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News from AGOCG

SIMA gains funding for 1995/6

The main news this month is that the JISC New Technologies Sub-Committee has approved the extension of the SIMA Initiative for a further year until July 1996. The Committee have been impressed with the quality of the reports produced to date which have been well received and timely. Congratulations to all authors and to the Multimedia Support Officer, Sue Cunningham for their efforts in ensuring the success of this part of the AGOCG work.

The pattern of work will be the same for the next year, with Sue continuing in post and a series of projects being run with associated reports and workshops.

AGOCG will be inviting bids for projects to be run during the 6-9 months from October this year. If you would like to receive a copy of the request to make a proposal, then please contact me. All sites will receive copies, but please ensure you get a copy if you want one. Proposals are expected to have to be with me by the end of August.

Some of the projects will be concerned with realising the recommendations of the successful workshop on WWW which was reported in the last newsletter. These projects will include: training materials for WWW (both authoring and using WWW); more guidance on running a service; survey of software tools for WWW. Other projects will include considerations of the use of network tools in non-scientific disciplines and are likely to include those which build on previous projects, for example image capture, video conferencing and delivery of materials across the network.

We are also intending to hold a workshop on the topic "Potential of Virtual Reality for UK Higher Education" as part of the SIMA programme in 1995/6. In order to ensure the effectiveness of the workshop we plan to fund a number of fact-finding projects prior to the workshop. This follows the approach we took at the very effective visualization workshop over 3 years ago.

Visualization Support

Steve Larkin, our Visualization Support Officer for the last 3 years has now completed the term of his post. It was always intended that full time support for visualization would be a fixed term initiative intended to help the community to use these new tools. Steve has done an excellent job and I would like to note both mine and AGOCG's thanks to Steve. There will be ongoing support for visualization from the University of Manchester on a more limited basis. This will involve updating the course materials and supporting the community through answering questions of the CHEST-Visual mailbase list.

Anne Mumford