Vol.34 No.1 Feb. 2000

Cover Images Expand Issue Topics

Karen Sullivan
Computer Graphics Cover Editor

February Columns
From the Editor Gaming & Graphics

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The copyright of articles and images printed remains with the author unless otherwise indicated.

Front Cover

In his article, "Practical Scientific Visualization Examples," Russell M. Taylor remarks that scientific visualization is a discipline still in formation. In order to establish standardized principles, it is useful to look at examples where visualization has led to new types of experiment.

Such an example is the nanoManipulator (nM). This device provides an intuitive interface to scanned-probe microscopes, allowing scientists from various disciplines to examine and manipulate nanometer-scale structures. In the image on the front cover, the nanoManipulator application adds a virtual reality interface to the scanned-probe microscope. Haptic feedback allows the user to feel and modify the microscopic surface.

In the bottom row of images, a 15nm gold ball (circled) is moved into a test rig in the lower left of the image. Haptic feedback is used to feel as the ball is pushed and to determine when it has slipped off the tip.

Back Cover

This image is Figure 2 from "The Role of Visualization in Understanding a Complex Forest Simulation Model" by Douglas Deutschman, Catherine Devine and Linda Buttel. As ecological researchers, Deutschman, Devine and Buttel examine the effects of disturbed and undisturbed forest canopy gaps to learn about the growth and effect of tree populations. This allows for efficient communication of the forest’s structure, function and the ability to make predictions about the future structure and function.

This particular visualization shows that in undisturbed forests, there is a striking spatial pattern. While the canopy is fairly uniform, the species distribution is not random. In the disturbed forest, large gaps are filled almost exclusively with yellow birch. The most change in the forest occurs at the boundaries between clumps of different species. These visualizations provide some answers (large gaps function differently than small gaps) and open new questions (why are beech and hemlock tightly clustered?). Visualization of ecological research can provide clear insight into the different roles that trees of different species play in the forest.

Karen Sullivan is a faculty member at Ringling School of Art and Design in the Department of Computer Animation and Foundation Studies. Her major focus of research is in concept, narrative and literacy for media and animation. Her video installations and single channel pieces have been shown nationwide. Karen received her M.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and her B.F.A. from Indiana University, Bloomington.

Karen Sullivan
Ringling School of Art and Design
2700 North Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34234

Tel: +1-941-351-5100