72 Hours of Virtual Reality Fun

Colorado State University

Kenny Gruchalla, Computational Science Center Lead at NREL speaks at the Virtual Reality Symposium, Oct. 21.

Last week, Colorado State University teamed with virtual reality enthusiasts as the Office of the Vice President of Research kicked off a weekend devoted to exploring Virtual and Augmented Reality. On Friday morning, thought leaders from industry, academia and government came together to discuss the scientific, technologic and sociologic opportunities for augmented and virtual reality. Speakers included William Warren, Vice President and Head of Innovation Programs & Networks at Sanofi Pasteur; Kenny Gruchalla , Computational Science Center Lead at NREL; Winifred Newman, Head of Department of Architecture at the University of Arkansan; Paul Martin, Distinguished Technologist for Hewlett-Packard and Adam Russell, Program Manager at DARPA. The diverse audience of 14 to 75 year olds and 25 Poudre School District science and technology teachers enjoyed a panel discussion on key issues and the unveiling of the new CSU Immersive Experience narrated by Tony Frank.

The events rolled on into Friday evening when the Virtual Reality Hackathon was launched with 40 participants and more than 20 volunteers, mentors, and faculty. The event was sponsored by HP, NVIDIA, Mechdyne and the Office of the Vice President for Research. Eight diverse teams of computer scientists, biologists, psychologists, artists, design, engineers and hobbyists competed for cash prizes for best immersive experiences. An art competition ran alongside the teams using a Virtual Art program TiltBrush. Participants were given the latest equipment including HTC-VIVE, Occulus, Hololens and access to a Mechdyne cave. The competition was judged by the symposium speakers with the addition of Sharif Razzaque, Chief Engineer of Imaging at Medtronic; Alan Rudolph, Vice President for Research at Colorado State University and Cyane Tornatzy, Professor of Electronic Art Colorado State University.

hackathon-humanly-first-place

Team Human.ly awarded 1st place at the CSU Virtual Reality Hackathon.

Forty eight hours later, after many doughnuts and a lot of coffee, the judges awarded $1000 first prize went to Team Human.ly which produced a mixed reality dynamic anatomical model superimposed over a moving person. Second place went to Team Savage that created a therapeutic immersive experience that helped people overcome crowd phobias by asking them to move through a crowd based on principles in cognitive therapy. Third place went to Team No Name (no joke) that placed you in an immersive dynamic neuronal circuit of the brain. Rachel Stern won the virtual art competition for her work entitled “The Tree”. A complete list of the winners on each team and other pictures and videos can be found on CSU Source.

The weekend highlighted the transformative power of the perceptive revolution that virtual and augmented reality could bring to our society and all aspects of the CSU land grant mission. We had visitors and participants from the VR community, industry representatives, high and middle schoolers, alumni groups, and graduate fellowship programs. Many of the participants had no experience in VR and yet were able to learn about it and in some cases they created powerful experiences with impact across a wide sector space including health, education, art, science, design, and engineering. The hackathon will help propel the next phases of the VR campus activities with the creation of portals around campus made available for further explorations in the virtual and real worlds.

 

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CSU Research News Update: 5 things you should know about #Coloradostate

 

Google car

1. For the past year, Google Street View cars roaming Indianapolis, Boston and New York’s Staten Island have captured more than just images. With the help of a CSU team led by Professor Joe von Fischer, the vehicles also measured where and how much methane is leaking from underground pipelines that deliver natural gas to those cities.

 

Private, state and federal organizations will work together to stimulate the development of wood-energy projects in Colorado. Photo by Dan Bihn.

2. The USDA has announced Colorado as the recipient of a $250,000 grant to promote the development of innovative wood-to-energy projects in the state. Photo by Dan Bihn.

 

3. Nine policymakers and farmers recently traveled from Pakistan to Fort Collins to take part in a 12-day tour of Colorado focused on water management techniques for farms. The group visited areas of Colorado with similar topographical and climatic conditions to certain areas in Pakistan.

3. Nine policymakers and farmers recently traveled from Pakistan to Fort Collins to take part in a 12-day tour of Colorado focused on water management techniques for farms. The group visited areas of Colorado with similar topographical and climatic conditions to certain areas in Pakistan.

