-resolution dynamic tiled displays, to be created and destroyed on the fly, with little setup time and configuration by the end user. It is focused towards the use of high-resolution tiled displays in the K-12 schools to improve upon inquiry-based research. The focus is geared even more towards the middle school (7th and 8th grade) classrooms, thanks to the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) program which gives every middle school student and teacher access to their own Apple laptop. These laptops can be used together each creating a tile in an high-resolution tiled display. Although, this thesis is focused on K-12 teachers and students as the end-users, it can easily adapted to be used by anyone in any industry.

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