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Villanova’s Automatic Virtual Environment Opens Oct. 2

Imagine stepping into a room-sized enclosure, donning a pair of 3D glasses, and having the experience of touring the basilicas in Rome or exploring Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary or standing in the Sistine Chapel—all without leaving the Library. Well, technically Falvey Hall, which was the Villanova College Library before Falvey Memorial Library was built, will house this new facility, called the Villanova CAVE.

What does CAVE mean?

CAVE stands for Cave Automatic Virtual Environment. You may be asking, “Then, what does that “Cave” stand for?” MerriamWebster.com has your answer. The University’s version of this technology is called “the Villanova CAVE.

The Villanova CAVE allows participants to become virtually immersed in a setting in which they can move about and even walk to either side of the 3D image of an object, such as a statue or sign, as though they were in the actual setting. For historical sites that have begun to deteriorate, such as the Eastern State Penitentiary, it preserves them for posterity. For sites of limited space, such as the Santa Rosa Necropolis under Vatican City that cannot accommodate large groups, the Villanova CAVE allows 10-15 people at a time to examine that location.

How does it work?

The Villanova CAVE enclosure—18’ wide, 10’ deep, 7.5’ high—has scrims that form three of its walls and a ceiling. These scrims, rear-projected HD screens, display a unified 3D image.

The Villanova CAVE can also be configured to display a 3D image on three walls and its floor, instead of its ceiling. To minimize shadows from viewers, strategically placed projectors create the floor imagery. An opening, where the fourth wall would be, gives users access to the CAVE. Users wear 3D glasses to achieve an immersive experience. The Villanova CAVE also includes sound.

In addition to the CAVE’s capability to display images and video, this immersive studies system will, in the future, also include a multi-camera component for capturing images and video. Assistant Professor and Director Engineering Entrepreneurship Edmond Dougherty is constructing a robotic camera unit that will not only record images and video but also stream live, immersive video into the Villanova CAVE. This unit will hold several cameras mounted in a spherical array (software combines the cameras’ input into a single 3D image or video). This camera unit includes lights and microphones.

How will this system benefit Villanova?

University professors will have the ability to record artifacts, settings, and events to be studied—unencumbered by distance, climate, or time of day—by their students on campus. Faculty may also include such recordings when developing their course curriculums.

Non-Villanova researchers, aka “off-campus collaborators,” will have the opportunity to access to this immersive studies system for their own research projects. This collaboration with non-Villanova researchers illustrates a trend in which academic libraries provide environments called “collaboratories.”

Speaking of collaboration, Frank Klassner, PhD, associate professor of computing sciences and director of the University’s Center of Excellence in Enterprise Technology (CEET) teamed up with Professor Dougherty and then-Library-Director Joe Lucia to write the proposal to the National Science Foundation (NSF). Together they garnered a $1.67 million NSF grant: “the largest NSF research grant ever awarded to the University.”


Gerald info deskArticle by Gerald Dierkes, senior copy-editor for the Communication and Service Promotion team and a liaison to the Department of Theater.

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Advice on Getting Published from Campus Journal Editors

1312.i017.007.S.m001.c10.education iconDo you want to improve the chances of getting your articles published? Are you looking for insight into the mysterious process of submission and review? This Thursday the editors of several journals produced on campus will speak about the publishing process and answer all of the questions you’ve been dying to ask. Sally Scholz, PhD, (Department of Philosophy, editor of Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy); Seth Whidden, PhD, (Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, editor of Nineteenth-Century French Studies); and Professor John Paul Spiro, (Augustine and Culture Seminar, managing editor of Expositions: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities), will offer editors’ points of view on a wide range of topics including what to submit where, what to expect during the review process, when and how to interact with a journal’s editorial staff, and much more.

 

THREE BOOKS

The event will take place this Thursday at 11:30 a.m. in the Hypatia editorial suite, located on the first floor of Falvey Memorial Library, near the entrance to the Falvey West stacks. Please direct any questions to Dr. Sally Scholz at sally.scholz@villanova.edu.

