Course Timeline and Homework

Editable Link

Course schedule, in and out of class. Subject to change, particularly further in the future. If you have any ideas for a future class, please add them here!

Timeline Summary

Week 1-2: Course and wiki introduction, Headset handouts and logistics

Weeks 3-4: Plan and start project 1

Weeks 4-9: Project 1; project 1 in-class activities, journal reviews; project status presentations; project tutorials; project 2 planning

Weeks 9-14 Project 2; project 2 in-class activities, project status presentations; journal review, project tutorials and activities

Week 15: Final presentations

Week 1

Class Thursday 1/26:

  • Class motivation, goals, structure, syllabus, wiki (with live showcase)

  • Introduce data visualization in VR, collaboration in VR

  • Introduce everyone

  • Give a breakdown of the wiki

    • What was done last year

    • What is expected this year

    • Where to find everything

  • Project-oriented structure for class

  • Introduce how students will be evaluated (rubric of journal, projects, participation)

  • How to evaluate a piece of software -- a brief explanation

  • Questions

HW due Monday 1/30 @ 12:00 noon:

To take this class you must complete the assignments below by Monday 1/30 @ 12:00 noon

  • Set up your journal page and link it into top-level journal page

  • Join the course slack channel and introduce yourself on it (briefly)

  • Review the course homepage to help give yourself context for the class.

    • You will need to create your own project concepts and plans. Review the Project Ideas page to help you understand what that might look like and also the Scientific Data page to help you make sure that you understand some of the kinds of data that are relevant to course projects.

    • Google Sites has some issues. Check out Google Sites Woes to help work around them as you add material

  • Read some of the wiki and write about nine separate changes you would make to the wiki, each requiring varying amounts of time to complete. These changes should be improvements or additions that will help outside users learn about virtual reality software for science. Formatting suggestions or changes to course structure are not what we're looking for. Write about your proposed changes in your journal:

    • Three changes should each require ~10 minutes to complete.

    • Three changes should each require ~1 hour to complete.

    • The final three changes should each require ~10 hours to complete.

    • Log these changes in your journal.

    • Complete one of the 10-minute changes.

  • Read Kenny Gruchalla's bio. Add your name and at least one question for Tuesday's NREL visitor, Kenny Gruchalla to the "board" gdoc we used in class. He will give an introduction to VR assisted research software at NREL

  • Log a total of 4-5 hours of homework time in your journal; this could include doing some of the following activities:

    • Read some background papers

    • Research a piece of collaborative VR software: this could be a game, a framework, or anything else related to collaborative VR

    • Research data types, data examples, software tools, other institutions doing big-VR visualization work

    • Do things from Course Activities page

    • Log time and any issues in your journal

    • Ponder project ideas (always!)

Week 2

Class Tuesday 1/31:

  • NREL visitor presentation by Kenny Gruchalla -- be prepared to ask questions!

  • Discuss wiki tasks

  • Introduce project guidelines (i.e. explain milestones, in class activities, and deliverables), introduce examples of data visualization and collaboration in past projects

  • Brainstorm project ideas

  • (hopefully) distribute headsets

HW for Thursday 2/02:

  • Quest 2 Setup Guide

    • This involves setting up your Oculus and connecting to your paperspace machine

  • (Optional) Virtual Onboarding to VR event

  • Go to the published wiki and search for "Project" using the search icon in the upper right. Read through at least three previous student projects.

  • Continue with activities from previous homework

  • Pick 2-5 potential pieces of software to explore and evaluate for your research project

  • Using this software and insight from previous projects, create 3-5 potential project ideas in your journal. Be prepared to share concisely (one sentence each) in class. We will ponder their levels of: 1) collaboration, 2) immersive VR, 3) scientific visualization.

  • Copy the course learning goals from the syllabus into the top of your journal. For each put two scores at the beginning of the line. The first should be where you are now, with respect to the goal, an the second should be where you hope to be at the end of the semester. Use these scores:
    1: novice
    2: some experience
    3: have practiced this in some real projects
    4: feel very comfortable
    5: could be an expert mentor
    Add at least one additional goal, #9

Here is a start to fill in. It uses with fixed-width font "Courier New" to help with vertical alignment. We will refer back to this at the end of the semester, so consider what you will be thinking then.

before after
---- ----
1 | 5 | Goal 0: example goal showing "novice" score before and "expert mentor" after
| | Goal 1: [fill in]
| | Goal 2:
. . .

| | Goal 8:
| | Goal 9: ______________________________

Class Thursday 2/02:

  • Quest 2 Practice Tutorial

    • Make sure to post the Google Earth screenshots in your journal

    • Google Earth is one of the most rewarding experiences in VR, so enjoy!

