Imaging Center Opens

A one-stop shop for the high-tech handling of visual information, the Imaging and Computing Center opened in mid-January.

Occupying the first floor of Coram Library, the center expands the ways students and faculty can exercise their visual presentation skills, which have become as much the scientist’s preserve as the artist’s. Its research microscopes, digital photography studio, high-powered computing center, and other appointments enable users to capture, interpret, and present all manner of information visually.

Felice Frankel (right), an expert in the use of imaging to express scientific data and concepts, meets with Associate Professor of Biology Nancy Kleckner and Kleckner’s thesis student Neil Marya ’07 in the new Imaging and Computer Center. They are working with one of the center’s new microscopes to view Marya’s thesis work in neuroscience.

“We’re finding new ways of articulating knowledge,” says Pam Baker ’70, Helen A. Papaioanou Professor of Biological Sciences and director of faculty research and scholarship in the dean of faculty’s office. “Science is part of the visual culture — how you analyze and conceptualize broad data are all visual.”

The center was conceived, in fact, as “a highly interdisciplinary, freewheeling environment,” says center director Matt Côté, associate professor of chemistry.

Jacqueline Smith ’07 studies in the new Imaging and Computing Center in Coram Library.

To that end, the lobby is a sort of high-tech salon, with comfy furniture, eye-pleasing wall colors, hip-and-cool Saeco beverage machines, and a row of 46-inch flatscreens that show what center users have been up to.

Indeed, the center’s opening found Vantiel Duncan ’10 with a book in hand and an eye on the flatscreens. “I’m looking at three TVs and learning about cell biology while I study,” she said.