Advanced Visualization Suite
The Advanced Visualization Suite (AVS) is a
set of tools to enable and enrich mathematical collaboration in visually
rich display environments.
KnotPlot in an immersive VR environment
KnotPlot has been ported to run in the Immersive
Media Lab (IML) at the New
Media Innovation Centre (NewMIC) using CAVELib™. This new version
of KnotPlot opens up exciting possibilities. For example, in the field of
physical knot theory (knots considered as tangible physical objects), researchers
are interested in the surfaces of self-contact of a tightly pulled
knot. By being able to easily move around and peer into such a knot in a VR
environment, we expect that investigating how such surfaces behave (or whether
they are even surfaces) as the knot is pulled tight will be made much simpler.
caveKnotPlot is not yet available at the KnotPlot download site,
but interested researchers with access to a CAVE may request a copy by sending me email.
KPUI is the KnotPlot User Interface.
Since KnotPlot was originally implemented in the pre-X days of IRIX on a
Silicon Graphics machine, there was a need to implement a package for sliders,
buttons, and other user interface objects. Originally, the user interface
was implemented in IRIS-GL. The current implementation is in OpenGL/GLUT.
Since it doesn't depend on any specific windowing system, KPUI has been relatively
easy to port to CAVELib. This allows easy integration of a graphical user
interface into and CAVELib application, with full support for menus, buttons,
sliders, and text objects. KPUI has been used to augment a number of CAVELib
programs in the AVS.
A simple program to explore a wide
range of polyhedra. This program is being extended to take advantage of the
immersive environment in the CAVE. One extension is to investigate the stellations
of a given polyhedron. Stellation involves slicing three dimensional space
into convex cells and reassembling these cells to form new polyhedra. This
is often quite difficult to visualize. The CAVE version of the polyhedron
visualizer will allow for interactive slicing and assembly of stellations.
This application is in collaboration
with Godfried Toussaint of McGill University. It is a tool that will help
Toussaint and his colleagues investigate whether a conjecture they have about
convex polytopes in 3D is true. Because the immersive environment allows for
much more natural interaction in three dimensions (especially using the six
degree of freedom hand-held wand), we hope that new this will quickly lead
to new insights. Research using this tool will start in March 2003.
Because KPUI allows for easy porting
of nearly any OpenGL/GLUT application to the CAVE environment, there will
soon be a number of simple but interesting applications available for use
in the IML. While none of these are designed as research tools, they are
Curved Spaces in the CAVE
This is an exciting and innovative
use of the CAVE environment.