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NSF Sends Clarkson University Prof to Conference on Virtual Teaching & Research Tool

The opportunity to explore a powerful virtual lab for teaching and research doesn't come along every day, so Clarkson University Assistant Professor Yaoqing Liu was delighted to attend the 19th Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) Engineering Conference in Atlanta, Ga., earlier this month.

Yaoqing LiuLiu, who teaches computer science, was awarded a travel grant from the National Science Foundation to attend the three-day conference, where he learned how to use GENI infrastructure to conduct research and educational experiments.

“GENI is a virtual laboratory for exploring future Internets at scale, and it creates major opportunities to understand, innovate and transform global networks and their interactions with society,” he explains. “I'm very grateful that I was able to attend the conference and learn more about this. GENI opens up new areas of research at the frontiers of network science and engineering”

Clarkson offers distance learning, and GENI can come into play here because Liu learned how to best prepare materials for remote students.

“This platform is public, so everyone on campus and distance learners can use this. This way, everyone will be on same page with their studies,” he says. “Also, GENI is not just for computer science. It can be used for other subjects such as engineering, math, biology, or chemistry.”

Liu said he learned a lot at the conference and is eager to share his insights with the Clarkson community.

“I want them to be aware of this handy, powerful and free test bed for teaching and research. It presents many opportunities for students and faculty,” he emphasizes. “Anyone with an interest is welcome to discuss it with me.”

The professor already is exploring this new test bed. For example, he's teaching the class Current Issues/Computer Networks this semester and has recommended that graduate students take advantage of GENI infrastructure to finish their projects. He has additional educational plans for this fall.

“Beyond teaching, I will also take advantage of GENI for my research. All of my previous research experiments were carried out in a very small network due to limited resources and expensive costs of setting up a large scale of network. GENI, which supports at-scale experimentation on shared and heterogeneous resources among multiple users, would permit our research team to program deeply throughout the network to justify our declaration,” he says.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

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