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CHCI faculty members made a splash in Vancouver at the The 45th International Conference & Exhibition On Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, also known as SIGGRAPH. As new innovations in virtual and augmented reality continue to percolate across the industry, Hokies are at the forefront!

Research Assistant Professor in Immersive Environments Daniel Pillis was invited to present as part of a Diversity and Inclusion Summit held during the opening day of SIGGRAPH 2018. As part of a panel of artists and industry professionals, Prof. Pillis discussed the complexities of identity politics and its relationship to computer graphics. Sponsored by Activision, the ACM, and SIGGRAPH, the summit featured multiple panels including representatives from Pixar, Weta Digital, MIT and a variety of independent artists. In collaboration with the Diversity and Inclusion Chairman, Tony Baylis, Prof. Pillis founded a group, “Others in Computer Graphics”, which held its first “Birds of a Feather” (BOF) event during Siggraph 2018.

This years SIGGRAPH theme, “Generations” was highlighted by the 50th anniversary of the invention of the first computer generated virtual reality head mounted display. As part of an event commemorating this historic invention, the “father” of computer graphics, Dr. Ivan Sutherland, was reunited with the team that created the historic head mounted display at Harvard in 1968, which gave viewers their first glimpse into a world augmented by computer graphics. Dr. Sutherland acted as Prof. Pillis’s mentor during graduate school at Carnegie Mellon, where they collaborated on a virtual reality project in 2013. Pillis also exhibited a digital animation, "The Blue Plate: History of Computer Graphics" as part of the Art Gallery in an exhibit “Origins and Journeys”. The piece explores the early artifacts of computer graphics research in a digital ecosystem where they can be viewed as artificial forms of human civilization.

Dr. Nicholas Polys from Advanced Research Computing and Computer Science presented a new crop of Virginia Tech research and broader impacts at several Birds-Of-a-Feather sessions in the SIGGRAPH Theater. He featured the many applications of The Visionarium Lab in the Immersive Visualization for Research, Science, Art BOF and 3D Blacksburg in the Cartographic BOF. The power of Web3D and Virginia Tech technologies was also showcased in the Medical BOF , the WebVR evolution BOF, and the Design, Printing, and Scanning BOF . Dr. Polys is an ACM Member and on the SIGGRAPH Special Conferences Committee.

Dr. Polys’s SIGGRAPH 2018 presentations are available here:

The latest crop of VT Visionarium videos is online at: