The LMVL hit a milestone in October by logging its 1,000th visitor for the year 2011. Over 100 of these visitors were from businesses and government agencies that are interested in the research being performed at the University and at MSI. We have also been visited by government officials, notably U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-MN) in February and U.S. Representative Erik Paulsen (R-MN) in September. Many of the visitors saw 3D virtual-reality visualizations prepared by researchers at the Medical Devices Center, who are working on new ways of testing such devices as artificial heart valves. Even the University's new president, Eric Kaler, visited the LMVL to see the MDC's work during his tour of the College of Science and Engineering prior to his inauguration.
In addition to business and government visitors, over 400 students have also toured the lab this year. These have included: elementary-, middle-, and high-school students participating in various camps and programs; prospective University students; and undergraduate and graduate students from the University and other local colleges and universities. Other groups touring the lab and seeing visualization demos included various organizations at the University and visitors from other colleges, universities, and professional organizations.
Faculty in such fields as astronomy, mechanical engineering, earth sciences, biomedical engineering, computer science, writing studies, and anthropology have used the LMVL to create visualizations that support and extend their research, and several MSI PIs use the lab to present visualizations to visitors to their departments. Finally, four classes taught by MSI PIs during 2011 have used the LMVL for class sessions.