EVL Announces New Faculty Member: Angus Forbes
Angus Forbes, PhD, has joined the faculty of the Computer Science Department and the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) as an assistant professor. He also has a courtesy appointment in the UIC College of Architecture, Design and the Arts. In the coming academic year, Angus will teach computer graphics and visualization classes, pursue his research interests, and work with his students on several newly funded projects. In addition, he continues to be involved with professional societies; he is currently chair of the IEEE Visualization Arts Program (VISAP) 2014, and is a recurring guest editor for Leonardo, the journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology.
Angus comes to EVL from the University of Arizona, where he was an assistant professor in the School of Information: Science, Technology, and Arts, focusing on topics in information visualization and interactive multimedia. At UC Santa Barbara, where he earned his PhD from the Media Arts & Technology program, his research focused on data visualization and human-computer interaction using a variety of display systems, from mobile devices to the AlloSphere, a 3-story cube immersive virtual environment. His artwork, performances, and multimedia installations have been shown at festivals, conferences, and galleries throughout the world, including the Beall Center for Arts+Technology in Irvine, California, the eARTS new media festival in Shanghai, China, and the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC.
“Angus’ interests in applying computer science and media arts to domain science problems make him a perfect fit for EVL’s interdisciplinary, collaborative culture,” says EVL director Maxine Brown, “and we are very excited to have him join the ‘family’.”
The feeling is mutual, and Angus welcomes the opportunity to be part of EVL’s rich legacy of being on the bleeding-edge of real-time, interactive, interdisciplinary visualization and collaboration research and education. “I believe that innovative interaction and visualization tools and techniques will be integral to helping solve ‘big data’ problems for a variety of scientific domains,” he explains. “I look forward to increasing the role of media arts within the computer science and art communities, and will encourage EVL students to become successful, active members of these communities.”
Interested in both the technical and the aesthetic, Angus has already started the EVL Creative Coding Research Group, which emphasizes visual design issues related to software engineering concepts and applications. “Software is increasingly interactive, distributed, and visually sophisticated, and I want students to be aware of the many issues above and beyond ‘getting the code to work,’” Angus explains. “One of the primary challenges of a media arts practitioner, in whatever form the practice takes, is the need to solve complex engineering problems while simultaneously maintaining an awareness of design considerations and cultural impact.” He encourages students to think about what visualization and interaction mean in the context of complex datasets and novel interpretations and applications of that data.
At UIC, Angus looks forward to furthering his research in information and data visualization by working with faculty members and students, particularly from the fields of cognitive science, human-computer interaction, machine learning, and computer graphics, as well as from the many domain sciences for which visualization systems are created.
For a list of his research, publications and art projects, see: angusforbes.com
Date: August 28, 2014