Just add some butter

You can’t just live on potatoes and lobsters forever,” Richard Kurial, Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of PEI. “You can’t live in isolation. One of the things to bring to the table is a smart, educated population.”

And that’s what the university in the tiniest province in Canada is going to do. UPEI’s Institute for Interdisciplinary Research in Culture, Multimedia, Technology and Cognition will create a digital library of Maritime cultural artifacts from PEI and New Brunswick. It will be powered by a custom-built IBM eServer Bladecenter – and $1.3 million in funding.

Cultural artifacts include literature, images, audio and video. Researchers will use the archive to produce multimedia learning environments and courseware. Then they’ll conduct studies on their learning effectiveness, monitoring “behavioural patterns” such as “brain waves, heart beat [and] eye motion”. Researchers will then take this information to generate better learning environments, and how to adapt them to unique cultures. I wish them luck.