STF99: Providing Student Access to Advanced
Integrated Arts Technology
Richard Karpen, Professor and Director
Student access to state-of-the-art technologies with
professional quality equipment not found at home is a major
part of CARTAH's mission. These kinds of technologies
are often available only to graduate students and faculty
in the sciences and engineering. Or they are available
commercially. The growing
technological sophistication of students in all areas of the UW has
meant that demand for access to this kind of equipment has
Significance to Students
During 1998, CARTAH has welcomed over
twenty undergraduate, high-end technology research
projects in the Arts and Humanities. These undergraduate projects
represent a wide range of disciplines: art, drama, technical
communication, graphic design, comparative literature,
and English. Fully half of these projects are video production,
while the rest involve animation, multi-media, and graphics.
In fact, nearly all of the video projects undertaken at
CARTAH are proposed and completed by students.
These are projects which here-to-fore could not have been undertaken
except with the support of the Student Technology Fee.
Nevertheless, neither technology nor the growing sophistication of
entering undergraduate students stand still. If CARTAH is to be able
to continue offering students a welcoming, supportive, technological
research environment with professional level equipment that they
cannot afford to purchase for themselves, then CARTAH is required
to obtain the best equipment available. Our goal is to provide
up-to-date technology in a diverse and
intellectually stimulating environment.
Among specific benefits to our students are:
- access on campus to the latest professional technology
creates highly marketable graduates;
- only CARTAH offers video production facilities to
unaffiliated undergradutes at no cost;
- CARTAH provides a structured research environment
which challenges students to set project goals,
offers input from a multi-disciplinary perspective,
and provides a genuine research experience in a helpful
Access to CARTAH is available to all students who submit a structured
research proposal. This can be done simply from CARTAH's WEB
site. Students are also offered help in constructing cogent
CARTAH provides a congenial, structured research setting, and we
contribute ongoing networking and hardware/software support, as well
as individual project consultants for every student project, drawn
from our full-time staff of 2.4, three graduate assistants, and four
work-study lab assistants. In addition, CARTAH provides for
printing, scanning, insurance and maintenance for all
equipment, as well as equipment loan, and other
incidental support from our on-going operations budget. These
functions are performed in our basement facility in Thomson Hall.
If funded, CARTAH proposes to acquire the items listed
during Spring and Summer 1999 and to bring the equipment
on-line and make the new resources available to users
as it arrives. We envisage that all equipment will be
in place by the beginning of Fall Term.
Proposal and Procedure
CARTAH's proposal consists of two major elements:
- 'downstreaming' older STF funded equipment, which is
no longer state-of-the-art but highly functional,
to other Arts and Humanities departments which agree
to allow open access for STF equipment in their departments;
we include agreements (see attachments)
from the Music Library (John Gibbs) and Romance Languages
- acquiring new, professional quality hardware (not currently
available to general students elsewhere on campus),
including professional quality sound hardware, transparency
scanner, high-quality tabloid size color
printer, and digital video equipment to loan
for student projects.
Cutting edge CPU's
CARTAH proposes purchasing two, new high-end Macintosh G3/400
computers and two new high-end Intel PII/450 computers
to replace the no-longer cutting edge machines provided
through an STF grant in 1997. These will allow CARTAH to
provide UW undergraduates and graduates with the newest technology. We have
arranged with the Music Library and the Department of Romance Languages
to provide open access to students for the four older STF machines,
in keeping with the intent of the STF program. We have attached
letters from these departments for the committee's inspection.
CARTAH means to expand our highly popular and over-subscribed
digital video production system. To do this, we require the
addition of a digital video recorder and an SVHS recorder.
These two pieces of equipment will supplement existing
video production facilities purchased with STF funds and eliminate the bottle
necks referred to in student comments.
Digital Audio and Computer Music Composition
The missing link in CARTAH's offering to students, and
one which is frequently requested, is digital signal
processing for high-quality sound on an 8-channel,
A-DAT connection board.
It is highly desireable to have an integrated system that can provide
professional quality image and video processing, along with
professional studio quality audio effects.
The SGI Octane is a serious
piece of hardware that can perform this function, unlike
current Macintoshes and Intel-based systems which cannot
provide this quality of combined audio-video processing. Access to such
a system currently runs about $100 per hour in a commercial
Professional Quality, Multi-format Scanning
CARTAH is currently unable to provide support for the highest
quality graphic arts work required by digital artists. The
Polaroid SprintScan will allow us to round out our offerings
by providing this capability to UW students and artists.
CARTAH currently has a tabloid size color flatbed scanner
and a high-speed color document scanner available for student
project use. What is missing is a high-end, tabloid size
color output device such as the Tektronix Phaser 780 printer.
Currently, research clients requiring
high-quality color output must take their electronic files
to a commerical service bureau for printing.
- Jeff Schell, Senior, Drama2
I believe the CARTAH equipment is exactly what the
STF committee had in mind with the creation of the
technology fund. Not only have I been able to put practical
experience to what I've been taught in the classroom, but
I have been able to augment my curricular activities using the
available technology. For example, I lead a sketch comedy
troupe that involves not only myself, a graduating senior,
but other drama majors. With the CARTAH/STF equipment, I'm
able to combine video with our live theater performances.
Thus complimenting my major (stagecraft) with technology
- Dan Johnson, Senior, Photography3
I would like to see [at CARTAH] more Apple Mac
Yosemite G3 Power PCs with 'firewire' and digital video
capabilities. ... I would like to see the acquisiton of
Animation Toolworks Video Lunchbox for stop-motion
and classical animation line testing.
- Drew Carlson, Senior, Industrial Design4
[The services CARTAH provides that are not avilable
elsewhere on campus are] video editing software and hardware,
tabloid size flatbed scanner, high-end slide scanner, CD burning,
friendly support staff.
- Charles Johnson, Senior, Art5
It has given me the chance to do much more work
in the research field. Without CARTAH's help, I just could
not aford to do some the things I'm doing.
All figures include tax and shipping.
|06 - Equipment
|Dell Dimension XPS R PII 450Mhz/256, 8G w/19'' monitor ||2||5,750.00
|Macintosh G3/400Mhz/128, 9G w/19'' monitor ||2 ||6,700.00
|Tektronix Phaser tabloid 1200dpi color printer ||1 ||6,020.00
|Polaroid SprintScan 45PRO Multi-format transparency scanner||1||11,000.00
|SGI Octane 250Mhz/256, 9G w/19'' monitor ||1 ||17,000.00
|Sony DSR-20 Digital Video Recorder ||1||3,490.00
|Panasonic 1980 SVHS Video Recorder ||1 ||2,150.00
stf99.tex (Mar 2, 1999
2 (See attached letter.)
3 (Full comments
available upon request.)
4 (Full comments
available upon request.)
5 (Full comments available