Duke ITAC - January 11, 2018 Minutes

Duke ITAC - January 11, 2018 Minutes

4:00 - 4:10 – Announcements – Updates on RoKu/CampusVision, the Faculty TechFair, and upcoming events.

CampusVision was deployed as the replacement for RoKu and has been installed in Student Affairs. Student Affairs reports overall the replacement has been very positive. There are now 4 athletic channels and a Duke Chapel channel. Anyone with appropriate hardware could have a channel. The CampusVision service also is "in sync" which is especially noticeable with live events. CampusVision is also going to function as "closed circuit television" in the new Alumni centers and it may be installed in other venues around Duke including Duke Medicine and Athletics.  Overall, this is a great replacement for the RoKu service.

Q: Is this a replacement for streaming events?

A: Yes. It's already in use for some TEC broadcasts.

Q: Is this a substitute for Panopto for streaming?

A: In this case, no. Panopto offers interactivity and recording capability. CampusVision is broadcasting. However, some of the CampusVision devices do have HDMI ports and with the right equipment, you could do live streaming of an event.

The Faculty TechFair one of the last events included in the Learning Innovations series running in October and November. The Faculty TechFair went well with a high level of participant engagement. Members of ITAC attended and participants were surveyed. Those who did respond provided constructive comments including suggestions that DukeHub be included in the future. The timing of the event (held on a Friday afternoon) was not optimal and mid-week might have worked better but since this concept was experimental it was necessary to work around the schedule of the other Learning Innovation events. Overall, the planners were pleased with the participation and outcomes.

The next TechFair will be geared toward students and is scheduled for two dates. The first is on West Campus at the Technology Engagement Center (TEC) in the middle of the day and the second on East Campus in the evening. The theme for both events is "I Heart Tech" in a nod to the February scheduling. Both events include food, give-aways, and prizes and a new feature will be a photo booth using image "filters" similar to Snapchat. The West Campus TechFair is similar to the previous events since the venue and time of day are the same. The East Campus TechFair will be in the Upper East room of the Marketplace. This is a new venue for the TechFair and the planners want to make sure there is room for user engagement and participation. Both events will be publicized once all logistical issues have been resolved. The majority of tables will be hosted by OIT but we do have some new participants including the DukeStores Technology Center.

Q: Is the content for both Student TechFairs similar?

A: Yes. The content is a mix of information the organizers feel the students could use as well as services that are attractive like Virtual Reality. DukeHub is also going to have a table. The number of tables has been reduced so that the information is not overwhelming.

4:50 – 5:20 – Password security - How safe are our passwords? – Richard Biever, Rob Carter, Mary McKee, Nick Tripp (20 minute presentation, 10 minute discussion)

What it is:  Several years ago, the security team presented to ITAC on password cracking, how attackers perform off-line cracking, and what can be done to improve account security.  That discussion helped launch the MFA (multi-factor authentication) project at Duke, and the team would like to supply an update.  In the discussion, the security team will cover current password cracking technologies, what the current thoughts are on what makes a good (and strong) password, and would like to discuss options for improving password and account security at Duke.

Why it’s relevant:  A strong password is the first step in cyber security but many challenges hinder strong password creation and maintenance.  As the number of data security breaches continue to rise, it is critical to have passwords that are difficult to break to keep your systems, data, and Duke safe from cyber predators.  Even the best passwords are insufficient to protect important information in 2018, so the role of passwords in a larger security context with multifactor and other techniques will also be discussed.

Richard Biever and the security and IdM team presented on challenges around password strength, especially due to the availability of cheap and powerful computing power (GPUs) to crack encrypted passwords.  The team discussed  for supplementing and eventually replacing passwords (e.g. use of certificates and other "factors").

