The University Record, August 19, 1998

Control room at Crisler will offer opportunity for students

By Joanne Nesbit
News and Information Services

Lipson at the Crisler Production CenterIt's more than a "gee whiz." It's a WOW! That's the general description of the new electronics installed at Michigan Stadium and Crisler Arena. The same description is applicable to the Production Center housed at Crisler that controls the giant television screens at both venues.

The center offers U-M students work in a professional facility with hands-on opportunities in both technical aspects and on-air or screen.

This is made possible through a control room located next to the studio. The all-digital equipment, complete with slow-motion and high-definition capabilities, supplies video and audio to both Crisler Arena and Michigan Stadium via cameras within the venues (using seven locations in the football stadium) or from network feeds.

The electronics-including four new video boards each 8' by 10' in Crisler Arena, the 40' by 78' scoreboards with video screens in Michigan Stadium, 60 television monitors installed in the concourse and concession stands in the Stadium, a revamped stadium sound system utilizing a Bose system "second to none," and the Production Center-were funded by the Athletic Department at a cost of $7.9 million.

 First in the World

 U-M football fans will be the first in the world to participate in a revolutionary sports experience. This on-line venture features audio, video and game statistic highlights via the Web site at http://www.goblue.umich. edu to allow users who log on to choose to watch highlights from the entire game, focus on scoring plays, review the performance of a given player, or replay the game-winning drive.

The software (Praja) to make all this happen was developed by a present and a former U-M professor. C.K. Prahalad serves as the chairman of the board of directors of the company and is also its co-founder. He is the Harvey C. Fruehauf Professor of Business Administration, the author of many articles and books, and is widely acclaimed for his contributions to strategic thinking. Ramesh Jain, who serves as president and chief executive officer of Praja, was a professor of electrical engineering and computer science and was the founding director of the U-M's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.