The following is a summary of the newly developed laboratories where undergraduate and graduate students participate in the development of new technologies.
The SPACE Laboratory
The SPACE (Structures, Pointing And Control Engineering) laboratory, a facility housing a state-of-the-art test-bed for a segmented space telescope has been established using the funds received from the $5.4 million NASA grant. Effective 2002, the Laboratory is part of the NASA University Research Center. Along with this designation, funding of $3 million has been awarded by NASA for a period of five years to support the research activities performed at SPACE. Dr. Ryaciotaki-Boussalis, the Director of SPACE, collaborated with faculty from the University of Southern California, the California State University Long Beach, and technical staff from Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Lockheed - Martin, in developing a state-of -the art laboratory. Over two hundred Electrical and Mechanical Engineering students (many of these are undergraduates) have been supported to work on this multi-disciplinary project under the supervision of nationally and internationally renowned researchers from all participating institutions. The major goal of the project is to expose students at CSULA to a NASA research and development environment to prepare them for future employment and motivate them towards graduate studies.
This laboratory has been used as a powerful recruitment tool to attract more minority students to pursue studies in science and engineering at CSULA. In addition, SPACE serves and will continue to serve as an advanced laboratory facility where universities, as well as industry can conduct experiments to validate relevant technologies.
The MATIES Laboratory
The MATIES laboratory was established in 2002 and is sponsored by NSF ($600,000). The objective of this laboratory is to develop multimedia technologies applicable to space-based dynamic systems, to aircrafts and to semiconductor devices. Computer design and analysis software including IDEAS, NASTRAN, Open GL, Visual Studios, and MATLAB are used for design, simulation, animation and visualization. A major goal of the laboratory is to increase the number of CSULA underrepresented minority students who will participate in a structured research-based educational program, preparing them for advanced degrees and engineering careers.
The SERENADES Laboratory
The SERENADES (Synergetic Education and Research in Enabling NASA-centered Academic Development of Engineers and Space Scientists) Laboratory was established in 2004 and is sponsored by NASA Offices of Space Science and Education ($795,000). This laboratory has initiated partnerships of scholars and researchers from multiple disciplines of electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering, and astronomy/space science. A series of pipelined training courses are offered to equip the workforce, with special emphasis of recruitment of minority underrepresented students, required by NASA. The trained students have participated in the advanced researches in this laboratory in a very dynamic and multidisciplinary environment. Research areas include embedded digital systems of large-scale structures, astronomical imaging, and astronomical instrumentation, among others. Outreach and open house activities have also been frequently conducted to attract minority students from surrounding high schools and community colleges to select science or engineering to be their future field of study.
Computer Productivity Center
The Engineering, Computer Science and Technology Computer Productivity Center (CPC) supports the computing needs of engineering, computer science and technology students, faculty, and staff in the College. It provides facilities, hardware, software, and training to encourage the many uses and applications of computers as part of the educational experience (e.g., engineering computation, modeling and simulation, computer-assisted design, computer programming, graphics and laboratory applications).
The CPC is housed in a multi-room suite located in the Engineering and Technology Building (C-wing, second floor) that includes six primary-use rooms and three support rooms. In the center of the suite is a support area that consists of a student "help desk," file server room, plotter room, and director’s office. The help desk is surrounded by five computer classrooms: three for general college computer-related instruction and two for specialized use. The sixth primary use room is an open access facility.
The CPC’s flexible, functional design allows for support staff to monitor and assist in all areas of the CPC, while allowing for classroom privacy, as needed. Scheduling is done so that classrooms can provide additional open access stations during high demand time. When the entire facility is operating in "open access" mode, students have access to more than 150 workstations.
The open access facility, known as the "ECST Computer Link," is open six days and 68 hours per week during the quarter. The computer facility provides individual access to 42 workstations including PC, Sun, and Macintosh platforms.
Other Computer Classrooms
There are four other computer classrooms outside the CPC area that are used for specialized curricular needs. The Mac lab is used mainly to teach graphics and desktop publishing courses. The remaining three computer classrooms are mainly used by Computer Science department to teach programing courses.
All the computers in the classrooms are connected to the campus-wide network, access to local applications, access to other academic time-share computing systems both on- and off-campus, such as library resources, electronic bulletin boards, electronic mail, and the Internet. These computer classrooms are multimedia-ready with instructional aids such as an XGA resolution projection system and a retractable projection screen.