Immersive Approaches to Biological Data Visualization
December 7 - 16, 2017
Application Deadline: October 1, 2017

Kelly Gaither, Texas Advanced Computing Center
Matthew Vaughn, Texas Advanced Computing Center

Brian McCann, Texas Advanced Computing Center

This course will explore the new frontier of immersive, interactive scientific visualization. It is aimed at researchers who wish to design and implement innovative visualization tools to help address biological or biomedical research questions. As part of their research programs, course participants will ideally have a need to visualize genomic or systems biology data, anatomical structures and models, scientific simulations, and/or other domains that generate complex, multidimensional, and often very large data sets.

Through a combination of detailed lectures and intensive hands-on computing exercises led by course instructors, students will learn the principles of information and scientific visualization. However, rather than relying on simplified representations of complex data, students will learn these visualization principles within the newly emerging context of immersive augmented and virtual reality. They will work with tools such as Unity 3D and Blender, as well as scripting environments such as Bash and Python, to craft data visualizations using the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset and Leap Motion gesture sensor. Students will apply the concepts and techniques covered in class exercises to create an independent virtual reality data visualization project. Additionally, the hands-on training will be supplemented by guest lectures from some of the leading experts working in data visualization today.

Selected Major Topics:

- Overview of Scientific Visualization
- Perception & Color
- Information Visualization
- Scientific Visualization
- Importing Scientific Data into an Immersive Visualization Framework
- Tool Development Using Oculus and Leap Motion

2016 Invited Speakers:

Min Chen, Oxford University, U.K.
David Ebert, Purdue University School of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Brian McCann, Texas Advanced Computing Center, University of Texas
Mariah Meyer, University of Utah
Amitabh Varshney, University of Maryland College Park

Support & Financial Aid

Major support for this course is generously provided by the Helmsley Charitable Trust

Access to cloud computational resources may be supported by an education grant from Amazon Web Services

Financial aid is available to help offset tuition costs as follows:


1) Interdisciplinary Fellowships (transitioning from outside biology) & Scholarships (transitioning from other biological disciplines) are provided by the Helmsley Charitable Trust
2) Financial aid for international applicants is provided by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Please indicate your eligibility for either of these funding sources in a financial aid request submitted as part of your application materials. Financial aid requests do not affect selection decisions made by the instructors.

Cost (including board and lodging): $3,690

The following button links to a short form which confirms your interest in the course, but is not an official application form. To apply to the course, click the Application tab above. No fees are due until you have completed the full application process and are accepted into the course.

Students accepted into the course should plan to arrive in Cold Spring Harbor by late afternoon on Wednesday December 6 and depart after lunch on Saturday December 16.