Audio Visual Services

Audio Visual Services' mission is to provide presentation technology support for Institute activities. Fulfillment of this goal brings the department to the heart of the Institute's educational endeavors. Departmental technical staff provide daily service to faculty, students, and staff in classrooms, lecture halls, and performance spaces, while administrative and support staff process hundreds of orders for service weekly. More than 13,100 events were supported during the 2002–2003 year. Another key area of departmental activity relates to the development, installation, and maintenance of presentation technology systems in classrooms, lecture halls, meeting rooms, and other Institute gathering spaces. Major accomplishments during the past year in these areas of service are presented below.

Event Production and Support

Support for classes and events related to the Institute's educational mission comprise approximately 65 percent of the departmental activities. Technicians were assigned on a daily basis in all the major lecture halls and many classrooms to provide equipment and technical support. This service created a collaborative environment between departmental staff, faculty, and students to meet the communication demands of the curriculum. The balance of departmental event support activity relates to meetings, conferences, and special events. Highlights from the past year include the following:

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Presentation Technology Installation Projects

The area of presentation system installation continues to be a growing business for the department. These services include planning, equipment procurement, site coordination, installation management, end-user training, and service agreements to assure trouble-free operation. The following systems were completed during the past year:

Department staff members were deeply involved in the Department of Facilities-managed renovation of five Building 1 classrooms and 5-216. Working with an area audio-visual systems integrator, the classrooms were renovated during the summer of 2002 in time for classes in September 2002.

Projects begun in FY2002 that will be complete in FY2003 include the complete replacement of the sound system in the Faculty Club, a computer/video presentation system in 4-270 for the Registrar's Office, installation of plasma screens in three Building 4 Music Program classrooms, the replacement of a 26-year-old projection screen in 10-250, the addition of two computer/video projectors in 10-250 for side screen projection, a presentation and sound system in the Bush Room (10-105) for the Alumni Association, a projection system for the Marlar Lounge, and a projection system in an Athena classroom for Information Systems.

Department staff members are participating in the planning and execution of presentation systems for the Stata Center and the brain and cognitive sciences project.

Service Agreements for Presentation Technology Systems

The development of service agreements for maintenance on presentation systems continues to grow as more classrooms and departmental conference rooms are equipped with systems. This program has been expanded to include the recently renovated classroom spaces managed by the Registrar's Office and many other departments. Audio Visual Services will provide agreements for any department whose installations need attention.

Staff Highlights

A high honor was bestowed on Gladys Overshown in October. She was awarded an Institute "Serving the Customer" award in recognition of her level of commitment and service to the Institute. In addition, the technician staff was awarded a Team-Based award through the Enterprise Services division in May 2003.

A new technician was added in May, filling a vacancy created in the winter. This staff member has increased capabilities and experience in the area of audio recording and engineering.

Continuing Education

An MIT ombudsman presented a communications workshop for all staff to address the wide range of communication issues facing the department. The areas covered included communicating in a multicultural environment, how to deal with challenging customers, sexual harassment issues, and tips on how to resolve interdepartmental communication challenges.

Work was completed to upgrade the department's web site, allowing easier navigation and operation for users. The site contains links to the customer survey, order form, price list, policies, and links to other MIT service providers with whom we collaborate.

Louis W. Graham, Jr.

More information about Audio Visual Services can be found online at


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