Press Releases - New Media Conference 2001


Murray Goldberg & Web CT Wins Hyperion Award

Jan. 24 - "DIGITAL BODY, DIGITAL SPACE" - An Exhibition at the Maltwood Museum and Gallery of Digital Art from UVic's Fine Arts Lab for Extended Media.


***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*** January 29, 2001


Neither William Shakespeare nor the Grinch can escape the all-pervasive influence of new media. Presentations about how both literary forms were enhanced on line and on the screen are among the many program items at this year's New Media Conference, "Content, Connectivity and Convergence," from Feb. 11 to 13 at UVic.

The Hyperion Award for outstanding contributions to new media will be presented to UVic grad Murray Goldberg on Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. at the conference opening reception at the Empress Hotel. The conference also includes a high tech career fair for post secondary students on Feb. 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Student Union Building. "Content, Connectivity and Convergence" showcases emerging technologies and applications for the design and production of new media.

Conference highlights include:

oKeynote address by Bill Buxton, Chief Scientist for Alias/Wavefront, a Toronto-based company that develops software for industrial design and 3D animation and visual effects. One of its programs was involved in creating the digital citizens of Whoville in the 2000 smash hit film, The Grinch.
Feb. 12 at 9 a.m. University Centre Farquhar Auditorium

oHyperion Award Presentation to Murray Goldberg, a UBC computer science professor, and UVic grad who developed WebCT, the world's most popular online course management system.
Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. Crystal Ballroom, The Fairmont Empress

oUVic faculty presentations:
Dr. Dave McCutcheon, faculty of business, on "Using Blackboard eLearning Tools"

Dr. Michael Best, department of English, on "Beyond Imagination: The Internet Shakespeare Editions as a Case Study in the Creation of Quality Content on the Internet"
(Dr. Best's Internet Shakespeare Editions is fast becoming one of the Web's leading Shakespeare sites. A computer program, "Shakespeare's Life and Times," will soon be released as a CD-ROM)

Drs. Bill Zuk and Robert Dalton, faculty of education, on "Intergenerational Experiences Using Website Exchanges of Visual Information."
Feb. 12 from 2 to 3 p.m. University Centre Farquhar Auditorium

Dr. Eric Manning, department of electrical and computer engineering, on "The New Media Innovation Centre Broadband Networking Cluster"
Feb. 13 at 3:30 p.m. University Centre Farquhar Auditorium

Other speakers include: Roger Mundell of the Centre for Economic Development and Applied Research at Royal Roads University; Kegan Adams, vice-president strategic customer relations, education at Telus; and Walter Stewart, director of global marketing, research and education for Silicon Graphics (SGI). Throughout the conference, SGI will demonstrate its Virtual Reality Center powered by an Onyx super-computer and featuring a high-resolution 14 x 9 foot screen. The Reality Center is designed for visualization and immersive virtual reality and is used in disciplines ranging from medicine to climatology.

Conference supporters include the B.C. Information, Science and Technology Agency. Advance registration fees for the conference are $399 ($449 at the door). Through the financial support of conference sponsors, subsidized registrations are available at $50 (+GST) to any student enrolled in a post-secondary institution in B.C. whose course work or career path lead to an interest in new media.

For further information on this year's New Media Conference check the conference website at or contact conference coordinator Ed Oscapella at (250) 472-1690.




***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*** January 24, 2001


Five years ago, there were few resources for teachers wanting to offer a web-based course-so UBC computer scientist Murray Goldberg developed his own. Today WebCT is the world's most popular online course management system. More than 148,000 faculty members at over 1,570 colleges and universities are using WebCT's products and services to transform the educational experience for more than 5.8 million students. In recognition of the contributions he has made in applying new technology to education, Goldberg, a UVic grad, will receive the Hyperion award at this year's new media Conference at UVic from Feb. 11 to 13.

"Murray Goldberg's development of the collaborative teaching and learning software WebCT is an outstanding example of the application of New Media in the field of information technology for teaching and learning in higher education," says conference chair Martin Segger. "The award committee also noted that the rapid adoption and widespread use of the software also illustrates the value of public-private partnerships in the expanding field of e-learning."

Goldberg graduated from UVic in 1985 and went on to earn his MSc from UBC. While working as a research assistant studying high speed parallel communication protocols he offered to teach a few courses as well. "I found I loved it," says Goldberg, who won UBC's teaching award after just one year at the front of the classroom. He immediately began investigating new ways to instruct his students.

"I wanted to explore the effectiveness of the web as a teaching and learning tool so I had to teach a web-based course but I found there was very little out there to help me set one up," says Goldberg, who applied for and won a $50,000 teaching grant to assist him. "That first course took a year to build, and I knew I couldn't spend $50,000 each time I wanted to create a course so I built my own web-based tool. That was the beginning of WebCT."

In 1996, Goldberg went to a Paris conference to present the results of his research comparing students' performance with traditional and web-based learning (the group experiencing a combination of the two did best). But conference attendees were more interested in the software than its education results. Within six months, 100 institutions were using WebCT. Realizing he could not support that many users with funding alone, Goldberg and UBC created a company to finance the support network. Recently, it merged with another company to expand the product's reach.