4:10 - 4:50 – Augmented/Virtual Reality, CoLab, and Media Technologies – Evan Levine, Mark-Everett McGill, Steve Toback (30 minute presentation, 10 minute discussion)

What it is:  Together, the Duke Digital Initiative, Innovation Co-Lab, and Academic Media Services are actively engaged in exploring virtual reality and other emerging technologies, as well as offering resources to support the research, academic, and service missions of the university. This presentation is a collective update on some of these newest, developing technologies at Duke, and how they are being used today by students, staff, and faculty

Why it’s relevant:  These cutting edge technologies incubate creativity and fundamentally reshape the research, academic, and service missions of Duke University.

The Nasher Museum hosted the Portrait of Venice exhibition. This was an opportunity for OIT to engage in multiple ways and work with other University departments. Several months before the exhibition, the project organizer reached out to OIT for understanding the best options for displaying highly-detailed scans of the “Portrait of Venice” (a hand-carved map of Venice). OIT and the Duke Digital initiative recommended a 4K monitor as the best way to display this content. DDI was able to fund this because the monitor could be used for other digital projects on campus. Prior to this exhibition, the Nasher Museum had never used digital media in this way or at this level where the focus was a single piece of artwork. Academic Media Technologies worked with Nasher in the designing of the exhibition and the coordination of the equipment which included the 4K monitor as well as touchscreen displays and surround-sound audio in the room. The Nasher audio/visual team also built custom furniture which was given to the Wired Lab after the end of the exhibition.

The map of Venice, created during the 1500s, was revolutionary at the time. It was one of the largest carved maps ever produced during that period and was made by carving wood in reverse in a series of panels. The original map could not be on display because of its value and because it was deteriorating. This was an excellent opportunity for the Duke researcher to work with the Innovation Co-Lab to do different types of scans of the panels. The scans could then be used to generate a 3D print of the map which greatly enhanced the user experience.

Academic Media Production worked with the Library to document the creating and displaying of the exhibit and the experience of the attendees when the exhibit opened. The end result was a unique experience of scholarly documentation of an interactive exhibit rather than writing a paper or document. It was possible to capture people touching the maps and using the touchscreens to zoom into the tiniest details. The Academic Media Production produced a seven minute video that could be used to market future exhibits of this nature.

Another complicating factor of this exhibit was how to handle an image that was 34,000 pixels wide. Research Computing helped provide guidance for data analytics of the image and the scans of the wooden panels. After the exhibit closed in December, OIT continued work with the researcher to take this information from the exhibit and develop it into an app with a third party vendor with possible augmented reality.

There were other opportunities for augmented and virtual reality at Duke. These technologies differ in that “Augmented reality” is an overlay of digital content to what the user is currently seeing while “virtual reality” is completely immersive. A previous ITAC demonstration showed using augmented reality to enhance a surgical procedure which has since been published in technical journals. The technology is not currently being used to guide live surgical procedures but they continue to improve the medical data.

Duke Digital Initiative worked on the “Elements 4D” project. Elements 4D utilizes  "paper" blocks which when viewed through augmented reality become elements which can be combined to form compounds. Elements 4D helps visualize complex subjects and can even serve as a way to produce compounds or reactions which would be dangerous had the elements been truly combined. DDI also worked with the Duke Lemur Center to use virtual reality and 360 degrees video to study lemurs. They were able to put objects into the lemur areas to study them without disrupting the animals.

Virtual reality is not new and the Duke Immersive Virtual Environment or "DIVE" has been in place at Duke for over a decade but it is still an impressive facility. Just as 3D printing, an older technology that for many years was used more in corporations before being available on a more reasonable scale, virtual reality is also becoming more accessible. A theater student used VR to visualize an original screenplay as a proof-of-concept for virtual theater. The Law School used VR to do virtual crime scenes. An important part of the project was to use a "robot" in a non-biased and repeatable way. Virtual reality expanded into entirely new dimension such as going inside buildings and enabling "tours" of a facility.