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The War to End All Wars: Great War Resources at Falvey

By Canadian Official photographer, Castle, W I (Lieutenant) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Canadian Official photographer, Castle, W I (Lieutenant) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

When a nation enters war, it often justifies its actions with promises of a better and more just world. The Great War, which consumed much of Europe and its colonial outposts from 1914 to 1918, was no exception. H.G. Wells called it the “war that will end war,” which later morphed into “the war to end all wars.” Wells coined this phrase in a Times editorial. His 1914 editorials are easily accessible in a book: The War That Will End War.

2014 marks the one hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the war: A war that started with Austria’s declaration of war against Serbia on July 28, 1914, following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife a month earlier. Much has been written about the war since then, and 2014 promises a bumper crop of new scholarship. The Library will showcase new publications in a small exhibit in the Learning Commons throughout the fall semester.

WWI CENTENNIAL EXHIBIT WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THE FALL SEMESTER

WWI CENTENNIAL EXHIBIT WILL CONTINUE THROUGHOUT THE FALL SEMESTER

Here are some titles you can expect to see in the exhibit. Aside from run-of-the-mill general surveys, a number of these books explore previously neglected aspects of the war.

The historiography of the Great War has gone through many changes, and the amount of scholarship can be overwhelming. The three volumes of the Cambridge History of the First World War, particularly the excellent bibliographic essays included in each volume, are a good starting point for interested readers.

Among the excellent primary sources available at Falvey are the complete archives of the New York Times and the London Times. Your Villanova id. will allow you either to open the New York Times from Sunday, August 9, 1914 and browse through pages after pages of war coverage or to read the detailed coverage of the war declaration in the Times of London on July 29, 1914.

Online exhibitions commemorating the Great War abound: The National World War I Museum has a series of exhibitions ranging from War Art to War Fare. Europeana 1914-1918 features untold stories and official histories of the war from archives and museums across Europe. Last but not least, Falvey hosted Jeffrey Johnson, PhD, on Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 4 p.m. for a talk about the origins of the war: “From the Pistol of June to the Guns of August 1914: Beginning the Self-Destruction of Imperial Europe.”


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Jutta Seibert

Links and resources prepared by Jutta Seibert, team leader for Academic Integration and subject librarian for History.

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The Villanova CAVE—What’s in it for You?

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What’s in it for you? Find out! Come to the Falvey Hall lobby and Reading Room this Thursday, Oct. 2 for the grand opening of the Villanova CAVE.

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Window Shopping: Augustine the Reader: Library Resources and Support for the Augustine & Culture Seminar Program

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“Augustine the Reader: Falvey Memorial Library Resources and Support for the Augustine & Culture Seminar Program” is the theme of the exhibit filling a display window between Falvey’s first floor and the Holy Grounds Café. Vertical rows of hexagonal mirrors flank the body of the exhibit. The mirrors refer to the theme, “Who am I?; this is the fundamental question of the Augustine & Culture Seminar (ACS), a two-semester seminar that all first-year students are required to take.

The first semester students read works from the greatest thinkers of the ancient, medieval and Renaissance worlds. Second semester students read works by writers from the Enlightenment to the present. Works by some of these writers are on display, including a volume of Augustine’s Confessions and one by Shakespeare, each held by an owl, traditionally a symbol of wisdom.

Librarian Rob LeBlanc, right, works with first year students Conor Quinn and Steve

Librarian Rob LeBlanc, right, works with first year students Conor Quinn and Steve Halek

Four text panels explain what ACS teaches students, present two passages from the Confessions and introduce Rob LeBlanc, the first-year experience librarian who works with the ACS students.

Chosen readings were selected by Gregory D. Hoskins, PhD, ACS program faculty mentor. Dr. Hoskins mentors students in studies of texts that cross disciplinary boundaries. The exhibit and its graphics were designed by Joanne Quinn, Falvey’s graphic designer.


imagesArticle by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team. 

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Don’t miss the Grand Opening of The CAVE this Thursday!