  • Project ideas discussion

HW for Tuesday 2/07:

  • Finish activity from class if you have not (always!)

  • Install DinoVR on your paperspace machine in preparation for next class

  • Review wiki / web to solidify your 3-5 project ideas

  • For each project idea:

    • list three things you will do during the project

    • list one class activity we might do for the project

    • list potential deliverables:

Deliverables are what future readers of the wiki will look at and learn from. Examples might be comparative prose about different software packages, a Consumer-Reports style table of evaluations of features and quality of different software, tutorials showing how to use software for data visualization purposes, measurements of how long it takes and how difficult it is for a group to do a tutorial, etc. A good way to make sure you have a deliverable is to say explicitly where it will go in the wiki.

    • If you are confused or have any questions, feel free to post on the slack or email David or the TA (Jakobi)

  • Brainstorm software evaluation metrics

  • Continue adding potential software / data to the wiki

Week 3

Class Tuesday 2/07:

First half of class:

Second half of class:

  • 15 minutes: Pair up and review project titles, and activities. Working together, add deliverables to each potential project. Ask questions if you are not sure what to do. Each student should pick their first-choice project.

    • identify what you need to learn and do before this first project begins so that you can design it to be successful. The projects will start next week, so you have only one more week for this pre-project work. Check out what we will do on 2/09 to help guide this.

  • 25 minutes: go around room and explain the project that you most want to do, including what we might do in class for it, what wiki deliverables you will produce, and what you need to do before the project. This will be done for each student via a max 1-minute individual oral-only presentation (no slides) followed by slightly longer discussion. I recommend speaking from notes, and I also recommend putting them in the shared Class Activity Board Google Doc

  • Document your potential pre-project activities in the wiki before leaving class

HW for Thursday 2/09:

  • Finish in-class activity if you have not (always!)

  • Select one project from your list of potential projects and create a plan for your project. This project plan should include an in-class activity before 3/16, (but the earlier the better) and should have milestones to be delivered on 2/14, 2/16, 2/23 (2/21 is a holiday), 2/28, 3/02, 3/07, and 3/09. The project plan should include activities that span from February to the middle of March

  • Continue reading, doing, and logging with any extra time

Class Thursday 2/09:

  • 30 minutes: Pair up with someone you haven’t paired up with before and jointly evaluate your pre-project plans. Evaluations should consider:

    • Will the project deliverables be useful and significant?

    • Will the project activities improve the potential quality of the project?

    • Will the project activities help identify and reduce project risks? Risks often involve external dependencies that end up not being met or over-optimistic estimates of time required.

    • Will the project activities themselves add deliverables to the wiki?

    • Go over any questions from above, beginning with project concepts, deliverables, and activities described very briefly.

    • Look ahead to the Project Evaluation questions/criteria below.

  • 40 minutes: Each person should present to the class a 2-minute evaluation of another project. Essentially, it should discuss the answers to the questions discussed, both positive and negative with the goal of getting additional confidence about the evaluation and any additional suggestions.

HW for Tuesday 2/14:

  • Prepare 3 minute project descriptions with powerpoint (must be a .pptx or .ppt file) slides sent to David AT LEAST 24 hours ahead title, brief motivation, in-class activity, wiki contributions/deliverables, schedule/milestones.

