The Helen-Jo and John E. Kelly III ’78 Data Visualization Laboratory (also known as the Kelly Lab) is the answer to a uniquely modern problem: how can we visualize and interpret tremendous amounts of data? This is especially true for the Jefferson Project, a ground-breaking collaboration among Rensselaer, IBM, and the FUND for Lake George who are working together to understand the physical, chemical, and biological factors that affect the lake ecosystem and the human impacts on this ecosystem. Understanding how large ecosystems function requires tremendous amounts of data collected over space and time, so it necessarily also depends on high-speed computers to process data and then display information in a way that humans can interpret. The scale of these data is commonly beyond the visualization capacity of normal computer monitors.
The Kelly Lab is a state-of-the-art research center for high-powered data visualization, designed to mesh cutting-edge graphics processing with modern data collection. The most prominent feature of the facility is a high-resolution display wall of nine integrated computer monitors. The 18-megapixel, 55-inch LCD monitors are arranged in a three-by-three fashion to cover one wall of the facility. Monitors can be integrated to display a single large screen, or each can display single screen outputs. At the core of the facility are extremely fast, liquid-cooled computer processors and state-of-the-art graphics adapters. The computer power is seated on a server that can connect with researchers around the world. The combination of these features promotes collaborative efforts to monitor and understand the Lake George ecosystem, and provides a way to revolutionize our visualization of ecological data.
The Kelly Lab was funded by a generous gift from trustee and alumnus John E. Kelly III, class of 1978, and his wife, Helen-Jo Kelly. The lab was built to support the Jefferson Project and will be used as a flagship to steer the course in ecological data visualization for the future. For more information, click here.