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Stepping Outside the CAVE: Developments in Virtual Reality Technology for 3D Data Exploration

February 14, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Description: Virtual Reality (VR) has evolved from an expensive and finicky niche technology only available at well-funded large institutions, into a practical consumer product with tremendous research potential. While current-generation VR devices are primarily intended for the video gaming market, their use is not limited to gaming and has tremendous potential for researchers. The VR Research Initiative at UC Davis DataLab is translating visualization technology initially created for the UC Davis W.M. Keck Center for Active Visualization in the Earth Sciences (KeckCAVES), to function with modern commodity VR devices. By developing and supporting open-source software for gaming VR headsets, DataLab seeks to promote equitable access to emerging technologies and enable diverse communities of researchers and the public to explore 3D data.

In this session, we will discuss the fundamental principles and reasons why VR is highly effective for the analysis of large and complex three-dimensional data. We will introduce several concrete VR applications based on those principles that are being developed at UC Davis DataLab, and will describe how participants can build their own VR systems, able to run DataLab’s VR applications, at their own institutions. This workshop is being offered in conjunction with UC Love Data Week 2023 (https://uc-love-data-week.github.io/).

Learning Objectives

  • By the end of this session participants will be able to:
  • – Describe how current-generation virtual reality (VR) technology such as VR headsets meant for gaming can effectively be used for scientific data analysis.
  • – Discuss why VR is useful for analysis of data, specifically complex and large three-dimensional data.
  • – Identify where to go to learn more about setting up their own VR systems using the latest VR technologies for research.


Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this workshop.

Software: None

Instructor: Oliver Kreylos

Instructor Bio: Oliver Kreylos received his PhD in computer science from the University of California, Davis, in 2003. Oliver’s main research area is interactive data analysis using the medium of virtual reality (VR). Oliver has created and operates Vroom!, DataLab’s VR laboratory. Oliver has more than 30 years of experience in commercial and academic software development and is the author of several large open-source software packages, including the Vrui VR development toolkit and the Augmented Reality (AR) Sandbox.

Location: Zoom. Click link below to register for this workshop.

Registration: https://registration.genomecenter.ucdavis.edu/events/SteppingOutsidetheCAVEVirtualReality/register/

Cost: Free of charge.


February 14, 2023
10:00 am - 11:00 am
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