 

4. Robin Reid of CSU was 1 of 3 to receive the 2014 Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award for her career of in advancing international education at public and land-grant institutions. For the past 27 years, Reid has led education, research and outreach projects in the drylands of Africa, Asia and North America. Her current work focuses on how to transform international higher education to be more inclusive of under-represented groups and more useful for local problem solving.

4. Robin Reid of CSU was 1 of 3 to receive the 2014 Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award for her career of in advancing international education at public and land-grant institutions. For the past 27 years, Reid has led education, research and outreach projects in the dry lands of Africa, Asia and North America. Her current work focuses on how to transform international higher education to be more inclusive of under-represented groups and more useful for local problem solving.

 

4. Bikram yoga, a type of “hot yoga,” has beneficial effects on fitness, according to researchers at CSU.

5. Bikram yoga, a type of “hot yoga,” has beneficial effects on fitness, according to researchers at CSU.

 

 

Science and Spectacle: A Reflection of the Walk Again Project on the World Cup Stage

Dr. Alan Rudolph at the World Cup in Brazil.

Dr. Alan Rudolph at the World Cup in Brazil before the Walk Again demonstration at the Opening Ceremony.

I had to decompress for a few days before reflecting and writing about my most recent experiences in South America at the Copa De Moda – or World Cup. For the last 18 months I have been managing an international consortium of 125 people in 25 countries who were designing, building and testing a new prosthetics – or exoskeleton – that people with severe spinal cord injuries could control with their brains.

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CSU research news: 5 things you should know

1. Researchers at CSU have revealed new links between tuberculosis and diabetes, showing evidence that TB becomes more deadly when it occurs with diabetes and showing for the first time that tuberculosis can trigger pre-diabetes.

Christopher Gentile. Photo courtesy of Colorado State University.

Christopher Gentile. Photo courtesy of Colorado State University.

2. Christopher Gentile, an assistant professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at CSU, will receive a $225,000 grant from the Boettcher Foundation to support his research to find out why obese people are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease.

3.  To help Colorado research institutions develop new medications to fight cancer and other illnesses, the Colorado Center for Drug Discovery has received $750,000 from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

4. The Physical Activity Laboratory at CSU is seeking 7- to 11-year-old overweight children to volunteer for a research study exploring how children of varying body sizes walk, run and play.

Tracy Nelson. Photo courtesy of Colorado State University.

Tracy Nelson. Photo courtesy of Colorado State University.

5. Tracy Nelson, an associate professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at CSU, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Health District of Northern Larimer County. Congratulations!

5 research projects at #Colostate making big impacts

This week the Office of the Vice President will highlight 5 research projects that Colorado State University is involved in. Click the links to learn more about these project and CSU’s involvement.

 

Ed Blach Co-Creator of the Flair Equine Nasal Strips demonstrates how to apply the strips on Eli, May 29, 2014. Photo courtesy of: Colorado State University

Ed Blach Co-Creator of the Flair Equine Nasal Strips demonstrates how to apply the strips on Eli, May 29, 2014.
Photo courtesy of: Colorado State University

1.  The nasal strip worn by Triple Crown contender and racing phenom California Chrome was co-invented by Dr. Ed Blach, a CSU veterinarian alumnus.

African elephant in the Serengeti. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

African elephant in the Serengeti. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

2.  CSU is helping to protect African elephants with cell phones! A study published recently in the journal Ecological Applications by researchers at CSU and other universities  around the world reports on the use of advanced technology in GPS and cell phones are helping to monitor and protect African elephants.

FIFA World Cup 2014 logo. Photo courtesy of vimeo.

FIFA World Cup 2014 logo. Photo courtesy of vimeo.

3. CSU has a significant role in the World Cup Opening Ceremony.

Christian L'Orange, left, and John Volckens in the new cookstove lab at the Powerhouse Energy Campus. Photo courtesy of Colorado State University.

Christian L’Orange, left, and John Volckens in the new cookstove lab at the Powerhouse Energy Campus.
Photo courtesy of Colorado State University.

4.  A $1.5 million grant from the Environmental Protection Agency is being used by CSU researchers to examine the atmospheric effects of smoke from cookstoves, which are used by 3 billion people worldwide for heating, lighting and cooking.

Hurricane. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.

Hurricane. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.

5. Researchers at CSU are predicting 10 named storms – including 4 hurricanes – to form during the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season.