• Wed. May 31st, 2023

University of Illinois launches IMMERSE to Enable Computing’s Next Frontier | Computer Science


May 26, 2023

At Illinois, Adve said, redefining what’s next is “in our DNA.”

This includes Adve’s own research lab, ILLIXR, that performs extended reality (XR) hardware and systems research and maintains the first of its kind end-to-end open source extended reality (XR) system used in industry and academia.

Recent hires in haptics and computer vision complement existing research in these and other immersive technologies such as graphics, audio, generative AI, robotic telepresence, networking, distributed systems, hardware, programming systems, and security and privacy.

Adve also noted that the campus offers many classes that use XR capabilities. A long running effort is a class from ECE in electromagnetism that has been using VR capabilities.

The Carle Illinois College of Medicine has enthusiastically embraced VR technology to train physicians and to help prep and deliver care in the surgical setting.

These efforts and others on campus offer real world testbeds to see the limits of today’s technology, inspiring research and evaluation methods for needed advances.

The Siebel Center for Design is poised to begin an immersive experiences certificate that will include courses based on design thinking for immersive experiences and provide prototyping facilities, complementing research from Industrial Design and the Colleges of Education, Media, and others on assessing the goodness of immersive systems.

The Grainger Engineering Library’s IDEA Lab has been providing instruction and consultation services as well as state-of-the-art facilities and equipment to faculty, students, and staff seeking to apply immersive technologies into their research and instruction.

The Studio, which stems from the Game Studies and Design undergraduate minor founded within the School of Information Sciences, is a student-driven outlet dedicated to innovative and unique methods for immersive applications development while following game industry standards.

Gies College of Business trains students to approach technology in their discipline and has an exciting “disruption lab” program embracing immersive technologies.

Adve also mentioned the National Center for Supercomputing Applications’ long history with VR through the second ever CAVE deployment and award-winning visualizations. And here at CS, professor Steve LaValle’s experience as founding chief scientist for Oculus VR led to the company’s acquisition by Meta for $2 billion and a consumer VR revolution.

IMMERSE is harnessing all these efforts, seeking to catalyze the intellectual inspiration needed to advance the field through research, education, and physical and virtual infrastructure.

That process took its next step on Monday, May 15, when IMMERSE leaders led a workshop for faculty and staff at the Siebel Center for Computer Science. University leaders like Rashid Bashir, Dean of The Grainger College of Engineering, and Susan Martinis, Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation, joined the conversation.