TUC/MUSIC was established in 1990, the first year that the ECE School accepted students, and it was the first laboratory of the School in Software. It currently includes two faculty members six members of the technical staff all with Master Degrees in Engineering and large experience in software engineering and international collaborations, two collaborating researchers, and many graduate and undergraduate students. TUC/MUSIC is a center for teaching, research and development in the areas of distributed information systems, web application and services, software engineering, human computer interaction and design, graphics systems, and simulation engineering.
Research And Development
The laboratory has participated in over 45 EU research and development programs and European Excellence Networks (see R&D projects in http://music.tuc.gr). In these programs the TUC/MUSIC personnel was involved in the research and development together with the graduate and undergraduate students of the lab. Most of the students of the lab were involved in international projects. The total budget for TUC/MUSIC in these programs exceeds the 10M Euros. TUC/MUSIC was the Coordinating partner and/or the Technical Leader in several of those projects. In these projects TUC/MUSIC cooperated with more than 250 leading European companies, research institutions, universities, and local government (like regions, municipalities, etc.). Representative research areas and projects include:
- Interoperability of Digital Libraries and elearning Applications. Natural Europe: Natural History and Environmental Cultural Heritage in European Digital Libraries for Education
- Digital Libraries. Delos Excellence Network on Digital Libraries. Professor Christodoulakis was in the Scientific Management Board, responsible for multimedia digital libraries.
- e-Learning. Logos: Knowledge on Demand for Ubiquitous Learning.
- Software Engineering for Digital Business Ecosystems. DBE: Digital Business Ecosystem.
- Personalized TV Systems. UpTV: Ubiquitous TV Systems and Applications.
- Systems and Applications for supporting Tourism. Tournet: Integrated and Complete Support for the Tourism-Related SMEs of the Region of Crete through Interactive Media and Networks. Prof. Christodoulakis was the Technical Coordinator of the project, the Region of Crete was Prime Contractor.
- High Performance Multimedia Systems. HERMES: Foundations of High Performance Multimedia Information Management Systems. Basic Research project. TUC/MUSIC was Prime Contractor.
Laboratory Support of ECE Courses
The laboratory supports all the courses of the ECE School in the above areas. These include the laboratory intensive core courses of the School in software engineering like the required courses in programming, abstract data types and object oriented programming, design and implementation of large information systems, and data bases. It is also responsible for the laboratories of the software engineering and graphics courses of the curriculum like the human computer interaction and design, development of web applications, design and development of web services, as well as the graphics course. All of the above courses demand required passing mark in the lab, and the weight of the lab is from 50 to 100 percent of the grade. Detailed descriptions of those courses exist in http://courses.ece.tuc.gr.
Development and Maintenance of Shool and University Infrastructures
TUC/MUSIC created the first infrastructure for the Technical University of Crete for Internet and email. It managed this infrastructure for the School of ECE and the whole University for 6 years. All the financing for the support of the group that managed the Internet and email came from European R&D programs. Later the University created a networks division which was manned from original personnel of TUC/MUSIC that created this infrastructure. Former students of TUC/MUSIC also manned the computing center of the University TUC/MUSIC has also developed, maintains and extends the Web 2.0 infrastructure of the ECE School and other University infrastructures. This includes:
- The ECE management and learning infrastructure for the School's courses. It is a Web 2.0 infrastructure for learning which is used by all the courses of the School. It offers a very wide range of tools for all teaching and learning activities in the School. The site supports powerful collaborating activities for learning (Web 2.0 infrastructure) for all the courses of the school, organizational, data mining and monitoring tools for the instructors and the lab personnel, as well as school forums and facilities. Students collaborate for all 24 hours of the day through the system. Some courses get more than 100000 hits per month in their area. Professors are able to get an immediate feedback on the student understanding and problems, and dynamically adapt during the course their teaching. Students and professors exchange views and opinions through forums. The students of the School have typically the courses site in their bookmark bar in order to access it continuously. Paraphrasing a student in the forum: “...the only thing that courses does not do, is to offer coffee...”.
- The Multimedia Open Learning Environment (MOLE) infrastructure. It is an extended version of the courses platform that supports multiple learning institutions and learning environments, and it also supports powerful functionality coordinating high resolution video, power-point presentations, and simulations of computer programs. It offers extendible multilingual support, and it is already translated in many other languages. It is used in several EU countries for learning in the context of EU programs. It is foreseen to replace courses in ECE by next year, and to be used at the University level for open learning. The Data Base course is currently used to Benchmark the multimedia and video capabilities of MOLE. Several other functionalities including personalized and mobile learning support are under prototyping. Paraphrasing a student comment in the forum for the experimental data base course: “continue the improvements of the site and I foresee that after a while everybody will abandon Facebook...”
- The ECE School Web Site. The Website and the content management system of the ECE School of the Technical University of Crete has been developed and is supported by TUC/MUSIC
- Infrastructure support for Management, Persistency, and Exploitation of Content for the laboratories of the ECE School (like Laboratory Web Sites, the School's Digital Library, etc.).
- The Digital Library of the ECE School. A Digital Library infrastructure that is automatically updated from the contents of all the laboratory sites of the School through (ETL) interoperability mechanisms implemented by TUC/MUSIC. It is foreseen that TUC/MUSIC will use and extend this infrastructure to create the University Digital Library.
- The BSEC Portal on Education. TUC MUSIC has developed a University wide infrastructure and a portal for the universities and countries that are near the Black Sea to manage the learning curriculae in the Higher Education level for those countries. The site has attracted the praise of the Greek Ministry of Education.
- The TUC Quality Assurance Infrastructure. TUC MUSIC has developed a Quality Assurance Infrastructure for aggregating and processing institute-wide data (under and post graduate programmes, course info, research info, administrative info, etc.) for the evaluation of the University.
- The TUC Institutional Repository. TUC/MUSIC has developed an FRBR-based Open Archival Information System (compatible with the OAIS reference model) that implements the TUC's Institutional Repository. Key features of this system include: the FRBR based modeling archived content, the extensible vocabulary and authority-file integration for production of Linked-Data ready metadata, the OAI,OpenSearch, and SWORD Services for programmatic content access and submission, the interoperability with national and international aggregators (OAIster, Open AIRE, etc), the tracking of content provenance, the provision of content analytics, and the extensible metadata transformation mechanisms (built-in for MODS, eFRBR, OAIDC, MARCXML)..