The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Laboratory for Advanced Visualization & Applications (LAVA) was founded in January 1, 2014 by Jason Leigh- director Emeritus of the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The mission of LAVA is to conduct research and development in big data visualization techniques, and to apply these techniques in cutting edge domain science, engineering, and training applications. LAVA will be a core laboratory in the University of Hawai‘i system’s initiative to build a High Performance Computing and Informatics Institute to serve the data intensive science, engineering and training needs of UH’s 10 campuses (Mānoa, Hilo, West O‘ahu, Hawai‘i Community College, Honolulu Community College, Kapi‘olani Community College, Kaua‘i Community College, Leeward Community College, Maui Community College, Windward Community College).

LAVA is currently under construction and once completed will occupy 1200 square feet of space equipped with sufficient power to host compute clusters and cooling, as well as a 10 gigabit/s network link, and an ultra-high-resolution display wall capable of stereoscopic 3D imaging, touch interaction and 6 degree-of-freedom gestural interaction. The 10 gigabit/s network link will be connected to the campus backbone network, which provides LAVA with access to 10 gigabit/s links to both the US Mainland, and Australia. This access will increase in 2014 to 40 gigabit/s and 100 gigabits/s is planned for 2016.

LAVA logo

About the LAVA logo:

The LAVA logo comprises three streams of triangles that focus towards the point of a wave to resemble lava. The logo draws inspiration from a combination of data visualization iconography and polynesian tattoo art. In both data visualization and polynesian tattoo, the goal is storytelling. Triangles were the earliest means of depicting vector information in scientific data visualization- for example when representing the direction of wind, lava, or ocean currents.  In polynesian tattoo art, the triangle represents the shark’s tooth, a symbol of protection, strength and courage- which are often depicted as rows of stylized triangles such as the one used in the LAVA logo.