Center Facilities Support Collaborative Work
At the heart of the Center's scientific efforts is collaboration, internally amongst group members, and with scientists outside the group. Previously marked by cubicles and perimeter offices hidden by cubicles, the Center's office area received a significant upgrade in Spring 2009, to a design that greatly facilitates collaborative interaction. The renovations transformed 1,800 square feet of office area from enclosed cubicles to an accessible, open-floor plan, with rewiring of power and network connectivity to support computing, projection, and other equipment (see here floor plans for east and west side office areas). The west end office area houses six workstations, including four scientific visualizationworkstations (one of which supports stereo visualization), two workstations for general document preparation, and a large conference table. The east end office area provides four circular tables, seating 4-6 people, for use in ad hoc meeetings (including power and network connections for laptops), and a lounge area for more informal discussions and interaction. In both areas, large whiteboards are available to facilitate idetailed discussion.
Established in April 2006, the Visitor Center is set adjacent to the Centerís main facilities at the Beckman Institute, and provides space for collaborators and other scientists to pursue their research while visiting the Center. It offers five workstations and desk space for up to six researchers working directly on the Center network, so they may take advantage of the computational facilities and the ability to meet with local researchers. For those users that wish to bring their own equipment, the Visitor Center offers four laptop docking stations with 21-inch LCD monitors. Rounding out the facility are locking desks, a refrigerator, and other amenities, allowing our guests to work in comfort for the duration of their stay.
Comments from Visitors
"I have visited many research installations in the US and abroad, and the TCBG Visitor Center and office areas are in a class by themselves. In addition to the superb computer equipment, the layout, furniture and general atmosphere of the space are perfect for interaction with colleagues in addition to getting one's own work done. "
Associate Head for Graduate Programs
Department of Physics
University of Illinois
"If one comes as a visitor to a group, it feels good to have a place that looks like one has put some thought into making room for a visitor and not like getting put into some random office that just happens to have a screen and an empty chair." (comment about the Visitor Center)
"A breath of fresh air . . . TCBG [the Center] has - in my opinion - been liberated from the 'curse of the cubicles' and gained an important centerpoint of the group efforts . . .This is a step in the right direction. Research is based on communication and particularly in larger groups with diverse group members." (comment about the redesigned office areas)
Center for Molecular Modeling
University of Pennsylvania
Visiting the Local Community
- Traveling to the visit the TCBG is easy, thanks to Urbana-Champaign's airport and proximity to the Chicago area. Click here for more on travel and accommodations in the Urbana-Champaign area.
- For many years a modest "campus town" type of area, the Urbana-Champaign area has grown in its population and cultural offerings into what one might term a "micro-urban" area, as depicted in the video below: