CSCI 1951T:

Immersive Collaborative Data Visualization


Spring 2023

Welcome to CS 1951T!

First class is Thursday, Jan 26.

Classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:30 - 11:50 in CIT 101

Professor: David Laidlaw (david_laidlaw@brown.edu)

TA: Jakobi Haskell (jakobi_haskell@brown.edu)

Google Calendar

Class Activity Board (where screenshots from in-class activities should be posted)

What is this class?

We will be exploring, testing, and evaluating multi-user collaborative virtual reality software that supports data visualization for researchers and scientists. We will document our findings and projects on the course wiki. Furthermore, we hope that this year's research will document and further the state of collaborative multi-user VR software.

Course communications will be through this slack channel.

What is the wiki?

The goal of the wiki is to give future VR research developers a way to easily navigate the field and to identify shortcomings that need to be addressed as the field continues to grow. To guide this exploration, students will select two research projects over the semester pertaining to collaborative and data visualization VR software and document their findings in the course wiki.

What VR headsets will we use?

Each student will be lent a Meta Quest 2 for the course of the semester. Each box should come with a USB-C charger, two joysticks, and an add-on frame to support using an Oculus with glasses. It is your responsibility to ensure that these materials are well-maintained, and that no parts are missing by their return at the end of the semester. The Quest will be yours to explore; feel free to try gaming/entertainment applications in your free time, but keep in mind that this course is focused on collaborative scientific data visualization, and projects are expected to incorporate some aspect of both virtual collaboration and data visualization.

TA Hours

Twice a week Jakobi will hold TA hours. For these hours, Jakobi will be available in the TA Hours audio channel of the course Slack to answer any questions about the wiki and/or give assistance with your course project. The date and time of these are to be determined.

Prerequisites

While there are no strict prerequisites, programming experience will be useful if you decide to use VR programming platforms such as A-Frame and Unity for your projects. In particular, CS 320 and CS 330 will be particularly useful in this course; knowledge of computer graphics (such as in CS 1230) is also recommended, however, not required.

Homework Expectations

Every week there will be homework posted in the course timeline and on Google Calendar. Make sure to complete this as well as any in-class activities and their deliverables that you did not finish in class. If you did not finish the in-class activity and it is not possible to recreate the deliverable later then please send David and Jakobi a slack message.

While there is no strict deadline for when hours must be logged, the goal is to have 140 hours by the end of the semester, with 10 hours each week as a recommended guideline so that you don't end up getting overwhelmed by an obscene number of hours packed in at the end of the semester.

Classwork

Course Information

Templates

    • Templates for creating software evaluations, tutorials, and parent pages


Course Policies

Diversity & Inclusion

Our aim is to provide a welcoming environment to all students who take the class. Course staff have been trained in diversity and inclusion, and all members of the CS community, including faculty and staff, are expected to treat one another in a professional manner. If you feel you have not been treated in a professional manner by any of the course staff, please contact either the instructor, Ugur Cetintemel (Dept. Chair), Tom Doeppner (Vice Chair) or Laura Dobler (diversity & inclusion staff member). We take all complaints about unprofessional behavior seriously. To access student support services and resources, and to learn more about diversity and inclusion in CS, please visit this webpage.

Laptop Accessibility

We understand that not all students in our class may have access to laptops to complete assignments. In case you need a computer, please email the course staff at jakobi_haskell@brown.edu to discuss potential options.

Homework

Assignments consist of deliverables, which are usually screenshots showing your participation in class activities to the shared google doc, and contributions to the wiki. Since the curriculum of this course is very independent, you are expected to create and execute on your own ideas for making this wiki better, and overall making collaborative data visualization a better experience. Past participants noted that the collaborative aspect is especially underdeveloped in VR, so projects that pursue that aspect are particularly encouraged.