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An Overview of StageTools:

The StageTools package was designed originally while I was at the Geometry Center, and I have continued to work on it here at Union. This is a set of UNIX-based tools that cooperate with a 3D graphics program called Geomview, developed by the staff at the Geometry Center. My package consists of two main components, CenterStage and StageManager. The former can be used to create objects for display by Geomview, while the latter manipulates these objects, providing a means of scripting sequences of actions that can be made into video or electronic-movie clips.

These programs are described more fully in the paper "The StageTools package for creating geometry for the web" [Skip]. That description will not be repeated here, and the reader is assumed to be familiar with its content. More technical information is available on the StageTools web site [skip]. Downloading instructions and tutorials also are included there. Materials produced by StageTools appear on the artwork page [Link].

StageTools was indispensable to most of the electronic projects that I have worked on ([19], [5], [9], [6], [21], [8], [4]). All the images presented in the mathematical artwork section were generated using StageTools, except where noted. StageTools has been used by a number of other researchers either to disseminate their results, or to do the research itself. These include Tom Banchoff and his students at Brown University [4], Ockle Johnson at Keene State College, Mike Gage at the University of Rochester, Todd Drumm of Swarthmore College and Jonathan Poritz at Georgetown University [38], Nina Amenta at the University of Texas [1], and Rick Wicklin and Jésus De Loera at the Geometry Center [27]. In addition, it has been used by several thesis students here at Union, e.g. [42], and by student assistants at the Geometry Center [28], [3941].

The StageTools suite is distributed from our math department web server, so it is available to scientists around the world. (The old distribution site at the Geometry Center now redirects access directly to our site.) The web logs indicate that it has had a download rate of about 48 copies per month over the the last year. Most of these probably do not result in actual users of the programs, but even with only two or three new users a month, this still means some 180 installations over the five years that it has been available. A quick glance through the logs reveals downloads from Germany, Japan, France, England, Italy, and other foreign countries in addition to domestic downloads. It is difficult to estimate the total usage of these programs, since most of its use goes unknown by me, and authors rarely credit the software they use in a formal way. For example, how often do researchers cite Mathematica when they use it to assist their work?

[HOME] Davide P. Cervone's web pages
Created: 08 Sep 2001
Last modified: 07 Jan 2001 05:47:11
Comments to: dpvc@union.edu
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