Looking into Shengri La™ Thyme on ScienceSim

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Our collaboration with Intel Labs™ continues to bear fruit, in particular in the area of performance tuning.  The data set provided by Shengri La™ Chamomile has yielded five performance patches to date which the Intel engineers have submitted  to the OpenSim code base.  We continue to develop Chamomile to grow the data set, but we are also developing a series of educational demonstrations in one of our other regions in ScienceSim, Shengri La Thyme.

Shengri La Thyme has a range of demonstrations for natural sciences, with a special focus on botany.  Currently, there are several educational areas, including a full-scale replica of a medieval knot garden, including a bee skep, where students may learn about knot gardens and the art of the apiarist.  There is also an imposing glass house where the windows replicate authenticate medieval lead patterns and incorporate motifs from Frank Lloyd Wright’s legendary Prairie architecture.  The glasshouse itself includes several demonstrations, including a display about Aaron Duffy’s fern population research with links to visit his actual work in ScienceSim and a display of tulips, with interdisciplinary discussions about the historical, botanical, and horticultural aspects of tulips through the ages.

Thyme also includes a scale model lath house, a demonstration of garden design, and a model of St. Clair’s herb garden.  Eventually, these will be joined by Newton’s legendary apple tree, including interactivity to allow students to learn about Newtons’ work with physics. Shengri La Thyme is a work in progress, and the region currently includes about 60,000 objects in the scene.  Visitors with less robust hardware may find visiting a bit slow, although Thyme is also the subject of some research patches which may greatly improve the experience (certainly we have found that the case, and we’re very happy that our hair shows up before anything else does).

Those who have an interest in the demonstrations of how OpenSim can be used for interdisciplinary education are encouraged to visit.  The demonstrations are in development and full functionality is not yet enabled, but the displays themselves offer intriguing possibilities for education.  The work on Shengri La Thyme is performed in a publicly accessible space – just point your viewer to ScienceSim, and locate Shengri La Thyme in the world map. Our work isn’t a secret, and visitors are welcome.

The Shengri La Thyme region is being hosted by Intel Corporation on Intel hardware.  We’d like to thank Mic Bowman and his coworkers at Intel Labs for this wonderful opportunity to help further define OpenSim performance for enterprise and education.

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