Research (Archive: 2010 and older)

CCV technology and expertise has assisted research that spans various domains. Here are some of the projects we have helped enable.

XROMM: X-ray Reconstruction of Moving Morphology

RCN: A Research Coordination Network for X-ray Motion Analysis
National Science Foundation
PI, Elizabeth Brainerd

The project intends to establish a community of researchers that use X-ray Motion Analysis (XMA) data and X-ray Reconstruction of Moving Morphology (XROMM) analysis, train them in methods for collecting and processing these data through workshops, establish a set of standards for these data and methods, and establish a web-based data portal where researchers can deposit data and share data with collaborators and perform various computing tasks.

The W. M. Keck Foundation XROMM Facility at Brown University was custom built for performing biplanar X-ray videoradiography experiments, and is equipped with high speed video cameras capable of recording up to 1000 high resolution images per second.

The inset above is showing a scaled down biplanar X-ray image from a pig chewing food experiment.

for more information, please visit the XROMM web site.


NSF MRI Grant: Development of a Next-Generation Interactive Virtual Reality Display Environment for Science

PI, David Laidlaw, Professor, Computer Science
Co-PI's: Jan Hesthaven, Professor, Applied Mathematics and Director of CCV
Andy van Dam, Professor, Computer Science
George Karniadakis, Professor, Applied Mathematics

The proposed instrument will be used primarily for research involving visualization of scientific data, but will also enhance through use in academic courses and projects in the arts that depend on immersive environments. The investigators in the scientific visualization projects will investigate new models and hypotheses, develop working prototypes of new visualization and interaction methods, evaluate the prototypes, and apply them to their scientific problems.

Many scientists are overwhelmed by the data-analysis task. These scientists work complex data consisting of massive amounts of scalar, vector, tensor, and higher-dimensional data; intricate 3D spatial relationship between features; time varying data; and combinations of these and other attributes. Some systems biologists also work with huge information data sets. While automated data analysis of these kinds of data is a long-term vision, scientists will rely on interactive visualization tools to analyze data from experiments for the foreseeable future.



NASA/AISR Grant: Advanced Visualization in Solar System Exploration and Research (ADVISER)

Optimizing Science Return from the Moon and Mars
PI, James W. Head, III, Professor, Geological Sciences
Co-PI's, Samuel Fulcomer, Associate Director, CCV
Andy van Dam, Professor, Computer Science

3D representation of Martian surface

The overall goal of ADVISER is to virtually place the geoscientist on planetary surfaces, and provide the tools necessary to explore and take measurements within this environment. This has proven to be useful enough in exploring planetary surfaces that it has now been incorporated into the Brown University Geology course GEO 5: “Mars, Moon, and Earth”.

A significant effort has been placed on adapting the tools to explore planetary datasets tens of terabytes in size, while maintaining interactive rendering speeds needed for virtual reality. The tools are being developed both for our advanced immersive visualization systems as well as commodity based systems. Potentially, this allows for a larger user base, without compromising usability or functionality. This also allows for seamless transition from simple desktop visualization, group visualization at high resolution display walls, and fully immersive visualization in the Cave. On the desktop, the tools are invoked from within ArcMap, allowing direct access to ADVISER from within a geologists known toolset.

A key aspect of the ADVISER project is the idea of Data Fusion: the ability to combine multiple forms of data into a single unified form. While this includes combining geo-referenced height and image data into a seamless landscape, it also includes incorporating the vast amounts of multi-spectral data being collected. Simulations also allow the researcher to explore active geological processes, as well as the effects of solar insolation. All of these data are being combined into a single, coherent visualization geoscientists can interact with as though they were on or near the surface of remote locations like Mars or Antarctica. ADVISER provides tools such as strike and dip, real time image color stretch, and contour profiling to allow the user to fully explore the data while in the immersive environment.



DoD Grant: PTSD

Roy K. Aaron M.D., Professor of Orthopaedics, Bio Med Orthopaedics
Andy van Dam, Professor, Computer Science

The intent of this project is to extend technology to allow a more systematic evaluation of patient response to stimuli in the virtual environment, and to enable new treatment modality (e.g., group therapy). It will enable a more evidence-based design of treatment protocols, potentially lowering costs, increasing efficacy and improving the quality of life for many veterans and otherwise disabling post-traumatic psychological illness. Since the virtual environments used in the development are specifically designed with warfighter stress scenarios, the work is clearly related to a mandate to improve the care and outcome for veterans with limb trauma and the common secondary presentation of PTSD. Ultimately, the goal is understanding the potential benefits of varied technology well enough to design VR display environments, or new HMD's, that optimize the cost-benefit for VRET assessment and treatment.



Examining H1N1 Through Its Information Entropy

"In the Spotlight" article in the IEEE-SPM, May, 2010

William A. Thompson, Assistant Professor (Research), Division of Applied Mathematics, Brown Univ.
Andy Martwick, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, Portland State University
Joel K. Weltman, a Clinical Professor Emeritus of Medicine in the Department of Medicine, Alpert Medical School, Brown University

As reported by CNN in October 2009, the declaration of the H1N1 swine flu pandemic as a national emergency in the USA highlights the magnitude and continuing spread of the first pandemic flu outbreak in forty years. The H1N1 swine flu pandemic that began in March 2009 is the most recent outbreak of influenza A to threaten the human species. Type A influenza viruses, including the H1N1 of the current pandemic, are the cause of the most frequent and most serious influenza infections in humans. To view the entire article click here.



FluidVis and Cave Vox

Dr. Robbert Creton, Assistant Professor of Medical Science (Research)
Bio Med Molecular, Cellular Biology Biochemistry
Brown University

The FluidVis 3D visualization system, supported by CCV, has been used for teaching, research, and outreach activities in our facility.

Teaching:   FluidVis demos for students, including the summer @ brown program.  UTRA students working in the Creton lab have used the system to visualize the zebrafish brain.

Research:  This system is now used by various confocal microscopists.  Dr. Creton submitted a R01 application that includes 3D visualization with FluidVis.

Outreach:  The Fluidvis system has been a valuable tool in various outreach activities.  The Leduc Bioimaging facility is regularly visited by local high schools (e.g. Wheeler) and the 3D visualization is always the highlight of the tour. 



Other Projects: