Fridays, 12pm, LSRC D106

Pizza and refreshments served


The Forum aspires to build an interdisciplinary community of visualization experts whose combined knowledge can facilitate research and promote innovation. Faculty, staff, and students from across the university meet weekly to share their research involving the development and/or application of visualization methodologies.

Sept 6        Rachael Brady, Visualization Technology Group

Visualization: Tools and Uses
Visualization applies the algorithms of computer graphics with the fields of perception and representation to communicate digital information visually.  Visualization is used for presentations, art creation, data analysis, model validation, illustration, data exploration, entertainment, and cognitive studies. This talk will introduce the fall semester series of lectures and discuss resources for doing visualization at Duke.
Link to Powerpoint Lecture

Sept 13     Tim Ryan, Primate Center

Visualization and Quantification of 3D Trabecular Bone Structure
Trabecular or cancellous bone consists of an interconnected network of bony rods and plates and plays a critical structural role in the vertebrate skeleton.  Using microCT scan data together with volume-based quantification and 3D visualization techniques, the structure and mechanical significance of trabecular bone can be assessed.  The various techniques and approaches available will be discussed in the context of analyzing trabecular bone structure in the hip joint of primates and its relationship to external mechanical loading during various behaviors.

Link to Powerpoint Lecture (14.3 mb)


Sept 20      TGS Systems, Amira Software Vendor

Introduction to the Amira 3D Visualization System

A brief introduction about Amira and the Amira Modules for Molecular Visualization, Deconvolution for confocal microscopy and the amiraVR module for immersive visualization will be presented. Datasets from different research disciplines; medicine, geophysics, Finite Element Analysis, Fluid Dynamics, and others will be demonstrated.


Sept 27      Evan Cull, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Three Dimensional Imaging and Compression with the Argus Sensor Array

The Argus project uses an array of computers and ring of cameras as a means of investigating telepresence and real-time three-dimensional imaging.  Imaging applications developed for Argus involve the creation and transmission of stereo pair as well as volumetric images.  A compression for Argus applies the MPEG2 video coding standard to the images taken from the camera ring.

Link to Powerpoint Lecture


Oct 4           Rhazes Spell, Biomedical Engineering
Bioinformatic Visualization:  Visualization Applications in Comparative Genomics

Advances in biotechnology have resulted in the creation of vast amounts of genetic data.  Bioinformatics visualization applications are software tools that aid in the presentation of genetic data and analysis.  This talk will provide a review of current bioinformatic visualization research and discuss current efforts in extending bioinformatic visualization techniques in the area of comparative genomics.

Link to the Powerpoint Lecture

Oct 11        FALL BREAK


Oct 18        Fred Nijhout, Biology
Control of Growth and Body Size in Insects

We are studying the control of body size and the evolution of body size in insects. The cellular and physiological processes that control growth rate are independent of those that control when growth will stop. Many of these processes change during the evolution of body size, and tracking the trajectory of these changes presents an interesting problem in mutidimensional visualization.


Oct 25        Shih-Chieh Lin, Neurobiology
Isolation of Modulated 30-Hz Activity in sEMG Recordings During a Reaching Task

Motor control is a highly integrated process that requires precise co-activation of groups of muscles. We investigated the spatial distribution and temporal dynamics of simultaneously-recorded 16-channel surface electromyography (sEMG) recordings during a reaching task. Particular linear combinations of recordings (the Independent Components) demonstrated intermittent bursts of sEMG activity at around 30Hz, compatible with previously-recorded brain signals at this frequency. The audience will be encouraged to suggest ways to visualize these high-dimensional data in a meaningful way.


Nov 1          Mark Olson, John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary & International Studies

"It's no longer blood and guts...its bits and bytes": Visualizing the Future of Medicine

What might the humanities bring to scientific/medical visualization practices?  Using new medical visualization technologies as a jumping off point, this presentation will open for discussion what a critically-informed humanities perspective might bring to understanding the social, historical and political implications of doing visualization work.



Nov 8          Mary Reedy, Cell Biology

The 3D Structure of Motor Proteins Delivering a Power Stroke in Muscle Contraction

How do motor proteins in living cells produce force and movement? The crystalline arrangement of myosin and actin in insect flight muscle allows us to visualize electron-microscopic (EM) freeze-frames of these proteins during an active muscle contraction. Viewing these EM snapshots in 3D provides unique information about the structural changes in the myosin motor as it hydrolyzes adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and produces force and movement.


Nov 15     Sathish Govindarjan, Computer Science

Visualizing a Forest Growth Model

Ecologists use forest growth models to understand and predict the evolution of a forest ecosystem.  Typically the model is tested and verified by computer simulations.  Data visualization can be used as a tool to analyze the data obtained from the simulation.  This talk focuses on our work on visualizing a simulated forest ecosystem.


Nov 22       Rachael Brady, Visualization Technologies Group

Colormaps 101

Psychologists have been doing research on the physchophysical properties of color and perception for 40 years.  Unfortunately, the default colormap in many visualization packages is the rainbow-hue colormap. This color map creates perceived contours that do not reflect discrete transitions in the data.  Additionally, attention is drawn to areas colored in yellow because they are the brightest, not because they are the most important.  In this Friday Forum, I will give general guidelines in choosing a colormap, citing which colormaps are most appropriate for which types of data.

Link to the Powerpoint Lecture



For more information, please contact:

Rachael Brady or


Organized by Computational Science, Engineering, and Medicine (CSEM),

Visualization Technology Group (VTG), and Information Science + Information Studies (ISIS)





Last Modified: January 28, 2004

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