The research community heavily promotes daily collaboration and remote participation whenever possible. It is incredible how much progress has been made in collaboration technology over the past years to support the efforts of these research communities. The collaborative work sessions which appear so common and easy to perform today were much more difficult if not impossible to achieve in the past. I’d like to share two examples of how researchers and scientists are using present day visual collaboration technology to fulfill their research goals and activities.
One such example occurred recently. There was an important visit from DOE (Department of Energy) planned at Caltech. The DOE program managers intended to perform a site review of the research activities hosted by the physics department. They visited the new data center where computing and physics analysis were performed and also discussed the progress on the various physics research projects. As is often the case, collaborators working on the project were dispersed across several national and international universities and laboratories. In this particular case, researchers involved in the review were also located at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Geneva, Switzerland, and at FNAL (Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory) near Chicago, US. In order to connect these three different locations to ensure a successful review they used the eZuce SRN video collaboration service, which is a technology that specifically caters to the research and scientific community. The large conference room used at Caltech was already equipped with a standard legacy system (H.323-based system) which included a camera with a wide-angle lens, and a table top microphone. The researchers at CERN and FNAL were using their own laptop to connect to the eZuce SRN network to join the session. Throughout the entire day of the review, numerous remote talks and presentations, and several intense interactions with question/answer dedicated sessions ensued. At the end of the day, the DOE site visit was a success, thanks to the eZuce SRN service.Global collaboration experiences like this serve as a consistent reminder of how collaboration technology can significantly improve our working environment. What we take for granted today (a successful international multi-sites collaboration session with no preparation and using different protocols and endpoints) was extremely challenging if not impossible to achieve years ago.
Another interesting use case that came to mind occurred a few months ago. The American Physical Society used the eZuce SRN platform for some of their meetings and SRN was used for the APS Meeting which occurred in April 2016: Physics and Physicists Around the World, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Due to other commitments, Professor Yifang Wang of the IHEP Chinese Academy of Sciences was unable to attend the conference in person. As a key member of the collaboration/initiative his attendance was crucial and he needed to find a way to participate fully. He too chose to use the eZuce SRN service which enabled him to
- Pre-record his presentation "CEPC-SppC: A great Opportunity for the US-China Collaboration". To create the recording, he used his laptop/desktop from his office in China to connect to an eZuce SRN meeting room together with the support group at Caltech who just recorded his presentation as well as a short question and answer session afterward.
- Convert the recorded session to a standard mp4 format using the eZuce player
- Broadcast the presentation in real time during the APS meeting
During his presentation, Professor Wang referred to how the SRN service enabled his remote participation with the following comment: "Our planet is becoming smaller and smaller and with the help of technologies, I can give this talk from a distance of several thousand kilometers. The full recording can be accessed here http://www.hep.caltech.edu/2016_AAAS/2016_02_09_AAAS_ProfWang.mp4.
These two typical examples of eZuce SRN illustrate how we are serving the research community and how our collaboration technology can bring globally dispersed research teams together to facilitate daily research activity and ultimately contribute to some of their great discoveries.
Learn more about the evolution of the eZuce SRN patform in this infographic.