  • Write your revised final project plan in your journal

  • Evaluate your project plan using the following rubric:

Note that these first project should have milestones for 2/14, 2/16, 2/23, 2/28, 3/02, 3/07, and 3/09. Second projects will begin on 3/14 and go through the end of the semester. Here is an evaluation rubric for projects:

  • Project Evaluation

Below are a set of questions that should help in evaluating project ideas. Answer each with one of:

          1. strongly disagree

          2. disagree

          3. neither agree nor disagree

          4. agree

          5. strongly agree

The questions are:

o The proposed project clearly identifies deliverable additions to our VR Software Wiki

o The proposed project involves collaboration in VR

o The proposed project involves large scientific data visualization along the lines of the "Scientific Data" wiki page and identifies the specific data type and software that it will use

o The proposed project has a realistic schedule with explicit and measurable milestones at least each week and mostly every class

o The proposed project includes an in-class activity

o The proposed project has resources available with sufficient documentation

Week 4

Class Tuesday 2/14:

  • Project presentations -- three minutes each (plus likely substantial discussion and questions). Include results from your first milestone!

      • These may fill entire class

      • Finally, you can have some slides!

      • Primary thing to show is concrete schedule, including things you'll be evaluating/trying, in-class parts, and wiki parts you'll be adding.

HW for Thursday 2/16:

  • Prepare journal for in-class review. Journals will be evaluated according to the following rubric:

Activities logging rubric -- fill in in your journal

Activities logging rubric

key for each criterion:

5 == exceeds expectations

4 == meets expectations

3 == mostly solid with some gaps

2 == shows some progress

1 == some attempt

0 == not found


Journal activities are explicitly and clearly related to course deliverables

deliverables are described and attributed in wiki

report states total amount of time

total time is appropriate

  • Using the above rubric, evaluate your journal and include your self-evaluation in your journal

  • Jakobi will provide nongraded feedback on your journal and your overall progress in class by Thursday 2/23

  • Meet 2/14 and 2/16 milestones of project

  • Work on project and log hours in journal

Class Thursday 2/16:

  • Continuation of project presentations

  • In-class journal review

    1. Select a partner and review their journal using the rubric above.

    2. Place your review in their journal and write your name next to the review.

  • Fill in class activity in the wiki timeline for the class time you would like.

Week 5

No Class Tuesday 2/21: Long weekend

HW for Thursday 2/23:

  • Continue work on project and contributions to the wiki

Class Thursday 2/23:

HW for Tuesday 2/28:

  • Prepare 3 minute project update with powerpoint (must be a .pptx or .ppt file) slides sent to David AT LEAST 24 hours ahead (pictures, videos, and other eye candy encouraged!) Focus on your milestones past and future to show where you are with your schedule and what modifications you might need to make. Media must be embedded in the presentation (no external links)

  • Edit the homework entry before your activity below to indicate any preparation others should do before class. Class time will be very tight, so try to have it focused on things that can't be done ahead.

  • Prepare for in-class activities

Week 6 - Timeline not complete from here

Class Tuesday 2/28:

  • Present project updates

  • Someone's in-class activity

HW for Thursday 3/02:

  • Prep for in-class activity

  • Work on projects

Class Thursday 3/02:

  • In-class activities

HW for Tuesday 3/07:

  • Prep for in-class activities

  • Work on projects

Week 7

Class Tuesday 3/07:

  • In-class activities

HW for Thursday 3/09:

  • Prep for in-class activities

  • Work on projects

Class Thursday 3/09:

  • In-class activities

HW for Tuesday 3/14:

  • Prep for in-class activities

  • Work on projects

Week 8

Class Tuesday 3/14

  • In-class activities

HW Thursday 3/16

    • Finish first project

    • Prepare presentation for first project for next two classes

        1. Target 5 minutes for presentations -- they have been going long, so don't consider that a minimum!

        2. Your contributions to the wiki

        3. Some contributions will report on easily accessible information

        4. Some should include more active evaluation and analysis of collaboration, science, and VR

        5. Contributions that compare software are particularly interesting

        6. Your deliverables + photos & videos (please include some media!)

        7. If you think something is worth presenting, it should probably be in the wiki!

        8. Any takeaways + challenges;

        9. Maybe some thoughts about how your path deviated from its original course

        10. Anything you've learned

        11. Your ideas for second projects

        12. PPTX to David in personal slack channel by 10am Wednesday

Class Thursday 3/16

  • Project 1 Presentations

HW for Tuesday 3/21

  • Read the Seven Scenarios Paper. Please make sure you know the seven scenarios and how they apply to your evaluations and wiki deliverables.

  • Draft of project 2 plan in journal for others to review. Explicitly state how you've used the principles outlined in the Seven Scenarios paper to design your project; feel free to reference sections of the paper that motivated your thinking.