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On Thursday, Oct. 2 at 2 p.m., join us for the grand opening of Villanova’s CAVE Facility in Falvey Memorial Library. The CAVE, an immersive virtual reality environment, is an interdisciplinary venture among investigators from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering and Falvey Memorial Library. The facility will provide Villanova’s faculty and students with many research and educational possibilities.

Next best thing to being in The Cave! Click on below link to view logo in action.

Next best thing to being in The Cave! Click on below link to view logo in action.

Click here to observe a sample effect of the CAVE in action. It is supported by a $1.67 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Light refreshments will be served and tours will run throughout the afternoon.

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Laura Matthews – New Scholarly Outreach Specialist

Laura MatthewsLaura Matthews recently joined the Scholarly Outreach team as a “library events and outreach specialist.” She reports to Regina (Gina) Duffy, Rebecca (Becky) Whidden while Duffy is on leave and Darren Poley, team leader. She is responsible for assisting in the scheduling and setting up for events held in the Library.

Matthews, a native of Wayne, graduated from Shippensburg University, where she received a BSBA degree in marketing and international studies. She also has a post-baccalaureate certificate in pre-speech language pathology from LaSalle University. Before coming to Falvey, Matthews worked at Elwyn SEEDS (Special Education for Early Development).

Her special interest is raising dogs for The Seeing Eye. Her current puppy is named Nova, “a complete coincidence,” she says. “I found out about The Seeing Eye at the Special Olympics here at Villanova about four years ago. After talking to other members of the club and meeting the pups, I attended my first club meeting and I was hooked! I raised my first pup a year later.”

“I am excited to be working at Villanova,” Matthews adds.

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Foto Friday: Author Wes Moore Book Signing

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Falvey Memorial Library was pleased to host a book signing for Wes Moore on Thursday, September 25 as part of the OneBook Villanova’s tenth year anniversary. Close to one hundred students and members of the community turned out for the occasion. Moore signed books for over an hour, with the line for those waiting to meet and greet the genial author snaking out past the elevator bank.

Posters of book covers for each of the OneBook Villanova selections since the program began in 2004 were hung in the windows surrounding the Speakers’ Corner. Moore signed the oversized cover of The Other Wes Moore, and took home his ‘Big Head‘ decoration reportedly to show it to his mother!


Photo by Alice Bampton.

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‘Cat in the Stacks: Yodaisms

CAT-STAX

 I’m Michelle Callaghan, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is our new column, “‘Cat in the Stacks.” I’m the ‘cat. Falvey Memorial Library is the stacks. I’ll be posting about living that scholarly life, from research to study habits to embracing your inner-geek, and how the library community might aid you in all of it.


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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Yoda was a student in a university and had to write a paper. Wise guy that he was, he had some axioms on the topic (as he often does), and luckily with the aid of the fine resources at Falvey Memorial Library (for real though, scout those Star Wars holdings), I’ve been able to scour the archives for his best nuggets of research wisdom.

After all, your best research tool is your brain—but without some meditation on your processes, it can be an agent of the dark side.

Yoda on Research

“Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.”

When you come up with a research direction, don’t marry it. Follow it as far as it deigns to take you, but don’t be surprised if you end up in totally different territory than you’d initially planned. Writing workshops for years and years have called this “killing your darlings.” You aren’t wasting your time compiling sources on topics that, by the nature of research, might become irrelevant later on—you are using them as footholds to climb the mountain. Train yourself to stay objective and open-minded with your research, even if it means having to ditch the very thesis you set out to prove.

 

ahsoka-lightsaber

“Many of the truths that we cling to depend greatly on our point of view.”

Okay, this was technically Obi-Wan, not Yoda, but it’s important. Some of the strongest arguments are ones that continually engage opposing points of view. If you’re aware of a counterargument to your point, so is your reader. Address these counterarguments and duel them. With a lightsaber.

 

“Pass on what you have learned.” 

