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When the Bioscience Complex at the University of Ottawa was officially opened this spring during a ceremony that included Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, it was not a typical ribbon cutting ceremony. Unlike an average ceremony, the crowd viewed a projected image of Premier McGuinty “cutting” a microscopic ribbon using an electron microscope.
The University of Ottawa has implemented Image-Pro Express image analysis software from Media Cybernetics Inc. (Silver Spring, MD) in its Bioscience Complex. With the guidance of scientific and medical imaging supplier Carsen Group Inc. (Markham, ON, Canada), a Media Cybernetics distributor, the University of Ottawa deployed more than 400 copies of Image-Pro Express. The software is used to control and acquire digital images from microscopes that support the curriculum. Image-Pro Express is also used for analysis, archiving and reporting.
The 56,000-square-foot Bioscience Complex houses teaching and research space for more than 1,000 students in biology and related courses, and more than 40 faculty members. It also has received provincial and federal awards for energy efficiency, and boasts the Husky Courtyard, a “living classroom” which is a simulation of a boreal forest and wetland environment in the center of the building.
“The possibilities that our students now have to digitally capture what they observe on their microscopes are just amazing,” says University of Ottawa Faculty of Science Dean, Christian Detellier. “The pedagogical tools and teaching developments now available to us hadn’t even been dreamt of a few years ago. Our biology laboratories are the precursors of a new era in teaching methods.”