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In previous issues:


January 2002 - Volume 10, Number 1: Method to establish genetic markers receives patent. Making it easy to program your VCR — from the Internet. Forests can restore surface mined land.

February 2002 - Volume 10, Number 2: Project makes it easier for U.S. presidents to learn from history; faster, smaller microprocessor technology developed at Virginia Tech; tree named for VT chemistry professor

March 2002 - Volume 10, Number 3: One-stop-shop to access hundreds of databases used for Social Services Administration; Communicating across 10 time zones; Longer shelf life for shredded cheese

E Only. April 2002 - Volume 10, Number 4: Examples of software developed for collaboration, virtual environments, libraries, instruction, engineering in various applications, etc.

E Only. May 2002 - Volume 10, Number 5: Fiber-optic field sensor immune to EMI, Mapping plant genomes, Machine vision, Smart Road

June 2002 - Volume 10, Number 6: One-way repeating transmission, Bi-directional AC-DC converter, Flight control

E Only July 2002 - Volume 10 Number 7: Is accounting chicanery SOP? Affordable, detachable power for wheelchairs. Improving food security

E Only August 2002 - Volume 10, Number 8 - Better winegrapes, Protecting the Bay, Preservng farm land

Previous Years


Volume 10, Number 4 April 2002


EDGE newsletters contain brief descriptions of research activities and discoveries at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and provides links to researchers, centers, and sources of additional information.

Computer software is developed in many departments at Virginia Tech. Here are a few examples of what is available


The Device Independent Virtual Environment; Reconfigurable, Scalable, and Extensible (DIVERSE) was developed by the University Visualization and Animation Group. They have used DIVERSE to build a virtual ship crane and command and control tactical, visual interfaces. For Lockheed Martin, they are using DIVERSE to develop a shared collaborative engineering design environment. www.diverse.vt.edu


The multidimensional visualization tool for aircraft configuration design was developed by the Multidisciplinary Analysis and Design Center for Advanced Vehicles www.aoe.vt.edu/mad

Content Object Replication Kit (CORK)

The Center for Human Computer Interaction developed an architecture and toolkit for collaborative software. Learn more at java.cs.vt.edu:8888/how to/7 or learn about other CHCI software at java.cs.vt.edu/Public/View/CHCISoftware/ .


The Center for Human Computer Interaction developed a place-based collaborative virtual environment to support collaborative learning, knowledge management, quality of life for military personnel, and community network activities. Visit MOOsburg at: moosburg.cs.vt.edu


Distribution Engineering Workstation (DEW) software, developed by Virginia Tech and the Electric Power Research Institute, is an open architecture program that contains 20 analysis and design calculations that apply to electric distribution systems. The new phase prediction algorithm uses start-of-circuit measurements for several different loading conditions, along with customer kWHr measurements and load research statistics to predict the phasing of laterals. Contact Robert Broadwater,540-231-3771 or DEW@vt.edu

Visual Simulation Environment

The Visual Simulation Environment is a comprehensive software tool for creating and experimenting with discrete event simulation models. VSE technology enables discrete-event, general-purpose, object-oriented, picture-based, component-based, visual simulation model development and execution for solving complex problems. It was created by the Systems Research Center for the U.S. Navy and is now a commercially available software product www.OrcaComputer.com/


Library Software


VTLS (Virginia Tech library system) began as an automated circulation and finding system created for Newman Library in 1975. By 1985, VTLS was the envy of the library world, VTLS Inc. was started as a for-profit company by Vinod Chachra, and VTLS software was adopted by libraries around the world. VTLS is now a library management, imaging, and information access software developer with headquarters and employees in Blacksburg, subsidiary offices in Helsinki and Barcelona, and some 300 clients. (www.VTLS.com)


What started out in 1996 as an effort by the Interlibrary Loan (ILL) department of University Libraries to increase customer service has ended in a software license that brings international recognition to University Libraries. Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc. (VTIP) has finalized terms with OCLC, Inc., the Online Computer Library Center, giving OCLC exclusive worldwide distribution rights to the ILLiad software. OCLC has a membership of more than 36,000 libraries in 74 countries. Before licensing the system to OCLC last year, VTIP had completed 50 licenses in two years. Facilities licensing the ILLiad system included California Institute of Technology, Cornell University, the University of North Carolina, Harvard Medical School, Brigham Young University, and Case Western Reserve University. www.vtip.vt.edu

Marian ('the librarian')

MARIAN is an indexing, search, and retrieval system optimized for digital libraries. It was developed at the Virginia Tech Computing Center for VT Information Systems, with development continuing at the Digital Library Research Laboratory. www.dlib.vt.edu/products/marian.html


Instructional Software

Sky Image Processor (SIP)

SIP is an astronomical image processing program which runs over the Web (www.phys.vt.edu/~jhs/SIP/). While SIP is designed for use by instructors and students, it can be used by anyone with access to the Web. The program provides simple, yet quite general tools that enable the user to carry out standard CCD image processing procedures. The goal is to provide a means for students to learn how to accomplish the three major tasks of astronomical imaging: image processing and analysis, photometry, and astrometry. These tasks, while of basic astronomical importance, are similar to much of the image processing and analysis done in a wide variety of scientific and technological fields. The author is John Simonetti of the Department of Physics at Virginia Tech.


Swan is a data structure visualization system developed as part of Virginia Tech's NSF Educational Infrastructure project. Using Swan, a C or C++ program can be annotated to provide views of the data structures used in the program. The Swan Annotation Interface Library is designed primarily for ease of use, so that instructors and students can annotate existing programs with relatively little effort, much as a programmer might place print statements in a program to get information to help in debugging. Swan is designed to support visualization of graphs, including arrays, lists, trees and general graphs simon.cs.vt.edu/Swan/Swan.html

Learning in a Networked community (LiNC)

The Center for Human Computer Interaction developed a collaborative learning environment for middle and high school physics. Learn more at linc.cs.vt.edu .



HOMPACK90 is a suite of Fortran 90 codes for solving nonlinear systems of equations, based on globally convergent probability-one homotopy algorithms. Both small dense and large sparse problems are supported.

POLSYS_PLP is a suite of FORTRAN 90 codes for solving polynomial systems of equations with complex coefficients. The algorithm is globally convergent, finds *all* solutions to a system, and exploits structure in the system of equations.

Contact Layne Watson at ltw@cayuga.cs.vt.edu



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May 7, 2002