City College of New York - CUNY

To develop an open source framework for prototyping 3D scientific visualization applications using game engines

  • Amount $250,000
  • City New York, NY
  • Investigator Huy Vo
  • Year 2018
  • Program Technology
  • Sub-program Data & Computational Research

Major video game rendering engines are capable of rich 3D environmental rendering and physics simulation, not to mention built-in virtual and augmented reality capabilities. They are, however, rarely utilized in scholarly research, in part because researchers who have explored their use for data visualization have had to manage the arduous task of configuring and structuring their research data in order to load it into the game engine. This grant funds a two-year initiative by Huy Vo of the City College of New York to dramatically lower barriers to the use of game engines for scientific visualization. In the first year, Vo will develop a standardized workflow and open source plug-in for the popular Unity 3D gaming engine that will enable the easy importation of research data, generation of geometries, and construction of interactive visualizations. In year two, Vo will pilot the plug-in himself in two research collaborations (one with CUNY researchers on climate adaptation and the reliability of power sector infrastructure, one with AT&T Research Labs on mobile antenna placement). He will also use it as the platform for student projects in a CUNY data visualization course.

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