Interdisciplinary Computer Visualization: Recent Tools, Experiments,

July 24, 2007
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Halligan 111A
Speaker: Daniel Keefe, Brown University
Host: Diane Souvaine


Visualization using computers is fundamental to understanding many complex phenomena, from the organization and function of neural fibers in the brain to the aerodynamic mechanisms bats use to fly. In this talk, I will describe my research, which focuses on both the computational challenges in exploring complex data and on understanding the human response to computer-based visualization. Virtual reality (VR) is one of the most promising, but at the same time challenging, mediums for visualization. I will describe some of the unique design challenges posed by VR and discuss new design tools for working collaboratively with illustrators, designers, and other artists to create multi-variate, VR visualizations. I will present results from this work that describe the aerodynamic forces and anatomical structure of bats in flight. I will also present results from a user study of precise 3D interaction in VR that follows from this work. Analysis of these results leads to a new model that extends Accot and Zhai's Steering Law to describe user performance in precise VR interactions. Finally, I will describe a current project in collaboration with biologists studying the evolution of locomotion in several animal species. Data for these investigations has been collected using a new technique, CTX imaging, which combines high-speed X-Ray movies with volumetric data collected from CT scans. I will describe the significant computational challenges in automating this imaging technique as well as the visual challenges that exist in presenting and interpreting this style of 3D motion data. Problems, such as this, that contain significant computational and visual challenges exemplify my research interests.


Daniel Keefe is a postdoctoral researcher in the Visualization Research Lab at Brown University, where he received the Ph.D. in computer science in 2007 and the masters of computer science in 2001. Before Brown, he received the bachelor of science in computer engineering from Tufts University with summa cum laude honors. His research interests include visual computing and interactive visualization. In addition to his computer science research, Keefe has also published in the areas of art and visual studies. He has shown work in several art exhibitions and was introduced as an emerging artist at SIGGRAPH 2006.