Glenn Martin Receives Research Incentive Award
Research associate Glenn Martin is “Captain VR” at UCF’s Institute for Simulation & Training. The university recently rewarded Martin’s investigations into virtual reality simulation with a prestigious Research Incentive Award.
Martin began his association with IST in 1992, with a bachelor’s degree in computer science from UCF and an assignment as a graduate research assistant in visual systems and dynamic environments (virtual surroundings that change when influenced by user actions... He picked up his master’s in computer science in 1995 and joined IST’s staff as a full-time researcher and became a research associate in 1998.
The Research Incentive Award, one of a limited number provided by UCF each year, is for Martin’s achievements in dynamic, multimodal environments and after action review software.
One product of Martin's research, available at no charge for download and use, is the "Virtual Environment Software Sandbox," VESS, a software suite of libraries used to build simulations. The latest version (4.0.0)includes a number of new capabilities including support for programmable shading, avatar skinning algorithms for improved visual avatars, multi-texturing, pixel buffers for off-screen rendering, voice management capability for sounds, an enhanced collision detection algorithm for articulated objects (to support grabbing objects within the virtual environment), support for inverse kinematics, and a new "on screen" 2-D and 3-D menu system.
VESS provides behaviors and motion models to allow the user to manipulate his or her viewpoint as well as control and interact with objects in the virtual environment. Also, VESS provides a seamless audio API that integrates directly into the VESS scene graph, giving developers the ability to easily add sound to the environment (including moving objects). The software also includes other useful routines such as collision detection and terrain following. You can find out more about and get a copy of VESS here.
Martin's work in recording and replaying the events during a training simulation led to the creation of the "Dismounted Infantry Virtual After Action Review System." The AAR system has gained high marks from soldiers at the various Army posts where the system has aided post exercise debriefings and stirred interest in representatives from cognitive science and teacher training domains.
Martin's newest challenge is to lead his Interactive Realities lab into highly flexible new architecture for the study of networked interactive collaborative environments, with the focus on interactive rather than passive experience.
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