“Augmenting Humans and Enhancing Reality through Virtual and Augmented Environments”

Thu May 15, 2014 2:00 PM

Location: LTS Auditorium, 8080 Greenmead Drive

Amitabh Varshney
Director, Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS)
University of Maryland

We are on the cusp of an explosive growth in technology and applications for visualizing and augmenting the world around us for knowledge discovery, education, and entertainment driven by three significant trends: (i) advances in displays, including wearable head-mounted displays and projectors, (ii) novel interaction devices that leverage recent advances in gyroscopes, accelerometers, and infrared sensors such as Kinect and (iii) user-programmable many-core graphics hardware.

Virtual Reality (VR) experience is one in which a user is immersed in a computer-generated responsive world. Augmented reality (AR) facilitates enhancement of a real-world scene by superimposing a computer-generated image in a viewer's field of view. In this talk, I shall outline some of the challenges we currently face in enabling virtual and augmented reality for real-world applications as well as some promises that such environments hold for the future.

Amitabh Varshney is the Director of the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) and Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maryland.

His research focuses on exploring the applications of graphics and visualization in engineering, science, and medicine. He has worked on various research areas in graphics and visualization including visual saliency, summarization of large visual datasets, automatically generating multi-resolution hierarchies, procedural textures, and rendering with points, images, meshes, and volumes.

Varshney is currently exploring general-purpose high-performance parallel computing using clusters of CPUs and Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). He has served in various roles in the IEEE Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee, including as its Chair 2008 - 2012. He received the IEEE Visualization Technical Achievement Award in 2004.