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Inaugurated in Thuwal (Saudi Arabia) in September 2009, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is a graduate-level teaching and research institution situated 90 km north of Jeddah, along the coast of the Red Sea, and funded by a $10 billion endowment from the Saudi monarch. The 36-square-kilometer KAUST campus is composed of state-of-the-art facilities that place it in the forefront of world institutions for scientific research. KAUST’s leading-edge resources include Shaheen, the Middle East’s most powerful supercomputer, and the Scientific Visualization Core Laboratory. As one the initial five Core Labs in the university, the Visualization Lab includes more than a dozen core systems ranging from stereoscopic 3D immersive environments and multiple tiled display walls to development rooms and lecture halls. As part of its services to the university, the Visualization Lab facilitates research into three-dimensional geological structures, oceanographic processes, and the effects of dynamic seismic and atmospheric activity on planned or existing infrastructure. By forming partnerships with universities around the world, KAUST has created a global network for research across multiple academic disciplines, ranging from environmental and biological sciences to applied mathematics and chemical engineering.
Through establishment of the Scientific Visualization Laboratory Core Labs, KAUST has vaulted to the forefront of this new discipline. With multiple rooms linked by fiber optic data networks, the Visualization Center encompasses more than a dozen “sci-vis” systems of various types, ranging from precedent-setting, stereoscopic 3D environments to development rooms and lecture halls. The Visualization Center expects to facilitate research into three-dimensional geological structures, oceanographic processes, and the effects of dynamic seismic and atmospheric activity on planned or existing infrastructure.