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Thursday, February 14, 2008

[Gfx-cafe] GFX Cafe Seminar Friday Feb 15, 2008

GFX Café Seminar Friday Feb 15, 2008
12noon, ECE118

Food will be served

Virtual Environments: a multi-disciplinary research tool
by Betty Mohler, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics

Virtual environments (VEs) are computer-simulations of real or fictional
environments with which users can interact. Potential applications of VEs
include training, visualization, entertainment, design, rehabilitation,
education, and research. The ultimate goal of VEs is to provide the full
sensory experience of being in a simulated world. VEs are a very powerful
tool to answer scientific research questions from many disciplines. In
this talk, four specific projects will be described which use virtual
environments to investigate human behavior and also provide suggestions
to improve upon the current technology used for VEs.

First, an empirical study of space perception within immersive VEs will
be presented. Second, results which demonstrate the visual influence on
human locomotor behavior will be discussed. Third, a project that analyzes
the illusion of self-motion within a large-screen projection VE will be
presented. Finally, the implementation of fully articulated full-body
avatars within a VE in real time will be described. My research
vision is to use virtual environments as a multi-disciplinary tool to
provide scientists from various research backgrounds with a rich
collection of data on human behavior and interaction. My goal as a
scientist has always been to simultaneously investigate human perception
while gaining insight from the user in order to improve virtual
environments hardware and applications.

Betty Mohler received her PhD in computer science from the University of
Utah in 2007. She is now in her second year of a post-doctoral research
position at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in
Tübingen, Germany. Her main research interest is in understanding the
human observer towards the aim of improving virtual environment
applications. Her approach has always been a multi-disciplinary one and,
therefore, she currently collaborates with engineers, neuroscientists
and psychologists.

Pradeep Sen
Assistant Professor
Advanced Graphics Lab
Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering
University of New Mexico
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