Goldberg, who is president of WebCT/Canada, says he's pleased to hear he's this year's Hyperion award recipient. "I hear it's a fantastic conference. It's the kind of conference that I love; one that brings together people who are really connected with the technology and those who love to teach."

For further information on this year's New Media Conference, "Content, Connectivity and Convergence," check the conference website at or contact conference coordinator Ed Oscapella at (250) 472-1690.



***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*** January 24, 2001


The University of Victoria 2001 International New Media Conference, Feb 11-13, will provide an opportunity for faculty and students to demonstrate to the public the cutting-edge of electronic art.

The exhibition "Digital Body, Digital Space" will demonstrate how computers alter and heighten our perceptions of ourselves and the spaces around us. Also a focal point of the exhibit will be a Silicon Graphics Virtual Reality Centre on loan from the corporate headquarters in Mountain View, California. The powerful SGI graphics generator, which will be demonstrating various environments, allows a spectator to move at will through a series if virtual spaces, ranging from an archaeological reconstruction of Nero's Rome to the Vatican's frescoed rooms of the Renaissance. The SGI Virtual Reality Center is powered by an Onyx super-computer and features a high-resolution screen 14 feet wide by 9 feet high. The Reality Center is designed for visualization and immersive virtual reality. It is used in a number of disciplines from medicine to climatology, mapping the ocean floor to searching for oil and gas, building cars to designing buildings, bridges, ships and aircraft to virtual flight simulators.

Digital installation works by UVic Fine Arts students include a random generated audio-visual environment by the class of Greg Corness, a recent masters graduate in music. Titled "Space Invasions" the work consists of a number of motion sensors which feed input to a Mac G4-500. A program called MAX takes input from the sensors, mathematically manipulates it, then turns it into music and video. What is seen and heard is generated by the random movements of people through the gallery space, so the spectators are creating their own art simply by being there.

Stephen Nguyen, 1st year masters Visual Arts, is presenting a long wall installation called "Common Ground" - This work gives the impression of looking into another gallery space where generic figures are looking out into another space, a similarly generic landscape. It is a comment upon the homogeneity created by modern society.

Richelle Funk, a recently graduated masters student in History in Art is the author of "The Cosmological Body". This work explores the ways in which computers have altered and expanded our perceptions of our bodies and the environment. What look like books are actually handmade unfolding "maps. The map backgrounds were created by digitally manipulating MRIs, sonographs, and other digital imaging data. The signatures encompass texts and images which examine our perceptions of our bodies. Above each of the 5 books are 2 iconic images of text etched into copper plate. Above each of these are 3 virtual landscapes which consist of multi-layered images of our world as it has been seen from 16th century cosmological maps to present day satellite and probe images of our solar system and the universe. These landscapes are layered with text which questions the impact that our current intense use of computers will have on our world and on us in the future.

Nancy Yakimoski, 5th year masters History in Art, has produced a series titled"Beauty is Power" : "I Want", "I Will Not", "I Know". Three poster-sized icon images of femininity (lipstick, legs in high heels...) interspersed with text addressing how these images affect present day culture and what they signify.

Rachel Kiers is a 4th year Visual Arts students. Her work combines printmaking with a website. "Market Me" examines a t-shirt with a logo of the artist's initials printed on it. The website is designed to attract the viewer's attention in the same way that advertising does, flashing images quickly over the screen. When certain images are "clicked on", the viewer is presented with further screens each of which address different aspects of consumerism and the control that ad makers have over their viewing audience. There is no way out of the site; the power of advertising wins.

There will also be a number of digital video pieces ranging from 5 - 20 minutes. Helene Cornell in "Make-up" has taken several stills of herself applying make-up to her face. She then used a video editing program to morph these stills together so that she seems to be ripping the make-up off of her face as a French Rap song about super-models plays in the background. Stephen Bays's "Who is Spider?" is a documentary style video about a strange fictitious character nicknamed Spider. He calls it a "mock-umentary" because it is essentially poking fun at documentaries by over-exaggerating typical documentary style interviews and editing.

Kate Liu will show two videos, "Peach Separation" and "Bottleneck". Both are pieces exploring the relationships between people in a vaguely narrative way. Creative writing students Daniel Hogg, Matt Markson, and Shay Wilson will show a video "Noel's Outing", a comedy about not coming out. Graham Mackenzie and Kris Hagen's, "Hide and Seek" is a narrative work and was the professor's pick of works from the Writing 320 script writing class.

At the closing reception of the New Media Conference professor Steve Gibson, Assistant Professor of Digital Media, Visual Arts, at UVic will be demonstrating the new Martin Lighting Director (MLD) tracking system in his studio in the Visual Arts. The UVic Fine Arts department has recently received a the system generous donation the system, based on conventional sonar technology, from Acoustic Positioning Research. Participants will be invited to try out the trackers where up to four persons may interact simultaneously, controlling lights, sound and video in real-time.

For further information contact
Conference chair: Martin Segger 250 721-8298
Conference coordinator: Ed Oscapella 250 472 1690