  • Be prepared to discuss second-project ideas you are considering -- slides/visuals could be appropriate

Week 9

Class Tuesday 3/21

  • Presentation overflow

  • Project 1 overarching take-home discussion

  • 7 scenarios paper and project 2 discussion

  • Wiki discussion

HW for Thursday 3/23

  • Write your revised final project plan in your journal

  • Evaluate your project plan using the rubric from project 1:

Note that your project should have milestones for 4/04, 4/06, 4/11, 4/13, 4/18, 4/20, 4/25, 4/27, 5/02, 5/04.

Class Thursday 3/23

  • Project 2 presentations (TWO SLIDES ONLY), target 3 minutes or less

    • slide 1: title, name,
      left side: very concise description
      right side: wiki results list

    • slide 2: dates and specific milestones (try not to have them be activities!)

Week 10

Class Tuesday 3/28 (No Class - Spring Recess)

Class Thursday 3/30 (No Class - Spring Recess)

Week 11

HW for Tuesday 4/04

  • Write your revised final project plan in your journal

Class Tuesday 4/04

  • last of project 1 in-class activites

  • Peer journal evaluation

HW for Thursday 4/06

  • Consider the levels in Bloom's Taxonomy below as you deepen understanding of the knowledge you have put into the wiki and planning to put in the wiki. This is often used to capture learning in education, but it makes sense in any context involving learning about new things.

Class Thursday 4/06

  • Bloom Taxonomy, seven scenarios, software evaluations, and wiki insights

  • Project 2 in-class activities

Week 12

HW for Tuesday 4/11

  • Refresh Bloom Taxonomy in your brain

  • Make sure journal is ready to review in class -- no missing links, hours up to date, etc.

Class Tuesday 4/11

  • Project 2 In-class activities

  • Bloom taxonomy discussion (maybe seven scenarios as well)

  • Journal peer-review. Please evaluate a peer's journal according to the following rubric. Post your review in your partner's journal along with your name:

Completeness Review

Please answer yes or no to each of the following questions:

  • Approximately ~100+ hours logged. Also, hours logged is listed at top of journal

  • Wiki contributions for first project are clearly listed at top of journal

  • In-class activity is linked to top of journal

  • Project 1 proposal + presentation is linked to top of journal and is accessible

  • Project 1 final presentation is linked to top of journal and is accessible

  • Project 2 plan is linked to top of journal and is accessible

  • Project 2 presentation is linked to top of journal and is accessible

Quality Review

Please evaluate your partner’s overall journal using the following criteria:

  • 5 == exceeds expectations

  • 4 == meets expectations

  • 3 == mostly solid with some gaps

  • 2 == shows some progress

  • 1 == some attempt

  • 0 == not found

In addition, please explain why you chose the number you selected.

  • Journal entries are up to date

  • Journal activities are explicitly and clearly related to course deliverables

  • Journal entries demonstrate project progress (e.g. links, screenshots, or mentions of failure / success)

  • Deliverables are described and attributed in wiki

  • End-of-semester logistics discussion

HW for Thursday 4/13

  • Choose one of your wiki pages to have reviewed in class (and perhaps spruce it up, if you know of issues). Choose something where you feel like you would benefit from feedback.

  • Make sure your journal is ready for a peer-review

Class Thursday 4/13

  • Hacking on the Wiki: review + editing

  • Journal peer review (see last class for rubric)

HW for Tuesday 4/18

  • Create progress report and send to David at least 24 hours before class. Media must be embedded in the presentation (no external links) and presentation must be in .pptx format!

Week 13

Class Tuesday 4/18

  • Project progress reports

HW for Thursday 4/20

  • Prep for in-class activities

Class Thursday 4/20

  • in-class activites

HW for Tuesday 4/25

  • prep for in-class activities

Week 14

Class Tuesday 4/25

  • In-class activites

HW for Thursday 4/27

  • prep for in-class activites

  • start preparing your project 2 presentations and flash talks (see entry for Class 5/09)

Class Thursday 4/27

  • in-class activites

HW for Tuesday 5/02

  • prep for in-class activities

  • continue working on your project 2 presentations and flash talks

Week 15

Class Tuesday 5/02

  • In-class activities

HW for Thursday 5/04

  • prep for in-class activities

  • continue working on your project 2 presentations and flash talks

Class Thursday 5/04

  • in-class activities

HW for Tuesday 5/09

Send flash talk slides to David and prepare final project presentation. Details are outlined below:

Week 16

Class Tuesday 5/09

For our last class before finals we will have concise project 2 presentations (accompanied by your poster) as well as full-semester flash talks. Both will help prepare you for the final public presentations (see Class 5/18 for more info). Since those will still be over a week away, it's ok to have some placeholders.

