Advanced Technology Research Proposal - 1997

CARTAH, Box 353680
Thomson Hall, Room 35


Providing ``technology resources for general student use" and, in particular, high-end technological resources for individual students not sponsored by departmental units has had no priorty at the university level.

In fact, few students outside of specific subject areas, such as graphic arts/media studies, technical communication, or engineering, have access to labs equiped with media tools or access to a working, research environment in which ideas are developed and expressed using new, digital tools. Yet most of the ``artifacts'' with which students come into daily contact are produced with high-end tools, while students have no opportunity to explore the use of these tools. Furthermore, few computer labs on campus are equipped to provide the resources, environment, or support the use of such tools require.

CARTAH has existed for nearly three years in its present research-based organization, and it was established by the College of Arts and Sciences to provide advanced technological support for research and creative work for arts and humanities units within the College. As such, CARTAH is unique in providing technological resources for producing, among other things, multimedia presentations with equipment that is available to researchers and artists without respect to department. Our environment includes students and faculty from a multiplicity of scholarly backgrounds who come together and interact to share information and ideas that enrich the work being done here.

CARTAH proposes to make its facilities available to the general student population on the same basis that the facilities are currently available to faculty and student researchers and artists: (1) To provide an inter-disciplinary research lab atmosphere; (2) To make available high-end computers, software, and other equipment used in the production of digital works of music, art, and research; (3) To receive proposals from ``unaffiliated" undergraduate and graduate students.

Significance to students

What should students do now to advance their knowledge? Most undergraduate students and, indeed, many graduate students at the University of Washington do not have access to the high-end computers and specialized equipment and software resources necessary to produce multimedia products for the WEB or on CD-ROM. Yet we are surrounded by output of these tools. In addition, many students pass through their undergraduate stay at the University without the opportunity to work closely with scholars and artists in a collaborative, research environment. Both of these issues, access to advanced technology and experience in a research environment, are of the utmost importance to produce will trained graduates.

Yet, the two types of learning just mentioned can be in short supply at the university, and it is certainly a type of costly learning without central budget priority when it involves high-end technology. It is also a type of experience which ought to be - and with technology fee support can be - available for students who are sufficiently motivated to write a coherent description what they would like to do, how they intend to proceed, and what the likely outcome will be.

At the present time, CARTAH's resources are insufficient to meet all requests. Every term we receive proposals from students to conduct creative/research work at CARTAH. Many of the proposals come from students outside the arts & humanities in the College of Arts and Science, and thus they do not fit the brief supplied to us for support by the College. Another characteristic of these proposals is that, generally speaking, they do not ``fit" into the academic or instructional program of the author. That is, support for them cannot be justified by the usual means of being tied to some course requirement or part of a larger whole. Finally, many of these rejected proposals are exploratory in nature, without clear focus, or of marginal academic value. On the other hand, they could well prove to be an important intellectual springboard for the students who submit them. What they share in common is the intent to provide their authors with access to resources they could not otherwise obtain.

With the support of the Student Technology Fee, under CARTAH's proposal, undergradutes will be able to ``self select" to undertake research/artistic activity of their own choosing. They will gain skills in writing credible and competitive research proposals. They will have access to state-of-the-art production tools. They will have the experience of producing independent work in a research environment. Such skills should enhance these students' performance in their regular course work, and these skills should translate into increased preparedness for future endeavors.


There are several recent examples of students whose use of CARTAH's facilities and interdisciplinary research environment enhanced not only their university experience, but also led to post-baccalaureate success.


The equipment proposals outlined in this section will provide additional hardware resources that will be necessary to accommodate an expanded clientele. If funded, these new resources would also justify CARTAH's bearing the expense of additional staffing to open some evenings and on weekends. (CARTAH currently operates 8:30-4:30 Monday through Friday.) The emphasis in these proposals is continued excellence in technology, as well as providing seats for additional researcher/artists.

Many students, for example, are drawn to CARTAH in the hope that they will have access to SGI Indigo class machines. We receive many such requests. The equipment listed below will help to meet this demand.


  1. Video Production Station
    Most of the work being done in the multimedia arts include video capturing and processing. The equipment requested would allow a fully integrated and cross platform video production station to be available to students working on specific projects.

    The following equipment is essential for a video work station.

    1. Silicon Graphics SGI O2 SC Unix workstation, for the capture, manipulation, and output of video.

      • 20" monitor.
      • 128MB Ram
      • 4GB Hard Drive

    2. Macintosh compatible PowerPC 225Mhz workstation for processing and development of video for primarily Macintosh platforms.

      • 17" monitor
      • 64MB Ram
      • 4GB Hard Drive
      • Video capture and playback capacity

    3. Hi-8 video cam-corder for creating video Video processing software for both SGI and Macintosh

      The following equipment is important for a video work station, and will greatly enhance the workstation's capacities.

    4. Pentium 200Mhz MMX workstation with video and multimedia capacity for processing and development of video for primarily Windows platforms

      • 17" monitor
      • 64MB Ram
      • 4GB Hard Drive
      • Video capture and playback capacity

    5. DVD writer for the creation of the new DVD standard video/music/data disks
    6. Audio DAT deck for integrating high quality audio with video and multimedia projects.

  2. Workstations and Other Equipment
    The equipment requested would allow CARTAH to enhance its support of projects that integrate the arts and humanities with the latest computer technology.

    1. Macintosh compatible PowerPC 200Mhz workstations (3)

      • 17" Monitor
      • 64MB RAM
      • 2GB Hard Drive

    2. Pentium 200Mhz MMX Workstations (3)

      • 17" Monitor
      • 64MB RAM
      • 2GB Hard Drive

  3. 4xCD writer for the creation of standard data/music CD's
  4. Color laser printer for high quality color printing
  5. DAT tape drives (2) to aid users in transporting or archiving their computer work. One for Macinosh platforms, one for PC platforms


(c-tekfee.tex) February 1997