Past Projects

SIMPLE: 2013 - 2018

This project is the successor to the ENDURANCE project, which is exploring the ecosystems beneath and within the Antarctic ice shelves as a precursor to the search for life on icy worlds such as Europa.

Cyber Commons: 2008 - 2018

A Cyber-Commons is a technology-enhanced meeting room on a university campus that supports local and distance col­labor­ation and promotes group-oriented problem solving. It is a next-gener­ation computer science resource that relies upon ad­vanced networking and multiple high-definition (HD) displays to trans­form the tradi­tional computer lab/class­room filled with terminals into a work environ­ment that facil­itates and encour­ages group collaboration.

HANDS: 2009 - 2015

This project is a collaboration between the College of Nursing and the College of Engineering at UIC to improve the HANDS framework for hand-offs between nurses.

Research, Analysis, and Databasing of Emerging High Power Directed Energy Technologies: 2009 - 2015

This project applies a multidisciplinary approach to the assessment of medical devices and laboratory equipment that utilize directed energy.

Adler Planetarium's Space Visualization Lab: 2006 - 2014

EVL has been working with the Adler Planetarium for several years to deploy EVL's advanced visualization display tech­nologies and appli­cations into a museum setting. This includes a pro­jection-based 3D display system providing viewing of stereo photo­graphs from the surface of Mars, and a tiled LCD display showing high reso­lution imagery from the Hubble Space Tele­scope.

Sci-Fi Fridays: 2011 - 2013

In the fall of 2011 evl started showing classic science fiction films and TV series and their different visions of the future in the evl Cyber-Commons and discuss how views of the future, including modern ones, are influenced by current social and technological trends.

OmegaDesk: 2008 - 2012

This project prototypes the work desk of the future combining stereoscopic visuals, touch, and gestural interaction.

LifeLike: 2007 - 2012

LifeLike investigates, develops and evaluates lifelike, natural com­puter interfaces that support realistic spoken dialog and non-verbal cues.

ENDURANCE: 2007 - 2011

ENDURANCE is an autonomous under water vehicle capa­ble of generating for the first time, 3-dimensional bio and geo­chemical data­sets in the ex­treme environ­ment of a perennially ice-covered Antarctic dry valley lake. At EVL we are providing visual­ization support to help plan and execute the mis­sions, as well as inter­actively visualize the resulting data.

Rising Tides: 2009 - 2011

Thus project, in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota, uses EVL's TacTile multitouch display, to allow visitors to collaboratively explore the effect of sea-level rise on Baltimore.

TacTile: 2008 - 2011

TacTile is a 1080p resolution multi-touch LCD display table designed for the visual exporation of scientific datasets. With its HD resolution, it is suitable for both scientific ap­pli­ca­tions as well as museum and informal education ap­pli­ca­tions. By allowing up to 100 simul­tane­ous touches this table format display encourages group inter­action.

Disaster Preparedness Training: 2009 - 2010

This project, in collaboration with the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and funded by the State of Illinois, involves creating an online videogame to teach middle-school children about earth­quake prepar­edness. The game is available to play here

CoreWall: 2004 - 2009

The CoreWall Suite is a real-time stratigraphic cor­rela­tion, core descrip­tion and data visuali­zation system used by the marine, terres­trial and Antarctic science com­munities. It has been deployed twice in Antarctica as part of ANDRILL, and is currently installed on the JOIDES Resolution drill ship.

LambdaVision: 2004 - 2009

LambdaVision is an ultra-high-resolution visual­ization and net­working instrument de­signed to support collabor­ation among co-located and re­mote experts requiring inter­active ultra-high-resolution imagery. It is made up of 55 LCD tiles and was the first 100 megapixel display built.

Rain Table: 2006 - 2009

Rain Table is an interactive museum exhibit developed by EVL, the University of Minnesota, and the Science Museum of Minnesota. It allows museum visitors to generate rainfall on top of maps on a large high-reso­lution digital table and then watch as the rain flows down moun­tains and across fields, cuts channels through slopes and plains, and floods streams and rivers. Rain Table was shown in the Field Museum as part of the travelling water exhibit.

LambdaTable: 2004 - 2009

The LambdaTable is a high-resolution (24 megapixel) tiled LCD tabletop display con­nected to high-bandwidth optical networks that supports interactive group-based visual­ization of ultra high-reso­lution data. A Lambda­Table is currently running our Rain Table software at the Field Museum in Chicago as part of the Water exhibit, and will be travelling the country as part of that exhibit.

GeoWall 2: 2002 - 2009

Following on from the success of the GeoWall in viewing 3D imagery, the GeoWall 2 was designed to give Geoscientists display to view very high resolution 2D imagery by using a tiled array of LCD monitors to give almost 30 megapixels of resolution. This project was a stepping stone to the building of EVL's 100 megapixel LambdaVision display. One of EVL's GeoWall 2s was used in January 2009 to help plan security for the Obama innauguration.

Visualization of 3D Forces - 2007

In collaboration with the departments of Mechanical Engineering, Physics, and the Lear­ning Sciences Re­search Insti­tute at UIC, this work focuses on using visual­ization to improve under­graduate learning of body forces. These forces are typically illustrated in 2D tex­tbook drawings; being able to view and inter­act with 3D diagrams of these forces may enhance learning.