Project 2 Presentation

The project 2 presentations should be 3 minutes long. If you go over, I will warn you at 3:15 and stop you at 3:30. Please practice to get the timing close!

Project 2 presentations should focus on your VR+data+collaboration learning during the second project. I would hope that what you learned is captured in wiki pages, so you might want to include the names of those pages and some of the main messages captured there, particularly evaluative info.

Presentation Format Options

  • (Recommended) Physical poster. This will serve as a draft of your final poster and will give you practice presenting from it.

  • Single-slide powerpoint "poster". This will mean using a 16:9 aspect ratio and having the much lower resolution of a projector.

Please reply in the slack by Saturday with the option you are going to use. If you are going to use slides, please get them to me enough before class that we can assemble them.

Final Poster Guidelines

Since the format of the public presentations is similar to a science fair, one way to think of a poster is as a set of sections that you can use to complement what you want to say. The gift of your presentation should be understandable by your poster alone.

There are 5 examples of posters from the past here: Think about how you might present from them and copy the parts of their structure that you think are useful. Jakobi and David are happy to give feedback on the posters before next week, and we will also do so after class to help you refine them for the public demos.

You can use either Powerpoint or Photoshop to create a poster. You'll want to resize your slide / photoshop canvas to the actual size of the poster (e.g. 4' wide by 3' height). For Powerpoint, this can be done using the resize slide feature. Please be careful not to make a blurry poster. Images should be high-enough resolution that they are ~200-300 DPI when printed. Text should not be turned into an image. Ensure that images are high enough resolution when scaled to the correct size.

In order to better handle slides and posters together, let's go with landscape orientation -- wider than high. 4' wide by 3' high is a pretty good size. 4' wide by 2.25' high is standard HDTV (projector) ratio -- I find that to be uncomfortably and awkwardly short when printed.

Flash Talk

Please also prepare a flash talk of 40 seconds for Tuesday's class. Send David a powerpoint slide or a small number of slides with timings. David will ensure that the total time for your slides is 40 seconds, and they will advance automatically. There will be an additional 5 seconds between speakers to transition.

This flash talk for Tuesday's class will also be presented at the public demo, and as such, should be directed at a broader audience.

Poster Printing instructions:

  • The poster printer (HP Designjet Z5200) is in Room 475 and is connected to a Mac

  • Log into the 475 computer using your department username and password.

  • Office hours for the printer are 8:30am - 5:00pm on weekdays.

  • Once you log onto the computer, make sure your poster is in PDF format (either save it as a PDF or have it as a PDF already)

  • Open up the pdf in Adobe Acrobat Pro (you'll likely want to upload your poster to Google Drive, sign into Google on the Mac, and then download it)

  • Each user will need to define a custom page size under the print menu -> page setup -> page size -> manage custom sizes. The paper roll is 42 inches wide, that can either be height or length:

  • Be sure to select HP DesignJet Z5200 Postscript as your target printer If the poster is coming out sideways or too small or whatever hit the red button before too much paper gets wasted. Then double check settings and try again.

  • Once printed, you'll want to crop your poster using the mat cutter:

Week 17

Class Thursday 5/18 2pm Final Presentations!

The final public presentations will begin with each person presenting a 30-60 second flash talk in front of a projector about their projects and demo to the audience. The rest will be done in a science-fair like format. Each person will stand in front of their posters on easels and invite passersby to hear their project presentation and try out their demo.

Class Final Projects

Virtual Reality for Collaborative Data Visualization

Thursday, 5/18/22, 2pm

CIT 101


2:00-2:15pm: flash talks presented with slides in CIT 101.

2:15-3:20pm: posters and live demos.