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Henry Fuchs - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


In the past twenty years, VR has blossomed from a few obscure research projects to widespread world-wide use. From virtual tours of homes for sale, to the multi-player virtual worlds of Second Life and World of Warcraft, VR is now in everyone's consciousness.

Many areas of VR have flourished in the past decade: in addition to multi-player worlds, other notable successes include real-time physical simulations, VR-based treatment of phobias, and careful assessment studies of the effectiveness of various VR techniques.

Unfortunately there has been meager progress in some essential hardware technology: we still don't have a wide field of view see-through head-mounted display that can be worn comfortably like a pair of eyeglasses; neither do we have a tracking technology that can determine, in an unencumbered way, a user's head and hand positions in a normal work or home environment, tracking the user as he or she walks around a typical office building or residence.

As a result of the inadequate technology in these two areas, many lines of research and development cannot even be contemplated. With additional resources and talent, however, this unfortunate situation can be turned around within a decade.

About the Speaker

photo: henry fuchs


Henry Fuchs is the Federico Gil Professor of Computer Science, Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Adjunct Professor of Radiation Oncology at UNC Chapel Hill.

He has been active in computer graphics since the early 1970's, with rendering algorithms (BSP Trees), hardware (Pixel-Planes and PixelFlow), virtual environments, tele-immersion systems and medical applications. He received a Ph.D. in 1975 from the University of Utah.

He was a member of the faculty of the University of Texas at Dallas from 1975 to 1978. He joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1978.

He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the recipient of the 1992 ACM-Siggraph Achievement Award, and the 1992 Academic Award of the National Computer Graphics Association.