UMD Viz Lab + MMAD Lab
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Past Viz Lab Events

Confused Herring

In spring of 2012 an Art + Design Graphic Design Graduate Seminar/Sudio class involving Assistant Professor of Design Steve Bardolph and graduate students Chenxi Jin, Dustin Thompson and Jordan Cataldo worked together with the UMD VIZ | LAB and collaborated with MN Sea Grant to tell the tale of sustainable fisheries on Lake Superior. Specifically Lake Superior Herring fisheries. This species, once nearly extinct, has seen a return in commercially harvestable numbers. While their estimated population is no where near it's historical volume their return is still reason to celebrate Minnesota's commitment to sustainablity. To learn more visit the
Confused Herring Web Site.


2010 Winter Sustainability Fair

2010 Winter Sustainability Fair




Viz Lab co-sponsored the guest speaker Chris Paine, director of Who killed the electric car?, for the Winter sustainability fair 2010. His talk was focused on politics, personalities, and cold hard cash reasons for return of the electric car. He shared his role as the filmmaker who caught GM and others destroying thousands of this "disruptive technology" in 2003. Seven years later, he's documenting the incredible return of electric cars for his 2011 film Revenge of the electric car.

Robotics Redefined

by Andrew Archer Sept. 16 2010

Andrew Archer is a former resident of Hermantown. He is twenty two years old and currently operates his business Robotics Redefined in Detroit, Michigan. He builds robots and controllers for numerous companies and industries. Andrew was heavily involved in legos as a child and attended and competed in many lego mindstorm camps, and currently builds and hacks robots from off-the-shelf components to design new robots for factories and tools for urban farming, among others.

Tele-Present Wind

by David Bowen

Tele-Present Wind




Concept: Tele-present wind is a kinetic installation that draws information from the intensity and direction of the wind in a given location. The wind is detected by a sensor device attached to a natural object in an outdoor location. The gathered information is then transferred to a collective of similar objects installed in a remote gallery space resulting in the simulation of the physical effects caused by the movement of the air from a distant location.

Technical info: This installation consisted of a series of 21 x/y tilting devices connected to thin dried plant stalks installed in the gallery and a dried plant stalk connected to an accelerometer installed outdoors. When the wind blows it causes the stalk outside to sway. The accelerometer detects this movement transmitting it in real-time to the grouping of devices in the gallery. Therefore the stalks in the gallery space moved in real-time in unison based on the movement of the wind in a remote location. In June of 2010 the 21 x/y tilting devices were installed at Laboratoria Art and Science Space in Moscow and the sensor were installed at the Visualization and Digital Imaging Lab at the University of Minnesota. The data collected by the sensor was sent in real-time via the internet to the installation in Moscow. Thus the individual components of this installation in Moscow moved in unison as they mimiced the direction and intensity of the wind in Minnesota.

Jumpstart your creativity

Researchers share their ideas for getting the creative juices flowing in this short workshop from 2-3 pm. Tom Isbel (writer), Alison Aune (fine artist), Tom Johnson (oceanographer), Lisa Fitzpatrick (graphic designer), and Rudy Perrault (composer) will share some tips and creative exercises

Celebrating 10 years of the Viz Lab!


The Viz Lab is celebrating its 10 year anniversary.

Download the pdf going over the lab's history.

New Green Screen Room


Green Screen 01

Recently the Viz Lab along with the UMD Art and Design department set up a green screen room for faculity and art/design students.

Download the how-to pdf.

Remote Sonar Drawing Device

Remote sonar drawing device is a project conceived by David Bowen an Assistant Professor in the Art and Design Department. This interactive robotic installation is a collaboration between the Visualization and Digital Imaging Lab and Laboral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial Universidad Laboral Gijón-Asturias, Spain. The project is included in Nowhere/Now/Here, an exhibition opening October 9th 2008 and running until April 20th 2009 at Laboral Centro. Nowhere/Now/Here, is an exhibition curated by the creative partnership of Roberto Feo and Rosario Hurtado (El Último Grito) and features works that Investigate new lines of enquiry in contemporary design.

