Oncofertility Conference – 2014

By Mark Skala on 22 Sep 2014 – 10:52 am
Location: (-0° 0' 0"S x 0° 0' 0"E)
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Oncofertility Conference - 04

For the 8 years the Oncofertility Consortium has had their annual conference, the AMPS team has been there to capture the research, the presentations, and the collaboration that is showcased.  Personally, it is my 6th year covering this conference and it’s been an exciting journey following how far the consortium has come in its research and real-world implications.

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This year, we have Laura Kick directing the event and making sure everything goes smoothly.  Myself, Dee, Stephen, Nate, are on call as well as some stellar freelancers, Aaron Dolan, and John Zachary.  Running A/V, Mike Curtis and Zoran Ilic are making sure all the presenters have their slides in order before they speak.

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It’s always exciting collaborating with the Oncofertility Consortium in all its media endeavors, and the annual conference is no exception!

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It’s Not Easy Being Clean

By Stephen Poon on 12 Sep 2014 – 5:34 pm
Location: (-0° 0' 0"S x 0° 0' 0"E)
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The Northwestern University Micro/Nano Fabrication Facility, or NUFAB, is clean. Very clean. We’ve been on site all week on a production for NUFAB safety & protocol training, making sure all users can safely take advantage of 4,000 feet of state-of-the-art research technology.

SIGGRAPH 2014 Post-Conference Presentation

By Laura_Kick on 8 Sep 2014 – 12:38 pm
Location: (-0° 0' 0"S x 0° 0' 0"E)
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This morning I gave a post-SIGGRAPH presentation to colleagues at A&RT.  Below is an abbreviated outline of the topics that I touched on.


SIGGRAPH 2014 – Laura Kick



  • SIGGRAPH – International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques
  • This presentation will touch on:

–      Data Visualization

–      Wearable Computers

–      Cross-Platform Apps

–      Motion Control

–      Animation

A Few Benefits of SIGGRAPH

  • Many direct applications of these technologies and ideas at NUIT in the short and long term
  • Exposure to and exploration of new ideas, technologies, and approaches
  • Industry awareness
  • Inspiration and knowledge sharing with a large community of professionals
  • Personal growth and stimulating creativity

Apollo 8 – Data Visualization

Data Visualization – based on the session lead by Robert Laramee

  • Visualization is the nonfiction version of computer graphics
  • Visualization Goals:

–      Exploration (provide a tool)

–      Analysis (confirm/refute hypothesis)

–      Presentation (communication)

  • Information Visualization

–      Has no inherent geometry

–      N-dimensional

–      “Give a massive data set represented abstractly, are there interactive techniques that will allow us to drill down and see individual data points?” – Robert Laramee

–      Many Eyes

  • xwww-958.ibm.com/software/analytics/manyeyes/login
  • Free Tool, but when you upload data it’s available for everyone
  • Scientific Visualization

–      Has an inherent geometry – all data samples are associated with a location and possibly a time coordinate (x, y, z)

–      3-dimensional

–      Space and time coordinates

–      Volumetric Visualization

Immersive Visualization for Science & Research – Data Visualization

  • National Center for Supercomputing Applications @ University of Illinois
  • Hubble 3D
  • Cinematic treatment for public outreach
  • Import data à Explore data à Design scene à Render

The Glass Class w/ Mark Billinghurst – Wearable Computers

  • Trend:  Smaller, Cheaper, More Intimate
  • Hands free, always on
  • Focus on location, contextual, timely information and communication
  • The world is the experience
  • Make sure the interface is glance-able
  • Provide the least amount of interruption and let the user decide to engage or not

Gil Irizarry – Making Cross Platform Apps Quickly

  • Workshop taught by Gil Irizarry, Conoa
  • Using Eclipse Classic & Phonegap
  • We can use HTML to create apps for multiple mobile device platforms

Daniel Plemmons – Creating 3D Interactive Apps

  • How will immersive experience be impacted by technological constraints?
  • What is the goal of bringing motion control into your program?
  • Leap Motion (Visualizer)
  • Unity 3D

Project Draco – Autodesk

How to Train Your Dragon 2 & Animation Tools in the Industry

  • Start trying to create images very early on
  • Why is each character entertaining?
  • How do we get the tool out of the way?
  • What problems are artists encountering?
  • Foster collaboration where the technical side and artists see each other as peers

New York Production

By Stephen Poon on 6 Sep 2014 – 10:21 am
Location: (-0° 0' 0"S x 0° 0' 0"E)
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We’re departing from New York today, after a brief 24 hours of production, supporting international initiatives in social entrepreneurship!

SIGGRAPH 2014 – Vancouver

By Laura_Kick on 14 Aug 2014 – 6:05 pm
Location: (49° 15' 40"N x 124° 53' 9"W)
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I am delighted to be at this year’s SIGGRAPH Conference in beautiful Vancouver!  This is my first time at the International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques and there are an overwhelming number of fascinating presentations, courses, and events to choose from.  This five-day conference, which wraps up today, has given me the opportunity to learn about numerous aspects of computer graphics, animation, data visualization, motion control, app development, and technology. Three highlights are described below.

