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There have been many famous collaborations that have led to breakthroughs and revolutions that have changed the course of history: The Manhattan Project brought us the atomic age; Crick, Wilkins and Watson cracked the code of life; and Larry Page and Sergey Brin brought us Google. After attending a conference where nearly every presentation examined collaboration, I experienced collaboration conversation fatigue. If I had a dollar for each time I heard the phrases chance encounters, collaboration zones and casual interactions, I would’ve easily been able to cover my travel costs. This prompted me to ask: Does architecture really matter? Are we designing for these things, or are we really just designing the same way, only labeled with a different vocabulary? What is collaboration? According to Merriam Webster, to collaborate is “to work jointly with others or together, especially in an intellectual endeavor.” For most, it starts at an early age, informally through play and more formally through school projects and activities like music, sports and dance. Hopefully, by the time we complete our education, we have a range of experiences collaborating in multiple settings. Do scientists collaborate differently? Although scientists may deny it, they represent a variety of personality types, just like other professions. The focused, determined mindset that’s necessary to succeed in science doesn’t, however, necessarily prioritize socializing as a way of getting closer to that eureka moment. While chance encounters and informal conversations often inspire innovation, collaboration in science is structured. In their study on the impact of collaboration on scientific productivity, citing a paper written by Beaver and Rosen in 1978, Bozeman and Lee noted over half of the motives for collaboration were related to the practical desire to enhance productivity. There are intangibles associated with any team endeavor that contribute to its success. Jerry Hirschberg coined the term “creative abrasion” while leading design teams at Nissan. His theory was the friction and messiness of mixing a highly creative, talented and passionate team produced a far more refined and perfected product in less time. One motive I think Beaver and Rosen missed in 1978 was shared passion for an idea. Ultimately, we want to find something that will make people’s lives better and/or make some money. What are the magic ingredients for forging these relationships? A 2012 Univ. of Michigan study led by Jason Owen-Smith examined the relationship between office and lab locations, and the associated walking patterns to establish whether proximity promotes collaboration. They found 100 ft of zonal overlap increased collaborations and funding by over 20%, and scientists were more likely to meet face-to-face and engage in unscheduled, impromptu meetings. A more recent National Academies study on “Team Science,” identifies five beneficial features to achieving scientific and translational goals: high diversity of membership, deep knowledge integration, permeable boundaries, geographic dispersion of team members and high task interdependence. Gensler’s design research, “How does space drive innovation?”, roughly correlates with the findings of the Academy. Our research team of Cindy Coleman, Mandy Graham, Tom Mulhern and Amanda Ramos found places that support innovation: What will the future bring? The scientific workplace has already changed as a result of technology. According to our 2014 study on factors that will have a high-level impact on the future of real estate, 77.8% of the CRE respondents believed changing business models would have a high-level impact. As the home, the commute, the coffee shop and the workplace convene, our traditional notions of what collaboration looks like are being subverted by the lifestyle we have created for ourselves through urbanism, mobile technology and global awareness. WeWork has already started to disrupt how small businesses see real estate. A Fast Company top 50 Innovator, their model brings together all the resources startups need through a seamlessly integrated physical and digital workplace package. “Members” can use physical space and book conference rooms in any city, and take advantage of shared human resources, benefits and payroll services. The physical space and administrative benefits pale compared to the “community of creators,” a virtual network of members that serves as part internal B2B for collaboration, part social network. In more established organizations, social networking software like Facebook, Jive and Yammer are increasingly connecting teams through a convenient and familiar interface. Connectivity has broadened the reach of networks for research collaborations beyond organizational and disciplinary boundaries, and spans oceans and continents. Software companies are taking note of the interest in mobile platforms that securely combine social media with software that makes exchanging ideas and information easy. Reliable video conferencing and Web meeting technology is a major contributor to connecting geographically dispersed teams and, in some cases, is even making it to the bench. Halo and Telepresence rooms are already connecting geographically dispersed teams in large organizations, and as the technology becomes less novel and more affordable, will also connect them with their partners in higher-education and institutional settings. Automation of lab processes has enabled scientists to test ideas at a faster pace than any time in our history. A single scientist today can process more samples than whole labs produced in the not-so-distant past. The amount of data that automation produces, however, far out paces the speed scientists can analyze and interpret it. Bioinformatics has grown from emerging trend to ubiquity in just a decade. While automated software is being developed to get ahead of the data avalanche, screen technology has been making impressive advancements. Facilities like the Univ. of Illinois at Chicago’s Electronic Visualization Laboratory allow teams of scientists to collaborate in a new type of work setting, where they can view and manipulate large groupings of data and images. As affordable variations on this technology become available, the “media cave” work setting will find itself in more research lab programs. Virtual reality has also been explored as a means of visualizing and sharing scientific information electronically in 3-D. A recent study conducted by the Dept. of Chemistry at The Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine in London found virtual reality models of experiments were a viable way of collaborating between individuals over the Internet. Where an Oculus Rift headset might be a hindrance to teamwork, 3-D printers, 3-D scanning and coordinate measurement systems are currently used in the development of medical devices, prosthetics and surgical tools and procedures. Collaboration has already been influenced by technology and will continue to be enabled by advances in communication, visualization and information exchange. If there’s a challenge to whether the physical space will continue to be a relevant contributor to collaboration, it’s in the form of technology. But collaboration is a human endeavor based on shared objectives. While scientists are motivated building users capable of adapting to less-than-ideal work settings, there are studies that suggest planning the physical environment can have a positive influence on promoting chance encounters and facilitating collaboration. Erik Lustgarten, AIA, is director of Gensler’s Boston office’s growing Life Sciences practice. He has more than 15 years of experience designing labs, including the expansion of Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Mass.

