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ACM TechNews

Computer Visualizations Bring New Perspective to Science


inside the YURT VR room

Ben Knorlein uses Brown University's YURT virtual reality theater to help scientists immerse themselves in three-dimensional visualizations of their data.

Credit: Brown University

Researchers at Brown University say they have used data gathered from three-dimensional (3-D) microscopy instruments to create an immersive visualization where scientists could view inside a single drop of water to examine plankton and how they function within their environment. Brown University's Benjamin Knorlein says he made the experience available via systems ranging from virtual reality (VR) goggles to Brown's YURT theater.

"Right now virtual reality has a great interest for society, but a lot of people don't really see the potential it can have for science," says Knorlein, who works in Brown's Center for Computation and Visualization, where he helps convert research data into VR. "A lot of the data people are looking at are also inherently three-dimensional," he says.

Knorlein recently worked with another Brown professor to unveil new and improved software for capturing uniquely informative 3-D movies of the motion of animal muscles and bones.

From Brown University
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