GeoWall: 2001 - 2006

A combination of new projection technology, fast graphics cards, and inexpensive computers have made it possible to provide a stereo projection system that is much more affordable than previous commercial solu­tions. The Geo­Wall project makes use of these projec­tion systems to visualize structure and dynamics of the Earth in stereo to aid the understanding of spatial relation­ships. With over 500 deployed, in the mid 90s 1/3 of all non-major under­graduate Earth Science students in the US used a Geo­Wall as part of their studies.

ImmersaDesk 4: 2005 - 2007

The ImmersaDesk 4 is a desktop-based high resolution passive stereo display which gives 4-megapixels of resolution per eye with optional head tracking. It was used by solar physicists at the Naval Research Labor­atory to view stereo­scopic movies of the sun as part of NASA's STEREO project.

Cranial Implant Design: 2001 - 2006

EVL worked with UIC's Virtual Reality in Medicine Laboratory and Department of Neuro­surgery to develop a collaborative aug­mented reality environment with haptic feed­back using our PARIS device to provide a precise method to construct and revise pre-surgical cranial im­plant designs.

Walkabout: 2002 - 2004

Walkabout was software written for the Geo­Wall Consortium that allows a user to load in geo-referenced terrains to walk on from a first-person perspective, and then interactively drape various tex­tures over those landscapes.

CAVERN: 1998 - 2004

Originally formed to develop solutions for the CAVE Research Network, the CAVERN group at EVL now focuses on devel­oping hardware and software for advanced visualization dis­plays for scientific research, and on devel­oping the next generation net­working capability needed to link them together for colla­borative work.

Continuum: 2000 - 2003

The Continuum centered around the concept of distributed, collaborative, "amplified work envi­ron­ments" where col­laborators gather to solve problems assisted by advanced col­labora­tion, com­putation and visual­ization tech­nologies in­clu­ding interactive stereo­scopic computer graphics, multi-site audio / video con­fer­encing, and high resolution tiled graphics displays. Backing these technologies are clusters of PCs connected over extremely highspeed gigabit networks.

WiggleView: 2002 - 2003

Wiggleview was a tool developed to help visualize seismic data maintained by IRIS (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seis­mology) at the Data Management Center (DMC) in Seattle, Washington.

Virtual Harlem: 1999 - 2003

Virtual Harlem was a colaboration between Bryan Carter at Central Missouri State Univer­sity and EVL to create a virtual repre­senta­tion of Harlem New York in the 1920s-30s in the CAVE to help students better understand the Harlem Renaissance. It was used as a teaching tool in several courses at UIC and was shown on a GeoWall at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry in 2003.

Virtual Ambients: 1999 - 2002

Virtual Ambients are worlds which help us investigate the effective­ness of virtual envi­ron­ments as simulated data collection environ­ments for children engaged in inquiry-based science learning activities. VR can provide access to simulated environ­ments which might otherwise be impossible to visit in person, while still pro­viding experiences analo­gous to those undertaken by a scientist in real experimental work. Several of these worlds were used by students at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School in Oark Park, IL.

The PARIS: 1998 - 2002

In 1998 EVL began developing the PARIS (Personal Augmented Reality Immersive System) system - a device similar to the ImmersaDesk but using a half-silvered mirror to allow the user's hands to share space with virtual objects, and a co-located haptic device allowing the user to touch the virtual objects.

Round Earth Project: 1997 - 2001

The Round Earth Project investigated how VR could be used to help teach concepts that are counter-intuitive to a learner's currently held mental model; VR can provide an alternative cognitive starting point that does not carry the baggage of past experiences. In particular, we are comparing two strategies for using virtual reality to teach children that the Earth is round when their everyday experience tells them that it is flat. We conducted several studies using the Round Earth environment at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School in Oak Park, IL.

Las Meninas: 1996 - 1997

"Las Meninas" the painting raises several questions about the nature of representation, seeing, power, and metaphysics. Our presen­tation of "Las Meninas" in virtual reality looks at these questions from different perspec­tives. What happens, for example, when two dimen­sional representation extends into a three dimensional world, and how does it affect perception? Is the viewer able to solve the enigmas in the painting when he/she is able to explore the hidden space through virtual reality, or are further questions raised?

NICE: 1995 - 1999

NICE was a project that applied virtual reality to the creation of a family of educational environ­ments for young users. Our approach was based on con­struction­ism, where real and synthetic users, motivated by an underlying narrative, build persis­ting virtual worlds through collabo­ration. NICE was an enhancement of the collabo­rative infra­structure written for CALVIN which allowed us to have a 17-way VR col­labo­ration across three continents at Super­com­puting 97.

CALVIN: 1994 - 1996

CALVIN was an experiment at EVL to create a persistent virtual environment for the CAVE enabling multiple trans­continentally-situated participants to apply collaborative Virtual Reality over high-speed and high-band­width net­works con­nected to hetero­geneous super­com­puting resour­ces and large data stores. This work was demonstrated transcontinentally at Super­computing '95.

SANDBOX - 1994

The SANDBOX was a virtual reality tool written for the CAVE allowing an investigator to visualize the contents of NASA's FIFE scientific database while retrieving data. As the data in these databases was typically collected through exper­imentation, an investigator can use the SANDBOX to retrieve data from the database by placing virtual instruments into a virtual re­enact­ment of the original experiment. This work was demonstrated at SIGGRAPH '94.

CASPER - 1992

I wrote the CASPER system in the Department of Computer Science at Wayne State Univer­sity. The goal was to create a central compu­terised infor­mation resource for the students that would contain all of the important infor­mation the students would need, and allow the students to cross-reference that infor­mation.