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Work in progress, © Courtney Brake, 2019

Visualization of bacterial interactions

Artists can play key roles in facilitating new perspectives for scientists. Complex biological systems often produce colors, shapes, and patterns of movement. These visual cues highlight the beauty of living systems and suggest interactions among organisms, cells, or molecules. Our collaboration focuses on patterns that we observe when different species of bacteria compete with each other.  We use photography and time-lapse imaging to capture these dynamic interactions. For example, our work investigates how antibiotics produced by one species of bacteria cause a population of competitor bacteria to change the way it grows and moves. These changing patterns generate new questions that help us study and understand the biological basis of competition between species. By observing bacterial interactions, artists can stimulate new ideas to explore in a scientific framework. This is a work in progress among Dr. Paul Straight, Associate Professor, Biochemistry and Biophysics; Yongjin Liu, Ph.D. candidate, Biochemistry and Biophysics; Courtney Brake, MFA candidate, Department of Visualization; and Carol LaFayette, Harold L. Adams Interdisciplinary Professor in Visualization and Director, IAC.




Upwell: Performative Immersion 

Upwell is a mixed reality performance that was created from an ongoing collaboration between the Department of Visualization and the Dance Program. Upwell allows audience members to explore the virtual and physical worlds with two dancers. The environment provokes the feeling of being underwater. A dancer with a conventional VR head-mounted display and wearable controllers can navigate around a room scale virtual reality setup and interact with dynamic visual and sound elements. Since the dancer wears custom-made wearable controllers on the palms, she can make intricate gestures to develop direct relationships with bioluminescent particles in the virtual water. The other dancer only interacts with the visuals created by the VR dancer without realizing the virtual world. Read more.




FOVI 3D: light field displays 

A light-field display projects 3D imagery visible to the unaided eye (without glasses or head tracking) and allows for perspectival-correct visualization. Light-field displays are no longer a science fiction concept — a few companies are producing impressive prototypes. For the past 15 years, Thomas Burnett, now FOVI3D CTO, has been developing static and dynamic light-field display solutions. Two former Visualization graduates are working with him to develop this new technology at FOVI3D.

Click here to view presentations slides.




InNervate AR: Creative Anatomy Collective  

An ongoing collaboration between Visualization and Anatomy students dynamically interacts with canine anatomy using Augmented Reality. Created by Margaret Cook, graduate student in the Visualization department, InNervate AR is a mobile application for undergraduate canine anatomy education. Margaret and her research team aim to provide an engaging way for anatomy students to dynamically interact with anatomical content, and as a result, feel more confident in their clinical and critical thinking skills. Dr. Jinsil Hwaryoung Seo, Austin Payne and Michael Bruner of the Visualization department in the College of Architecture, and Dr. Michelle Pine of the Veterinary Integrative Biosciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences initiated this collaboration.

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IAC Partners with Texas Target Communities to Engage Youth in Initiatives

Three teenage residents of Liberty County, Texas are posting ideas about improving their home county in a multimedia blog, “Trinity Time Hop,” one of a set of ongoing Texas Target Communities initiatives aimed at helping residents of the rural area northeast of Houston shape their futures. Continue Reading.