Wed, Feb 13, 7pm:
Ray Tracing: The Science Behind Ultra Realistic Computer Graphics in Movies, presented by Dr. Cem Yuksel
Ray tracing is the core algorithm used for producing photo-realistic computer graphics images in all sorts of fields. As a result, it is used ubiquitously in feature animation and movie special effects. In this talk I’ll introduce this amazing algorithm and explain how it is used to generate highly-realistic and life-like images. I’ll start from the very basics of ray casting, shading, and shadow computation and also describe advanced techniques for texturing, anti-aliasing, depth of field, motion blur, soft shadows, glossy surface, and global illumination. While this material is covered in a semester-length graduate-level course at the University of Utah, no prior computer graphics knowledge is required to appreciate the beauty of the algorithm or of the images it can produce.
Dr. Cem Yuksel is an assistant professor in the School of Computing at the University of Utah, leading a computer graphics research group. He is the founder of Cyber Radiance LLC, a computer graphics software company, and he developed Hair Farm, a leading hair modeling, animation, and rendering software plugin that is used by thousands of production studios and independent artists.
Thu, Mar 21, 7pm
The POWDER Mobile and Wireless Living Laboratory, presented by Kobus Van der Merwe
With more mobile devices than people in the world, we certainly take mobile phones and the wireless services and applications they enable for granted. However, this increase in the number of mobile devices strains the capabilities of current mobile networks, e.g., insufficient capacity for users wanting to stream high definition video, dropped or failed calls at venues with many users etc. Further, emerging uses of wireless networks, like connected vehicles and the Internet of Things, require fundamentally different capabilities of these networks, like high reliability, low latency and the ability to scale to billions of devices.
Kobus Van der Merwe is the Jay Lepreau Professor in the School of Computing and Director of the Flux Research Group at the University of Utah. He joined the University of Utah in 2012 after fourteen years at AT&T Labs - Research. He does networking systems research in a broad range of areas including mobile and wireless networking, network evolution, network security and cloud computing. He is the Principal Investigator and Director of the POWDER project, one of the newly selected NSF wireless research platforms.
Thu, Apr 18, 7pm
Toward a Science of Game Design, presented by Rogelio E. Cardona-Rivera
Game development is costly, technically challenging, and poorly understood. Increased demand for games as a form of entertainment has motivated research into technology to help ameliorate the burden involved in development. This technology unfortunately has the potential to create more problems than it solves. In this talk, I will argue that this increased demand should motivate more research into human-centered game design, involving both artifact and person. This research requires computationally modeling our human intelligence, as part of an agenda that seeks to codify the precise interplay between a person's cognition (an inner environment), the game's controls (an interface), and a fictional universe (an outer environment); the interplay is concerned with attaining design goals by adapting the inner environment to the outer environment. I will present examples of this agenda as embodied through my own work and identify key challenges that I think need to be addressed in service of establishing what I call a "science of game design.”
Rogelio E. Cardona-Rivera is an Assistant Professor of the School of Computing and the Entertainment Arts and Engineering Program at the University of Utah, where he directs the Laboratory for Quantitative Experience Design. His research focuses on the design of games, systems where users direct an unfolding experience by taking on ludic/dramatic roles.