This is a multinational tele-presence robotic installation. The piece consists of the drawing arm and sonar sensor array installed at the Visualization and Digital Imaging Lab in Duluth and a drawing arm and sonar sensor array installed at Laboral Centro in Gijón-Asturias. Each drawing arm produces gestures based on a participant’s interaction with the sensor arrays. The information gathered by the sensors is sent via the internet to the drawing arm in the opposite location. Therefore, the arm in Spain produces drawings based on the inputs it receives from the sensor array in Minnesota and vise-versa. The public is encouraged to participate at both locations. By moving near to the sensor array you can make gestural drawings halfway around the world.

This project was made possible with the support of:
The University of Minnesota, Grant in Aid of Research, Artistry and Scholarship
Laboral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial Universidad Laboral
Visualization and Digital Imaging Lab, University of Minnesota
The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art

Remote Sonar Drawing Device




Games Symposiums

The Viz Lab together with GRAVEL (Games Research and Virtual Environment Lab)—a group that embraces all campuses of the U of M system—Viz Lab's Games & Animation Group and the Multimedia Hub sponsored the first Games Symposiums: interdisciplinary, intercampus events, free and open to the public.

The Symposiums showcased gaming technologies and scholarship in an effort to promote and advance understanding of the important new medium of the video game. Presenters included Sandra Voelker, Electronic Arts; Danny Robashkin, Make, Animation and Visual Effects production; Pete Willemsen, UMD Computer Science-Tours of head mounted display virtual reality lab; Chris Bacigalupo and Harbor City High technology club; and Joellyn Rock, UMD Art + Design. Ira "Mimmu" Turunen, UMD Public Relations, showed her motivational and highlight tapes and talked about the process of creating an effective video. Additionally, game demos, and student and faculty game research were featured throughout the day.

2006 schedule

2007 schedule

2007 VAGS Flier (pdf - 230k)

Viz Lab Presents series

Fall 2009 Spring 2008 Fall 2007 Fall 2006 Spring 2006 Fall 2005 Spring 2005 Fall 2004

Fall 2009

Sandy Pederson, Eric Stykel, Viz Lab
The Graphic Design of Scientific Posters

Michele Olsen, Laura Eagin, Lisa Fitzpatrick,
Viz Lab
Data Visualization Strategies

Stacey Stark, Steve Graham, G.I.S.
Overview of GIS at UMD & Quickmaps for Class

Spring 2008

Beth C Austin, Communication
"Sticks and Stones" Video Documentary

Jefferson Campbell, Music
Use of Leitmotif and Motto Themes by American
Film Composers

Eun-Kyung Suh, Art + Design

Marshall Hampton, Mathematics
Geometric Visualization of Algebraic Objects

Justin Rubin, Music
Dancing with Schubert

Fall 2007

Beth Holbrook, Tom Hrabik, Biology
Foraging Behavior of Age-0 Lean Lake Trout (Salvelinus Namaycush)

Jim Allert, Scot Halverson, Computer Science
Making Tutorials for CS Classes with Adobe Captivate

Justin Rubin, Music
Virtual Instrument Sequencing

Terence Hams, Tim Craig, Biology
Modeling of Avian Foraging on Goldenrod Galls

Janice Kmetz, Art+Design
No Loser, No Weeper

Tory Olson, Donn Branstrator, Biology
Quantifying total body darkness of crustacean (invasive) zooplankton using grayscale technology

Rob Wittig, Art+Design
Weblogs and Podcasting to Support International Collaboration

Doug Dunham, Computer Science
Quantifying total body darkness of crustacean (invasive) zooplankton using grayscale technology

Joellyn Rock, Art+Design
The Making of a Mockumentary

Jean "Rudy" Perrault, Music
Restoring hope: a multimedia presentation of the people of Haiti

Fall 2006

Jefferson Campbell, Music
Live instrumental improvising and composing with Garageband, Protools and bassoon

Frank Simmons, ITSS
Keeping Your Computer Healthy

Clay Carter, Biology
Analysis of Gene Expression in Canola Flowers

Andrew Larson, Math/Stats
Visualization of Vibration for a Space Truss Structure

Paul Skalski, Communications
Game Modding

Tom Wegren, Music
"TRIUMPH" for Wind Ensemble, Piano/Synthesizer Quartet, two Alto Singers and synchronized computer graphics"

Frank Simmons, ITSS
What is Inside a Computer (Basics)

Joseph Johnson, Chemistry
Analyzing Potential Protein-Protein Interactions in Alzheimers Disease

Eun-Kyung Suh, Art+Design
Tangible memory in Virtual space

Rachel MaKarrell, Biology
Creating useful tools for learning insect anatomy

Frank Simmons, ITSS
Keeping Your Computer Healthy

Spring 2006

Frank Simmons, ITSS
Desktop Security: How to Keep your Computer Healthy

Saiyam Kohli, Computer Science
Visualizing Relations Between Concepts in WordNet

Harlan Stech, Hans Anderson, Mathematics
ECOPHYS tree modeling, Beowulf cluster and POVRAY

Fall 2005

Steve Bardolph, Art & Design
Re-imaging and Imagining the Beautiful and Sublime

Steve Sternberg, Chemical Engineering
Visualization and Animation of Contaminant Movement in Porous Media

Josh Jacobs, Graduate Student Math/Stats
Rendering Mathematical Concepts through Visual Media

Mark Harvey, Theatre
Pursuing the theatrical design attributes of both GarageBand and ProTools

Rob Wittig, Art+Design
Blending Image and Typography for Digital Scrolls

Mary Ann Marchel, Education
Assistive Technology for Children and Youth with Disabilities" production of an interactive CD

Margretta Meyer, Graduate Student Geology
Genesis of Rogen Moraine; a quantitative spatial analysis

Kristin Riker-Coleman, Viz Lab RA and Graduate Student in Geology
Designing Scientific Posters

Joseph Beer, Graduate Student Geology
Three-Dimensional Visualization of Late Triassic Landscape Evolution of South-Central Utah

Douglas Dunham, Computer Science
Creating a program that will print out 2-dimensional "nets" of patterned polygon faces for polyhedra of positive genus, which can be folded up and glued together, forming the whole polyhedron

James Allert, Computer Science
Visualizations of Student Learning Style Data

Allen Mensinger / Margot Bergstrom, Biology
Digitally tracking movement of an invasive, exotic fish to curtail migration into the Great Lakes

Spring 2005

Jere Mohr, Geological Sciences
Digital Imaging in Experimental Sedimentology

Steve Sternberg, Chemical Engineering
Fluent: Visualizing the flow of contaminants through soil

Bruce Reeves, ITSS
What's New With DW MX 2004

Bruce Reeves, ITSS
Pilot the Wireless Workshop

Pete Border
Using games to teach Introductory Physics

Bruce Reeves, ITSS
Copyright Issues for Faculty

Andy Breckenridge, Sandy Pederson, Lisa Fitzpatrick, Viz Lab
Designing Scientific Posters

Fall 2004

Joellyn Rock, Art+Design
Digital Bricolage: the Vasalisa story

Paul Siders, Chemistry
MPI on bwulf at the UMD Viz Lab

Robert Appleton, Art+Design
Sound, Image and Motion in Performance

Paul Kiprof, Chemistry
the oxo process

Justin Rubin, Music
Video and Audio Production for Art Installations

Kate Maurer, Composition
A Dramaturg's View: Documenting "La Traviata"

Jesse Schomberg and Nick Zlonis Sea Grant, George Host NRRI, and Rich Axler
Flash Flood for : Modelling and Visualization of Stream Response to Rain Events in Duluth's Urban Watersheds

Yuhu Yan, Physics
Water Quality Visualization in Lake Superior Based on GIS and RS

bi-annual reports

2005-2007 report (pdf - 3.9Mb)

2003-2005 report (pdf - 6.4Mb)

2003 report (pdf - 192kb)

site by Phil McCollam