Papers and theses and scholarship aren’t just personal projects or measures of intellectual success. They are your voice in the scholarly conversations happening all around you. Remembering this will not only help you take control of your own work, but will also keep your writing penetrable. Yoda knew, like you and me, that reading dense articles is a total slog. So, his inverted syntax notwithstanding, he always made sure his papers clearly passed on what he learned in his research. After all, “If you can’t  explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Yoda Einstein (Fun fact: Yoda’s design is partly based on ol’ Albert.)

Yoda 2

“Do or do not. There is no try.”

Get out there and research! It’s all well and good for big thoughts to be in your brain, but get them out there, put them into words and do work.

 

 


Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.

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Meet Wes Moore, 2014 “One Book Villanova” Author in the library today at 4:30

1398353001099The One Book Villanova Program is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year!  In honor of this landmark occasion, the One Book Villanova committee  proudly announced the 2014-2015 book selection: The Other Wes Moore by author Wes Moore. WESMOREThe book follows the lives of two young men who are about the same age, live in the same city and who also share the same name. Despite their many striking similarities, the young men’s lives take very different paths: one Wes grows up to be a scholar, war veteran, White House aide and prominent business leader while the other Wes becomes a convicted criminal serving a life sentence for allegedly committing murder. The Other Wes Moore leads the reader to contemplate how these two people turned out so differently despite some of their remarkably similar circumstances growing up in poverty-stricken Baltimore.

Throughout the past ten years, the Villanova One Book selections have varied greatly in topic and theme and have led readers through many diverse cultural settings and landscapes.
Good Kings Bad Kings took us to Chicago and showed us the harsh realities of institutional life for adolescents with disabilities.
Little Princes
exposed the human trafficking issues that orphaned children face in Nepal.
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
described for us what the Japanese Internment camps were like for families during WWII.
The Unforgiving Minute placed us in the shoes of a West Point educated soldier as he led his platoon through the savagery and uncertainty of combat in Afghanistan.
Rooftops of Tehran described life in Iran under its oppressive regime.
- In The Glass Castle, we learned what it was like for the author to grow up homeless with highly dysfunctional parents.
Left to Tell poignantly described one woman’s experience surviving the Rwandan genocide.
- In Blood Done Sign My Name, we witnessed the civil rights struggle in the American south.
- In The Kite Runner, our very first One Book selection in 2004-2005, we traveled to both Afghanistan and America and experienced the harsh Taliban takeover of the country and felt the hardships of immigration.
Each of these book selections has helped to strengthen the ties of the Villanova Community and has also forced us to confront the sometimes harsh realities of human nature. The One Book Villanova Committee hopes to continue this tradition with the tenth anniversary One Book Villanova selection, The Other Wes Moore.

ONE-BOOKSAll rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors received a copy of the 2014-2015 One Book Villanova selection in early May, and all incoming freshmen were mailed a copy of the book over the summer. In addition, the One Book Villanova Committee decided to change the format and timing of the program. The author’s visit will occur on Thursday, September 25, as part of the St. Thomas of Villanova weekend festivities. The entire Villanova Community is encouraged the read The Other Wes Moore in preparation for the author’s visit on September 25! Those students, staff and faculty who were not able to pick up a copy of the book in early May should visit the Office of Student Development (Room 214/217 Dougherty Hall), the Office for Multicultural Affairs (Room 102 Dougherty Hall), or Falvey Memorial Library anytime during normal business hours to receive a book. For students, the book is free of charge and for faculty and staff the cost is $6 per book.

Wes Moore, author of The Other Wes Moore

Wes Moore, author of The Other Wes Moore

The One Book Committee is also in the midst of planning a series of topical programs throughout the academic year in support of the 2014-2015 book selection and to promote the tenth anniversary of the program.

More information about the author’s visit and One Book Villanova tenth anniversary programming can be found on the One Book website.


News From Falvey Winter 2008 - Gina McFaddenArticle by Regina Duffy, writer for the Communication and Service Promotion team and library events and program coordinator for the Scholarly Outreach team.

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Last Modified: September 25, 2014