As part of USC's continued commitment to keep its classrooms updated, the Stauffer Lecture
Hall was chosen to be remodeled and refurbished with a state-of-the-art multimedia system.
Since this lecture hall is where the USC Department of Physics and Astronomy holds 70%
of its courses, our department was the major beneficiary when SLH re-opened its doors in
September of '97.
At that time, David Mehrania, a USC Computer Sciences graduate student and full-time
Physics and Astronomy staff member, was promoted to Equipment Manager for Physics and
Astronomy Lecture Support in order to organize and implement the use of these new
multimedia facilities for our department.
Each of the three lecture rooms is equipped with a PC or a Mac, a VCR, two separate
connections for an external computer, laptop, or powerbook; two separate connections for
external video, four ethernet connections, a built-in microphone and speaker, and three sets
of hearing devices for students who are hearing impaired.
Since the remodel, our professors have been taking steps to implement the use of these
facilities into their lectures. At present, Professor Edward Rhodes is exploring the potential of
these new multimedia facilities by combining the use of interactive astronomy software with a
slide presentation in every lecture, and Professor Krzysztof Pilch uses the computer in almost every lecture.
The use of demonstrations in the lectures has also increased as a result of these new
resources. David works continuously to incorporate this equipment into these new demos. He
has begun using a camcorder to project small scale physics demonstrations onto the big
screen. David explains, "Projecting very small demonstrations on the big screen, to me, is the
most important feature. It has given us the chance to do demonstrations that would have been
either impossible to do or impossible for the entire class to see."
This Spring 1999, David has implemented another innovation by adding Science Workshop
computer interfaces to each lecture room. He continues, "With these interfaces, our Physics
faculty will be able to collect data and analyze them on the computer while performing a
physics demonstration during a lecture. This will be the most creative use of the facility."
Department of Physics & Astronomy / USC Physics & Astronomy Newsletters /