The Augmentarium supports multiple education and outreach efforts, including:
We note with concern the decline in women’s participation in computer science and computer engineering fields, across all levels of education and faculty appointments. We recognize our responsibility for proactively reversing these trends, and in concert with Jan Plane, director of the Maryland Center for Women in Computing, we have organized Computer Science Connect (CompSciConnect), a series of summer day camps, targeting young women in particular, for increasingly technical content focused on VR and AR over the three-year span of middle school. Teaching students to do small projects in this space encourages creativity, while showing them how technology can be applied to other disciplines. Students have an opportunity to see the many ways in which VR and AR can be applied, have hands-on experience with problem solving using VR and AR, and create applications with the help of graduate and undergraduate student mentors.
- Conferences and Meetings
Our outreach includes the intensive, three-day NVIDIA GPU Summit, which featured talks, panels and hands-on tutorials on the latest advances in GPU computing, with a focus on applications in medical informatics, engineering simulations and Big Data. The summit showcased experts from UMD and NVIDIA (a leading vendor of highly parallel processors), with additional participation from Army Research Lab, IARPA, Naval Research Lab, FDA, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Laboratory for Telecommunication Sciences and others.
Professional Development and Training
For Spring 2016, UMD offered an undergraduate introduction to the principles and practice of virtual and augmented reality. This included an introduction to the human sensory system, generation of virtual worlds, tracking, registration, stereoscopic displays, rendering latency, interaction, immersion and telepresence. The course also covered multiple modalities of virtual worlds, including visual, aural, and haptic. Read more about student experiences here and here.
- Virtual and Augmented Reality for the Arts
In collaboration with the Augmentarium, the First-Year Innovation and Research Experience (FIRE) program is offering a new research stream titled Phillips Virtual Culture. Students in this trans-disciplinary stream will explore the application of emerging technologies for museum experiences, and will build digital projects to be used by visitors to The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. Read more about student experiences here.