The studio within the Technology Engagement Center has been repurposed as a VR lab. Any interested faculty are welcome to utilize this resource. Student workers are available to provide assistance or individuals can work on their own. One interesting way digital content can be used in the classroom is for one individual to participate in the virtual environment while what the student is seeing is projected for other students to see.

The Innovation Co-Lab is a technology community geared toward students with a focus on emerging technologies which includes the Co-Lab Studio (a maker space) and the Roots training program. Some projects coming out of the Co-Lab include Duke Enable, a chapter of the national community foundation non-profit established by Duke students. They developed a prosthetic arm for a child in Haiti and traveled onsite to complete the fitting. This was a complex project that involved digital scanning, machine fabrication, and even sewing machines to create straps and harnesses. An anesthesiologist in Duke Pediatrics identified a need after learning of an accident at another hospital involving the misplacement of emergency medication. An audit at Duke determined there were issues with the different sizes of medication and how they were placed on anesthesiology carts. The Duke doctor partnered with a Co-Lab student and designed a prototype syringe holder for storing the medications on the carts. Once the design was finalized, copies were manufactured out of plexiglass using die cutting equipment. The panels were deployed in all of the pediatric operating rooms. It is likely the same piece of equipment, if it existed, would have been very expensive coming from a medical supply company and does illustrate the real dollar savings for 3D medical objects.

The Co-Lab was also a resource in the study of the wreck of the Confederate submarine Hunley which sank after firing one shot. The researcher was able to use 3D printing of mylar sheets to create models of the ship and run experiments on them. Her conclusion after multiple tests was that the shockwave of the shot killed the human occupants without damaging the ship itself.

Other programs are coming out of the Co-Lab. The Design Lab is a program that partners users who have an idea with students who know the software. The "Internet of Things” initiative involves giving students hardware kits they can use for automating the function of a variety of devices. This is similar to the iPod project a decade ago but with more of a technical focus. The Roots training program offers technical courses to the Duke community. There is a waitlist and the service is being integrated into classrooms (ex. it can be used to address the requirement for a basic understanding of Linux). 

Some of the previous computing labs have been repurposed as Co-Lab spaces, replacing the traditional desktop computers. While not all will be replaced, there are specialty labs such as small "maker" spaces going into the Arts Building and Lilly Library. These are not on the same scale as the TEC but are more convenient for the users.

Academic Media Productions has been involved with online courses in support of Coursera. They have also done co-curricular video production and they've just completed Sexual Harassment training content in cooperation with the Office of Institutional Equity. There was a desire to take this training from PowerPoint slides and clipart to more engaging content with animation.

Academic Media Productions worked with Research Computing to produce "Minute Marvels" which are short videos that promote the Duke mission and highlight projects. They continue to capture scholarly work at Duke. They worked with DGHI by equipping doctors all over the world with digital recording devices. When the doctors returned, Academic Media Productions helped put the content together. They continue to do training and consultation including helping schools assemble their own studios (even editing content over a private network). Academic Media Productions is part of the Roots program and they provide training in generalized topics such as "How to tell a story" rather than how to use specific software programs. They also explore emerging technologies like 3D video and biometric recording, 360 degree video, and Mobile Touring which is coming very soon. 

Q: Near the end of the Venice Map exhibit at the Nasher Museum, there seemed to be a lot of issues with the technology. What can be done to improve the experience?

A: There are discussions on this issue because updates were being applied to computers that were part of the exhibit during the day and guards were having to reboot them. Establishing the needs for technical staffing needed should be included in planning for these types of projects.

Q: Regarding the Internet of Things project, how does that work when some devices are not encouraged on the wifi network?

A: There are restrictions on Dukeblue but these objects can be added to the DukeOpen network and there is a category in Dukereg for Internet of Things devices. However, it is challenging to get the devices registered since it's sometimes difficult to determine the MAC address. Documentation has been provided for the students on how to properly register these devices.

Q: How many courses is Academic Media Productions supporting?

A: Over 50 courses with 90 runs of them.