As one of the largest and most comprehensive universities in New York, the University at Buffalo is the flagship university of the SUNY system. The research-intensive university hosts a wide variety of programs for its 32,000 students, including medicine, pharmacy, and law. When the university needed to enhance its high-level classroom and campus dining display technology, it called on Audio-Video Corporation, based in Albany, NY, to install Digital Projection's Radiance LED video walls.
Housing some of the largest lecture halls on campus, and much of the core undergraduate STEM classes, the Natural Sciences Complex is an important part of the university. The two largest spaces in the complex, NSC 201 and NSC 225, have seating for about 350 individuals. With such large areas, the university needed a visually impactful solution that allowed the students to have a clear view of the instructional materials from every location.
"We wanted to create a more innovative way of instruction," explained Chris Clune, director of IT customer service, University at Buffalo. "Chalkboards and dry-erase boards were a big factor to how our faculty liked to teach, so we needed a way to incorporate them into some of the more modern aspects of instruction.”
The massive 32x9-foot central display in NSC 225 showcases course content in amazing detail for every seat in the lecture hall. Complementing this space, the 28x8-foot display in NSC 201 displays live, in-class notes from the professor, as well as supplementary sources with incredible clarity and vibrant colors.
“The new displays really allow us to make the most effective use of our instructional technology resources," said Brice Bible, vice president and chief information officer, University at Buffalo. "We also wanted to create a learning experience in which site lines were not an issue and that could easily be synchronous with our distance learning initiatives."
The rooms’ large displays allow remote students to feel more integrated into the in-person class. Remote students are also more easily seen by students in the room. Plus, microphones placed at the tabletop allow for in-person students to be clearly heard by the remote audience.
“These new spaces are truly dynamic learning environments, complete with the ability to display document cameras, PowerPoints, content sharing from personal devices, etc.," Clune said. "With the faculty’s chalkboard content on the screen, the clarity makes it as if a student in the back row were at the front of the class. Thanks to the Radiance LED walls, we’ve mixed the old school with the new.”
“These displays are showpiece installations for the university and are a key stop for prospective student tours," Bible added. "It’s really great to be able to showcase the quality education we offer here at the University at Buffalo in front of these impressive video walls.”
As part of the project, the nearby One World Café was also in need of an engaging display solution. Designed with the vision of creating a highly visible “front door” to the campus, the active student hub is a central point for meeting and studying along with a rich tapestry of international food options. Integrating a visual messaging system that delivered pertinent student information was high on the university’s priority list.
The new 16x9-foot display at One World Café has become very popular for all visitors. Set in an open space, the LED video wall displays important announcements to the students with top quality visuals for university programs, sports games, special events, and messages from the president.