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Background to the Workshop Anne Mumford

The Advisory Group On Computer Graphics (AGOCG) is an initiative of JISC and the Research Councils. It is concerned to underpin the use of graphics, visualization, multimedia and virtual reality for teachers and researchers. In doing this it built good relationships with the community, other initiatives and the funding agencies. Its major focus is training and awareness and it has played a useful technology watch role for the community offering pragmatic and timely advice through an excellent report series and online information.

 

AGOCG has run a series of workshops to engage with the community and, through output recommendations, to steer its programme of work. Although many of the workshops have focused on areas of technology, there have been activities which have focused on broad areas of subject interest, most notably art and design. This workshop focused attention on the use of graphics and visualization in the social sciences. The aims of the workshop were:

 

to survey current activities in the use of graphics and visualization tools in the social sciences

to evaluate the potential of such techniques to the social sciences

to examine and report on the requirements of the social sciences for suitable tools and for support in taking on new technologies

to make recommendations through AGOCG for followup action to meet the needs of social scientists

 

This workshop was funded by JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee of the Funding Bodies HEFCE, SHEFC, HEFCW and DENI) through its grant to AGOCG. Such activity is very much a part of the remit of JISC as recognised in the recently published JISC Strategy in which an aim of JISC is:

 

"to exercise vision and leadership in bringing about benefits to the HE sector by the exploitation of information systems"

 

Following the workshop recommendations will be forwarded by AGOCG to relevant bodies which are expected to include JISC (including its various initiatives and services), the ESRC, through its Research Resources Board, and the CTI (Computers in Teaching Initiative) and TLTP (Teaching and Learning Technology Programme) Co-ordinators.

 

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