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New visualization technology to benefit students, but what is it?

Visualiization Cave on Campus | Photo by Dylan Collison | The Wright State Guardian


Students will soon benefit from a visualization cave that is being built in the Joshi Research Center.

But what is a visualization cave?

The visualization cave is a high-end virtual reality display that will be fully walk-in. Its system is set to go online in January 2020, according to Thomas Wischgoll, director of the project.

Visualization research is focused on visual ways to interpret data. For example, a CT scan is a visual representation of medical data. Visualizing data can make the information easier to express and understand, according to Wischgoll.

The cave will be used for educational purposes at Wright State. Programs such as nursing, psychology, computer science, and mechanical engineering can all benefit from virtual reality technology.

Virtual reality in education increases faster learning and retention rate, according to Wischgoll.

Wischgoll wrote the proposal to begin the process of this new visualization cave and he manages the lab, but many different departments on campus are involved in the program.

“It’s pretty much all over campus, which I think is nice,” said Wischgoll. “I think it’s nice for students to be exposed to these things. I don’t think there are too many universities that have that capability, at least to that scale, and are willing to make it accessible to that broad range of student population.”

How can students benefit?

There are three facilities on Wright State’s campus currently; a research laboratory, a teaching laboratory and the Appenzeller Visualization laboratory, according to the Advanced Visual Data Analysis group.

These facilities are located in the Joshi Research Center and Russ Engineering Center.

“It’s generally a fun place,” said Wischgoll. “I mean, since it’s visual it’s very easy to grasp what’s going on because you can really see what we’re doing in there, at least that’s the idea, trying to make things more accessible and easier to use,”

The Advanced Visual Data Analysis group recently bought an immersive multi-display visualization ActiveCube from a Kettering-based company called Virtalis, according to a Wright State Newsroom story.