Thank you gamers

July 27, 2017

Posted: November 20, 2016, 7:30pm

It did not take scientists very long to start using graphics cards to perform demanding scientific and engineering numerical simulations or even to connect multiple gaming consoles to build scientific computing clusters.  But for many years, technological developments fueled by the insatiable gaming community have had a strong impact in the scientific world.  Virtual reality is proving to be the latest tech which may advance both these fields.  Although the sales pitch is quite apparent when it comes to marketing the technology to gamers, the implications of a fully immersive three-dimensional (more if you count haptic feedback) world in are not yet fully understood from a scientific perspective.  It is exactly this confusing, exciting and high entropy time that will sprout countless innovations.  For instance, Brandon Horton and Erick Moen from Viterbi are working to visualize molecular dynamics simulations and I got to test out their tech courtesy of Dr. Aiichiro Nakano who is advising the project.  Necessity is the mother of all invention, and the need to visualize high-dimensional data and complex systems is something every researcher has encountered. Those of us in the scientific community who embrace technology from outside fields are sure to discover new ways of solving age-old puzzles, but it also doesn’t hurt student morale to have the latest gaming tech laying around the lab!

Erick Moen (left) and Brandon Horton (right) with their VR demo for scientific computing and visualization.



Published on July 27th, 2017

Last updated on August 10th, 2017