Welcome to the Visualist. The Internet is already full of technology-oriented blogs that vary in sophistication from angry rants about consumer electronics to insightful commentary about the ongoing technology dialog. So, why another blog? I work in an area known by a variety of names including computer vision, visualization, human-computer interaction, and computer graphics. Surprisingly, other than academic journals, there is very little generally available that covers these fields. It is also something I am really passionate about. There are plenty of exciting, innovative, and surprisingly impactful developments in the world of visualization and interactive graphics that fly under the radar. Hopefully this blog can generate a new dialogue on these topics that will bring them into more mainstream banter.
A quick bit about my background in this field…I attended the University of Utah (a computer graphics powerhouse) in the early nineties, during the “Virtual Reality” revolution that was being introduced by the likes of Jaron Lanier , artists like Graham Smith and Bill Buxton, and embraced by pop culture writers/creatives like William Gibson, and even commercialized by companies like Polhemus. As an undergraduate, I was exposed to the ongoing research at Utah in computer vision and graphics. It was an exciting time. I convinced some of the faculty to give up equipment and founded the “Student Virtual Reality Research Group”. Later, the seeds planted at Utah grew into a research program of my own at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where I focused on computer vision. The areas of visualization and computer vision were the key drivers of my work at University of Kentucky where as a professor I focused on the technical barriers that have kept the far-reaching vision of VR from realizing broad impact. I co-founded the Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments and subsequently started Mersive to transform this work into commercial products.
Outside of academia and loose in the world as a company CTO nowadays, I’m lucky enough to be exposed to many exciting, interesting people at the worlds top universities and the companies and get glimpses of things they are developing generating lots of topics to blog about, such as advanced display systems, immersive and interactive computational environments, exciting new visualization products, and technology developments and trends.
If you are interested in the social impact of visualization, the underlying technical drivers, the art, history, science…well just about everything related to visual computing and computational displays, please read and comment often.