The view from outside the Vancouver Conference Center


Data Visualization, an introduction:

This session discussed the goals/uses for data visualization -

1)  as a tool for exploration

2)  to analyze the data (explore a hypothesis) and

3)  as a presentation/communication method –

gave an overview of two types of data visualization -

1) Scientific visualization – meaning that the data has an inherent geometry, position and often time coordinates (examples:  Volume Visualization & Flow Visualization)

2)  Information Visualization – meaning that it has no inherent geometry -

and discussed visualization creation as well as challenges to keep in mind when designing your data visualization and areas of ongoing research.


The Glass Class – Designing Wearable Interfaces:

This class focused on head mounted computers, like Google Glass, and covered the evolution of the technology, design considerations for software, as well as challenges for wearable computers.  An interesting takeaway is the idea of designing applications for microinteractions, expecting the user to spend very little time with the app before shifting attention away.  We were reminded that with wearable devices like Google Glass, the world is the experience, not the device.


Scientific Visualization Sessions (Immersive Visualization for Science & Research; Visualize Collaborate Install):

At these two sessions I heard from people at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications about visualizing astronomical research for large planetarium shows (like at the Adler) and their work to create visualizations true to the research.  Ernie Wright from NASA’s Scientific Visualization Center shared his work to recreate the moment when an astronaut aboard Apollo 8 took the famous Earthrise photo and used his visualization to determine when precisely the photo was taken and by whom.


These are just a few of the exciting topics covered this week. I can’t wait to bring the knowledge and inspiration gained here back to A&RT!  And in honor of Canada’s two official languages, the international community I had the honor to be a part of this week, and the French computer graphics friends I’ve made here, je finis cette message en français:  Bonne soirée de Vancouver et bon courage pour les aventures de demain!

The real-time representation of my hand moving above a motion sensor, during a session on creating 3D interactive apps.

2014 UFVA Conference

By Deirdre Lee on 8 Aug 2014 – 9:35 pm
Location: (45° 40' 40"N x 112° 57' 10"W)
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Nestled in the mountains of Bozeman, Montana, the 68th University Film and Video Association Conference (UFVA) is in full swing.  The UFVA is an annual gathering of filmmakers, scholars, and teachers.  Every year a different participating University from the Association hosts the conference. This year it’s taking place at Montana State University; a picturesque campus in the heart of Bozeman surrounded by four mountain ranges, thriving with wildlife, and not far from the historic Yellowstone National Park. One of my favorite workshops at the conference was led today by fellow Wildcat Anne Sobel of Northwestern University in Qatar entitled, “Sense Memory Exercises”, where we worked in small groups learning hands-on exercises that Directors can use to enhance their creative process, utilize as team building exercises for successful collaborations within production crews, and methods to use these with talent on set to create stronger performances. Another notable workshop at the conference focused on simple lighting techniques for video utilizing minimal lights by David Landau, a five-time Telly award-winning cinematographer and gaffer of TV’s Project Runway All Stars. Attending UFVA has been such an amazing experience. I have acquired so much knowledge that I look forward to sharing with my NUIT A&RT AMPS colleagues to incorporate into our future productions, workflow, and training of our student workers.

Anne Sobel of NU-Q demonstrates a Sense Memory Exercise during her workshop

David Landau showcases simple lighting techniques using minimal lights

iPad mini Raffle Winner for Canvas Video

By Nate Bartlett on 26 Jun 2014 – 5:06 pm
Location: (-0° 0' 0"S x 0° 0' 0"E)
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We held a raffle to support the students who came in to be interviewed for the Canvas Student Perspectives video.  Congratulations to the winner of our iPad mini raffle winner, Nick Dimaso!

Weinberg Convocation 2014

By Laura_Kick on 21 Jun 2014 – 10:51 am
Location: (-0° 0' 0"S x 0° 0' 0"E)
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This morning we are back in Welsh Ryan to support the video stream from Ryan Field for the 2014 Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences Convocation.  Graduates are gathering by major beneath dozens of cheerful department banners as they prepare to process to their seats.  This will be the final graduation event for which NUAMPS is providing video/streaming support this year.  Throughout the past couple of days we’ve been delighted to see the joy on the faces of graduates, family members, and friends during these wonderful celebrations!  Congratulations to all of the graduates, and welcome to the alumni community!

SESP ’14 Convocation at Cahn Auditorium

By Deirdre Lee on 20 Jun 2014 – 9:16 pm
Location: (-0° 0' 0"S x 0° 0' 0"E)
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It was a full house today at Cahn Auditorium for the 2014 School of Education and Social Policy Convocation ceremony. NUIT A&RT AMPS was there to capture the ceremony and provide an overflow feed for extra attendees on campus. It was a wonderful event that celebrated all the accomplishments of this year’s SESP graduates. Throughout the building, there were posters encouraging attendees to share their ceremony photos, words of wisdom for the 2014 Grads, and SESP memories via Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #SESPLOVE. Congratulations SESP ’14 graduates!

Kellogg Convocation 2014

By Laura_Kick on 20 Jun 2014 – 4:52 pm
Location: (-0° 0' 0"S x 0° 0' 0"E)
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Back up near Ryan Field we finished our final equipment checks in preparation for the Kellogg Convocation.  The band is starting to play and we’re live!  You can watch the stream here:  http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/news-events/graduation/video.aspx

Congratulations to all of the graduates from across the university!

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