Thursday, October 21st, AIMS faculty and students were honored to present their work to His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama during his visit to Oxford. In an invitation-only event that morning, in Hall Auditorium, Glenn Platt (Co-Director of AIMS), Eric Hodgson (Director of the Smale Visualization Center), and Noah Bornstein (AIMS student and recent graduate) presented three different projects AIMS has been working on with the Institute for Buddhist Dialectics (the University of the Central Tibetan Adminstration).
The first of these projects is an online Tibetan Language tool. This site provides a broad introduction to Tibetan culture and includes a variety of Tibetan resources (including a link to His Holiness’ Twitter account, which we showed during our presentation ). But the site’s main function is to teach the basics of the Tibetan language. The second project is to assist in the digitization of archived documents. The AIMS students developed best practices for scanning and digitizing documents. They also reached out to a Miami Alum, Mark Nelson, who is working on the Google Books project and was able to get advice and guidance from the experts at Google. Lastly, our Smale Visualization Center Director, Eric Hodgson, presented a 3D Virtual Reality Mandala to His Holiness. The mandala was created by Eric, Rose Marshack (Illinois State University), Austin Lewis (ISU), and students from Eric’s IMS course. The Dalai Lama moved around the mandala for a bit and seemed quite taken with the experience.
These three projects all share the common purpose of the preservation and communication of Tibetan culture across the globe. These projects build on Miami University’s semester study experience in Dharamsala. AIMS plans to continue working on these projects and furthering our relationship with the Institute for Buddhist Dialectics, the Central Tibetan Administration, and our colleagues and friends who have helped make this project a success.