Nam S.,Electronic Visualization Laboratory | Deshpande S.,Sharp Laboratories of America | Vishwanath V.,Argonne National Laboratory | Jeong B.,Texas Advanced Computing Center | And 2 more authors.
MMSys'10 - Proceedings of the 2010 ACM SIGMM Conference on Multimedia Systems

Ultra-high-resolution tiled-display walls are typically driven by a cluster of computers. Each computer may drive one or more displays. Synchronization between the computers is necessary to ensure that animated imagery displayed on the wall appears seamless. Most tiled-display middleware systems are designed around the assumption that only a single application instance is running in the tiled display at a time. Therefore synchronization can be achieved with a simple solution such as a networked barrier. When a tiled display has to support multiple applications at the same time, however, the simple networked barrier approach does not scale. In this paper we propose and experimentally validate two synchronization algorithms to achieve low-latency, intertile synchronization for multiple applications with independently varying frame rates. The two-phase algorithm is more generally applicable to various highresolution tiled display systems. The one-phase algorithm provides superior results but requires support for the Network Time Protocol and is more CPU-intensive. Copyright 2010 ACM. Source

Takahashi H.,A+ Network | Yamamoto T.,A+ Network | Takizawa M.,A+ Network | Kamatani O.,A+ Network | And 4 more authors.
2010 IEEE Photonics Society Winter Topicals Meeting Series, WTM 2010

This paper describes experiments to explore the scalability of the MultiRail technology. MultiRail leverages end-host parallel resources to achieve large bandwidth. We confirm that MultiRail scales bandwidth by better utilizing the parallel resources. ©2010 IEEE. Source

Kamatani O.,A+ Network | Takahashi H.,A+ Network | Takizawa M.,A+ Network | Tsutsui A.,A+ Network | And 5 more authors.
2010 IEEE Photonics Society Winter Topicals Meeting Series, WTM 2010

Terabit/s-scalable end-to-end parallel networking architecture (TLAN) based on virtual optical resource control for a high-end scientific application is outlined. Multi-rail- and Multi-lane-aware networking architecture, the relevant photonic technologies, the requirements of optical devices and interfaces for TLAN optical node deployments are also discussed. ©2010 IEEE. Source

Mateevitsi V.,Electronic Visualization Laboratory | Leigh J.,Electronic Visualization Laboratory | Kunzer B.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Kenyon R.V.,Electronic Visualization Laboratory
ACM International Conference Proceeding Series

Recent scientific advances allow the use of technology to expand the number of forms of energy that can be perceived by humans. Smart sensors can detect hazards that human sensors are unable to perceive, for example radiation. This fusing of technology to human's forms of perception enables exciting new ways of perceiving the world around us. In this paper we describe the design of SpiderSense, a wearable device that projects the wearer's near environment on the skin and allows for directional awareness of objects around him. The millions of sensory receptors that cover the skin presents opportunities for conveying alerts and messages. We discuss the challenges and considerations of designing similar wearable devices. Copyright 2013 ACM. Source

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