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Houstonian 1996
Virtual Reality
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Students of the University of Houston. Houstonian 1996 - Virtual Reality. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. April 18, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/yearb/item/15484/show/15272.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Students of the University of Houston. Houstonian 1996 - Virtual Reality. Houstonian Yearbook Collection. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/yearb/item/15484/show/15272

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Students of the University of Houston, Houstonian 1996 - Virtual Reality, Houstonian Yearbook Collection, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed April 18, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/yearb/item/15484/show/15272.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Compound Item Description
Title Houstonian 1996
Creator (LCNAF)
  • Students of the University of Houston
Caption The Houstonian is the official yearbook of the University of Houston.
Subject.Name (LCNAF)
  • University of Houston
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction This image is in the public domain and may be used freely. If publishing in print, electronically, or on a website, please use the citation button above. To request higher resolution images, please use the Request High Res button above.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Virtual Reality
Creator (LCNAF)
  • Students of the University of Houston
Caption The Houstonian is the official yearbook of the University of Houston.
Subject.Name (LCNAF)
  • University of Houston
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction This image is in the public domain and may be used freely. If publishing in print, electronically, or on a website, please use the citation button above. To request higher resolution images, please use the Request High Res button above.
File name yearb_1996_052.jpg
Transcript VIRTUAL REALITY history (or science or math) or live it?" Because a large portion of his funding comes from NASA, the National Science Foundation and the United States Navy, most of the practical applications of Loftin's research are geared toward training methods for astronauts and the development of Project: Science Space, which so far has resulted in the creation of three virtual science "worlds." The first world developed as part of the project was "Newton World," a corridor with rigid walls at each end and nine evenly spaced columns along the sides with lines on the floor to help gauge speed and distance. Users may watch the action from above or in the corridor, but the most interactive option is choosing to be a virtual ball and experience collisions with one of the walls or another ball. "Maxwell World" concentrates on students' conceptualization process in the area of electromagnetic fields. In a one-meter cube, students are able to place source charges into the world, then display, observe and control electric field lines generated by those charges. This is an abstract world with experiences completely unavailable in a classroom setting or laboratory. The last world to be developed was "Pauling World." It shrinks users to the size of an atom to study the chemical structures of molecules represented in three dimensions. Molecule components can be displayed in the traditional stick-and-ball form, a wire frame backbone with coded icons or space-filling spheres. In "Pauling World," researchers will be able to stand among virtual viruses and the makeup of proteins and inhibitors, manipulating them to see how they fit and why. To visit "Pauling World," one must enter what VETL researchers call the Cave, a room in the laboratory in which images are projected onto three walls and the floor. The visitor faces the front wall, puts on a pair of blocky, three-dimensional glasses and voila, he is in a world not unlike Star Trek's holodeck. The cave technology isn't terribly convincing: The imageless ceiling is a distracting discontinuity, and there is no way to touch the molecules that swirl around the room. Special gloves with air pockets that apply varying degrees of pressure on a user's hands can be used to compensate for the latter problem. The lab is also developing applications for use in the oil and gas industry, both in search of new supplies of hydrocarbon-based fuels and in the efficient extraction of those materials. Loftin is working former UH chemistry Professor Andy McCammon (now at the University of California at San Diego) on simultaneous virtual training from multiple geographical locations. The immediate practical application of a shared virtual environment is training astronauts for an international space station project. Using telecommunications technology, astronauts in different countries will be able to interact in a shared virtual environment. The Virtual Lab serves the university in a truly interdisciplinary fashion. UH law Professor Seth Chandler is using the technology to create economic models with more variables than normal computers can handle. James Bliss, a researcher from the University of Alabama-Huntsville and an adjunct professor of psychology at UH, is studying the effectiveness of virtual training using students as subjects. And UH chemistry Professor Monty Pettit has a molecular design project to experiment with in "Pauling World." Loftin teaches a computer graphics class for the Department of Computer Science this semester. According to VETL staff member Pat Hyde, if he can turn over the reins of that class to another professor, Loftin plans to develop a class specifically devoted to virtual reality for a wide range of students. The VETL was moved to UH property from NASA in September after NASA and the university signed the Space Act agreement, an extension of a 1958 congressional mandate that NASA must find ways to transfer applied technologies to the nation as a whole. --Dominic Corva (courtesy of The Daily Cougar,4/30/96) cq