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CAPSTONE SESSION

Friday, October 23, 1998, 1:45 - 3:45pm
Imperial IV & V

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Draw on the Wall

Speaker: Turner Whitted, Microsoft Research

Graphics workstations provide us a desktop window into large scale observations or complex simulations. The increasing speed of these visualization engines gives us the flexibility to view our data in a manner that is both appealing and instructive. While we are still not absolutely sure how best to present views of data to users, the price and performance of our desktop technology is now less of a limitation than our own imaginations.

What will new presentation and interaction technology do for visualization applications? Today, the most exciting development in interactive technology is the un-tethering of users from their desktops. We can imagine scientific, engineering, and business users with thoughtful looks on their faces, surrounded by their data as they wander through their offices and hallways, talking to the applications, listening to the results, and drawing on the walls. This is the popular picture of smart environments and wearable computers. The component devices for this technology have no magic; they obey the same laws of physics as the rest of the world; and there are unsolved problems in making this picture reality. While the un-tethered computing world is inevitable, its details are not completely clear and the path to its realization is rocky. This talk is both a look forward and a sanity check.

Biography:
Turner Whitted recently joined Microsoft as a senior researcher. He has been a Research Professor of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for the past 14 years, as well as a cofounder and director of Numerical Design Limited. Prior to that he was a technical staff member in Bell Labs’ Computer Systems Research Laboratory. He earned BSE and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering from Duke University and a PhD from North Carolina State University. He is an editorial board member of IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, was papers chair for SIGGRAPH 97, and is an ACM Fellow.

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