Citrix Systems Donation Brings Virtual Classroom to FAU’s New Geomatics Engineering Program
BOCA RATON, FL (January 14, 2008) – Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science’s geomatics engineering program has developed a unique course delivery system called GENIE ( G eomatics E ngineering Net Instructional Environment) with the help of Citrix Systems, Inc .
The college received approval for the new bachelor’s degree program in geomatics engineering in the summer of 2007 to help alleviate the shortage of trained land-surveyor professionals and is the only geomatics engineering program offered in the entire southeastern United States. Geomatics is a relatively new term that came into being because of the digital technology revolution occurring in the traditional fields of surveying and mapping. Global Positioning System (GPS) locator devices are one example of such a technology.
Many university students are working professionals with two-year degrees seeking to upgrade their professional skills and unable to attend classes during normal working hours or just too far from the campus. Therefore, most upper level courses in this program will be offered online. D elivery of highly technical courses with specialized applications with large data content, typical of some of the geomatics engineering courses, is problematic with traditional methods of distance learning. The combination of Citrix GoToMeeting™ and Presentation Server™ allow remote FAU students the same experience as being in the classroom.
The GENIE course delivery system will allow FAU to deliver geomatics engineering courses to students’ desktops from Port St. Lucie to Miami, and eventually beyond, greatly lessening the need for students to come on campus. Using Citrix GoToMeeting, students will be able to participate in online courses that feature two-way audio and video interactions between students and the instructor. Another advantage of GENIE is the ability for students to remotely access and run professional grade software, such as Geographic Information Systems software, without having the software loaded onto their personal computers. The software product that permits this type of operation is Citrix’s Presentation Server.
“It’s been a pleasure helping FAU ‘mobilize’ this unique geomatics program,” said Michael Richtberg, director of business strategy with Citrix Systems, Inc. and FAU advisor. “We are proud to support the FAU GENIE project as it raises the bar for educational excellence using technology as a vehicle to deliver state of the art learning.”
The Citrix donation helps lay the cornerstone for the further development of the GENIE system and included FAU staff training to prepare technical staff. Presentation Server is an application delivery system that reduces the cost of running computer software by centralizing management, security and control of the software and any data the software may use. It also gives students the freedom to operate from any location, on any device, over any network. GoToMeeting is an easy-to-use and fast way to conduct training and collaborate online.
“Citrix’s community outreach and social responsibility initiatives enrich and empower our local communities through innovative public private partnerships,” said Jo Moskowitz, director of community and government affairs with Citrix Systems, Inc.
“We are grateful to Citrix for their generous gift,” said Karl K. Stevens, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science. “Together we are transforming engineering education with ‘educate anywhere’ capabilities which is very exciting for students .”
Florida Atlantic University 's College of Engineering and Computer Science is committed to providing accessible and responsive programs of education and research recognized nationally for their high quality. Course offerings are presented on-campus, off-campus, and through distance learning in bioengineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, geomatics engineering, mechanical engineering and ocean engineering. For more information about the college, please visit www.eng.fau.edu .