Module Use and Impact The Electronics and Computer Module provides the majority of hardware and software support for research computers of NEI-funded investigators. Investigators in the Core Center receive minimal support for their research computers through the University of Michigan Medical Center for Information Technology (MCIT), and this is limited to connectivity, e-mail, security issues, Microsoft Office software, and the Windows XP operating system. Windows 7 and PC computer hardware and software problems and upgrades are not supported. Furthermore, MCIT does not support Macintosh hardware and software or Linux-based systems and software. The Electronics and Computer Module facilitates the research of NEI-funded investigators by solving research computer problems, including hardware and software upgrades as well as the design and installation of data backup systems. The Module also supports more than 15 PC and Macintosh computers that are integral to the instruments overseen by the Molecular Biology Module and Morphology and Imaging Module. A second function of the Electronics and Computer Module is to provide investigators assistance with the design, construction, testing, calibration, repair, and maintenance of electronic devices and computer interfaces. Integrating the processes of stimulus control, data acquisition, and response analysis is critical to electrophysiological studies of the visual system. With the existence of the Electronics and Computer Module, generating the appropriate stimulus, recording and amplifying the desired signal, digitizing and sorting this signal, extracting the salient parameters and finally modeling the results, is not limited to what can be done with commercially available equipment. Examples of projects and unique instruments the Electronics and Computer Module constructs include software-based stimulus controls to electromechanical devices such as shutters and servo-motors, and signal processors to enhance signal-to-noise ratios. Other Module functions that support the research of limited as well as more extensive users include construction of special pieces of electrical equipment and emergency repairs of commercial electronic and electromechanical devices. This latter function prevents investigators from having to interrupt work while waiting long periods for repairs. Similarly, the Electronics and Computer Module also ensures that instruments and computers in the Molecular Biology Module are repaired quickly with minimal downtime.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZEY1)
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University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor
United States
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