15th ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology


Ming Lin

Ming C. Lin
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


In Quest of Realism and Interactivity for Virtual Environments

The realism of a computer simulated system for virtual environments often depends heavily on three main components: graphics, behavior, and sound. Thanks to four decades of research in modeling, rendering, and advances in VLSI technologies for graphics hardware, today's game systems are able to render near photorealistic images at interactive rates. To further increase the player's experience and immersion, the recent trend has been on introduction of physics-based simulation and behaviors. However, many computational challenges remain due to the simultaneous quest for sensory realism and performance requirements of these systems. Some of the key research issues include interactive motion synthesis of physically-plausible behavior of soft and articulated bodies, fast simulation of large-scale heterogeneous crowds, and real-time multi-sensory interaction. In this talk, I will present a few highlights of our recent efforts on addressing these problems. I will also demonstrate the results on several interactive applications, including cloth simulation for feature animation, sound rendering for computer games, 3D virtual painting for training and education, catheterization procedure for liver chemoembolization, and crowd simulation for virtual cityscapes. I will conclude by suggesting some research opportunities and applications.

Ming C. Lin is currently Beverly W. Long Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill. She obtained her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley. She received several honors and awards, including the NSF Young Faculty Career Award in 1995, Honda Research Initiation Award in 1997, UNC/IBM Junior Faculty Development Award in 1999, UNC Hettleman Award for Scholarly Achievements in 2003, Carolina Women's Center Faculty Scholar in 2008, and six best paper awards at international conferences. Her research interests include virtual environments, haptics, physically-based modeling, robotics, and geometric computing. She has (co-)authored more than 175 refereed publications in these areas and co-edited/authored three books. She has served on over 80 program committees of leading conferences and co-chaired over 15 international conferences and workshops. She is a member of 6 editorial boards and a guest editor of more than 10 special issues for scientific journals and technical magazines. She is the Associate Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics. She also has served on several steering committees and advisory boards of international conferences, as well as technical advisory committees constituted by government organizations and industry.

Alain Berthoz

Alain Berthoz
Le collège de France

Cognitive strategies for spatial memory of navigation. Studies combining virtual reality and brain imaging.

This talk will deal with the neural basis of spatial memory during navigation. When navigating or trying to remember a traveled path the brain uses different cognitive strategies. It can use, among others, an egocentric, (topo-kinesthétic), memory of the travel involving kinaesthetic memories of the route and episodic memory, but it can also use allocentric, (topo-graphic), map like, memories. Different brain systems are involved in these strategies and they develop during ontogeny. I will describe studies using virtual reality in normal subjects and patient with hippocampal lesions. In addition I will describe results obtained with fMRI and intracranial recordings in epileptic patients which identify the brain areas involved in these strategies. Virtual reality allows us to selectively identify the brain areas involved in such tasks as perspective change, manipulation of reference frames, decision making and some aspects of social interaction such as empathy etc. The paradigms we have designed for these fundamental studies can also be used for diagnosis of these deficits in Schizophrenia, autism, and other psyhchiatric or neurological diseases. They could also be used for remediation in these diseases or others like agoraphobia. A new field is now opened in which neuroscientists, neurologists, psychiatrists, otolaryngologists and roboticians can cooperate to try to compensate for this category of deficits in patients, during development or aging.

Alain Berthoz was born in 1939. He became Civil Engineer at École des Mines in 1963, Ph.D. in 1973. Researcher at Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) (1966-1981), he established and coordinates the Neurosensory Physiology Laboratory of CNRS (1981-1993). Since 1993, he is professor at Collège de France and director of UMR CNRS/Collège de France "Physiology of perception and action". Over 200 scientific publications in international journals on physiology of sensori-motor functions and more specifically on the oculo-motor system, the vestibular system, balance control, and movement perception. About 90 invited talks in conferences and research centres in over 20 countries, in addition to several plenary conferences. Currently Director of the CNRS program on NEUROINFORMATICS Member of the French Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of several other Academies. Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur and Officer of the Order of Merit of the French Republic Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic