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Virtual reality expert to speak Apr. 23

April 22, 1998

An internationally renowned virtual reality expert will discuss work underway to allow people at distant sites to communicate and cooperate on complex tasks, while sharing a realistic “virtual environment.”

Jaron Lanier, lead scientist of the National Tele-Immersion Initiative, will speak on April 23, from 4-5 p.m. in Room AB20 of Weeks Hall, 1215 Dayton Street. He will give the annual J. Barkley Rosser Memorial Lecture, which is sponsored by the computer sciences department and made possible through a gift of Annetta Rosser. The event is free and open to the public.

Lanier is a computer scientist, composer, recording artist, visual artist, and author. He coined the term “virtual reality,” and pioneered the scientific, engineering, and commercial aspects of the field.

Lanier will describe ongoing work in the new field of “tele-immersion,” a dramatic advance in virtual reality technology that will provide a test application for Internet2. Tele-immersion differs from prior efforts in virtual reality in that it opens up the possibility of photo-realistic human representations or “avatars” as well as an unprecedented integration of physical and virtual objects. Early applications will be in teleconferencing, computer assisted design, and medicine.

The lecture series is held in memory of the late Professor Rosser, a UW–Madison professor of computer sciences and mathematics and director of the Mathematics Research Center from 1963 to 1978.

For more information, contact Laura Cuccia in the computer sciences department at (608) 262-0017.