OCAD University

OCAD and SHARCNET to explore links between scientific

and industry research, and art and design

TORONTO, October 10, 2008—The Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) and SHARCNET, the Shared Hierarchical Academic Research Computing Network, will present a daylong workshop to discuss the relationships between scientific and industry research, and art and design, the university announced today.

VizDay: Case Studies in Visualization, a free event taking place Wednesday, November 5 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., will bring together experts from the physical sciences, biology, medicine, geology and mining, and the social sciences to explore how invisible scientific data can be turned into meaningful images, and how this practice can lead to new innovation and economic prosperity.

Expert speakers include:

  • Pierre Boulanger, Professor and iCORE Chair in Collaborative Virtual Environments, Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta
  • Chaomei Chen, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief, Information Visualization, and Associate Professor, College of Information Science & Technology, Drexel University
  • Andrew Dasys, Vice President, MIRARCO
  • Sara Diamond, President, Ontario College of Art & Design
  • Thomas Erickson, Interaction Designer and Researcher, Social Computing Group at IBM's Watson Labs

VizDay: Case Studies in Visualization
Wednesday, November 5, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Doors open at 8:30 a.m.

Ontario College of Art & Design
Room 284, Level 2, 100 McCaul Street, Toronto
Free! Please register at www.ocad.ca/vizday
Info: Hilary Krupa, hkrupa@ocad.ca or 416-977-6000 Ext. 447

VizDay is presented as part of OCAD’s Digital Futures Initiative, which aims to link knowledge in art and design to emerging digital forms and technologies, in partnership with the Collaboration and Visualization Committee of SHARCNET. The event will be held in conjunction with two panel discussions at the ORION/CANARIE Powering Innovation National Summit, both taking place on November 4, from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m.: Advanced Visualization: A Boom with a View, chaired by OCAD President Sara Diamond, and Commercializing Innovation, with panellist Michael Page, Assistant Professor at OCAD. For details please visit http://www.orioncanariesummit.ca/.

Speaker Biographies:

Pierre Boulanger, Professor and iCORE Chair in Collaborative Virtual Environments, Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta
Dr. Boulanger graduated from Laval University in Engineering Physics. He also received his Masters in Physics from the same university and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Montreal. He worked for 18 years at the National Research Council of Canada as a senior research officer where his primary research interests were 3D computer vision, rapid product development, and virtualized reality systems. Since 2001, he has been a professor at the Department of Computing Science at the University of Alberta doing research and teaching on virtualized reality systems. He is also an adjunct scientist and principal investigator for new media at TRLabs and at the Banff Centre. In 2004, Dr. Boulanger was awarded an iCORE industrial chair in Collaborative Virtual Environment. He is also the Director of the Advanced Man-Machine Interface Laboratory. On the commercial side, Dr Boulanger is the president of PROTEUS Consulting Inc., an Alberta-based consulting firm specializing in Virtual Reality Applications.

Chaomei Chen, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief, Information Visualization, and Associate Professor, College of Information Science & Technology, Drexel University
Dr. Chaomei Chen is associate professor in the College of Information Science and Technology at Drexel University. He is a Chang Jiang Scholar at Dalian University of Technology, China and has been a visiting professor at Brunel University in the United Kingdom (2002-2008). He received his bachelor degree in mathematics from Nankai University, China, his master's degree in computation from the University of Oxford and his doctorate in computer science from the University of Liverpool. His research interests include information visualization, visual analytics, knowledge domain visualization, mapping scientific frontiers, and analysis and modeling of discovery and innovation in science and technology. Dr. Chen is the author of Information Visualization: Beyond the Horizon (Springer 2004) and Mapping Scientific Frontiers: The Quest for Knowledge Visualization (Springer 2003). He is the founder and the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Information Visualization (Palgrave-Macmilan). He received the 2002 ASIST/ISI Citation Research Award. He is a member of the Thomson Scientific Strategic Advisory Board and the principal investigator of research grants from NSF and other sponsors. Dr. Chen created the widely used software CiteSpace for visualizing and analyzing emerging trends in scientific literature.

Andrew Dasys, Vice President, MIRARCO
Andrew Dasys obtained a B.Eng degree in mining engineering from McGill University in Montreal. He joined Novalog a Montreal based software start-up as Product Manager for the Catbase electronic part books. In 1996, he joined El-Equip as Manager Engineering and was responsible for this underground communication suppliers R&D and product development program. He also led the company's IT development initiative diversifying the company's traditional VHF product line to include a software product line. He is currently the owner of Objectivity a software consultancy located in Sudbury.

Since 2001, MIRARCO has developed the skills and technology to meet the niche data integration, interpretation and visualization needs of the natural resources industry. Located in Sudbury Ontario, Canada's largest mining-industrial centre, the Virtual Reality Laboratory (VRL) allows multidisciplinary teams to significantly reduce the time required to understand complex datasets, while improving the overall quality of decision making.

Sara Diamond, President, Ontario College of Art & Design
As president of the Ontario College of Art & Design, Canada's largest and most diverse undergraduate and graduate art and design university, Sara Diamond is building OCAD's capacities in undergraduate learning, research and graduate studies, as well as creating links with medical and scientific research. Diamond serves on the advisory committee for the Ontario Ministry of Culture. She is on the editorial board of Convergence Magazine and was the editor-in-chief of Horizonzero.ca, a unique new media gallery and critical publication. Before moving to OCAD in 2005, she was the award-winning Director of Research at The Banff Centre and Artistic Director of Media and Visual Arts for fourteen years. She founded the Banff New Media Institute (BNMI) in 1995 and built the BNMI into a globally recognized content incubator, workshop and think tank. Diamond's network reaches from Asia to Eastern Europe, to the UK, USA, Brazil, and the Arctic; to research labs to Silicon Valley, to television to software development companies around the world. She was co-principle investigator on the Mobile Digital Commons Network and Am-I-Able Networks. She chairs the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre, a consortium of business and academia for mobile research and development. Her research and publications explore data visualization and the history of media art.

Thomas Erickson, Interaction Designer and Researcher, Social Computing Group at IBM's Watson Labs
Thomas Erickson is an interaction designer and researcher at IBM Research in New York, to which he telecommutes from his home in Minneapolis. His primary interest is in studying and designing systems that enable distributed groups to interact productively over networks, and his approach involves using minimalist visualizations called social proxies to provide cues about activities of participants. More generally, Erickson's approach to systems design is shaped by methods developed in HCI, theories and representational techniques from architecture and urban design, and theoretical and analytical approaches from rhetoric and sociology. Over the last two decades Erickson has published about fifty peer reviewed articles and chapters, and been involved in the design of over a dozen systems ranging from advanced research prototypes to commercial products. He is co-editor of HCI Remixed, a book of essays on works that have influenced the HCI community that was published by MIT Press in 2008.

The Shared Hierarchical Academic Research Computing Network (www.sharcnet.ca) is a world-class consortium of 17 Ontario colleges, universities and research institutions in a “cluster of cluster” of high performance computers linked by advanced fiber optics. Its unique infrastructure is designed to meet the computational needs of researchers in diverse research areas and to facilitate the development of leading-edge tools for high performance computing grids.

About the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD)
The Ontario College of Art & Design (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “university of the imagination.” OCAD is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. The university is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinarity, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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Media Contacts:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer, OCAD
416-977-6000 Ext. 327 (mobile: Ext. 1327)

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