For decades, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies have remained absent from science and engineering workflows due to the custom-built nature of the hardware and software and often highly task-specific design. In addition to high cost, these characteristics create a critical entry barrier for most users to invest in VR and AR applications. Recent developments in both VR and AR technologies in the commercial sector have resulted in the availability of affordable consumer-grade and reliable VR and AR hardware and software tools. However, significant research is needed to adapt VR and AR technology use for data-intensive scientific and engineering applications such as network modeling research, human sciences research, and visualization of complex simulated environments. Our VR and AR applications provide examples of how scientists and engineers can use advanced visualization technologies to perform data analysis and assessment, thus transforming scientific discovery.
Keywords: Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Immersive Visualization
Simon Su (Ph.D., Houston, 2001) is a Computer Scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the High Performance Computing and Visualization Group. His research efforts have focused on Dynamic Visual Computing Framework for Data Intense Analytics to enable immersive and non-immersive visual analytics of heterogeneous data. He is responsible for research and development of data visualization and 3D interaction using advanced immersive and interactive technologies. Much of Dr. Su’s work supports the analysis and assessment of data generated by users using High Performance Computing resources, requiring him to collaborate closely with academic and government research partners. More recently, Dr. Su’s work has evolved to focus on Big Data Immersive Analytics to support visualization and collaborative interaction of large scientific simulation. Additionally, Dr. Su is involved in research of using the Immersive Analytics to support other areas of data visualization within NIST. Dr. Su earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Houston (2001).