Joseph A. James

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Clemson Research Experiences for Undergraduates

Collaborative Data Visualization Applications Summer 2015

Home Institution

Clemson University
Clemson, South Carolina

Clemson Research Mentor

Jeff Kallin and Jonathan Gantt
Research Area

Clemson Visualization Mentor

Dr. Vetria Byrd

About Joseph

  • Experience with Unity 3D and Oculus Rift
  • Would like to be a Mechanical Engineer for the Navy, BMW, or Boeing.
  • Very Active in Sports,improving my car's overall performance and audio system.
  • I am a Junior majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in mathematical sciences at Clemson Univerity. I am from Columbia, South Carolina. In the future I would like to be a mechanical engineer for the Navy, BMW, or Boeing. In my spare time I enjoy mentoring students, working on my car, being active in sports, and enjoying the outdoors. I have a passion for anything with an engine and that also has the ability to move. In this REU my goal is to develop a one-of-a-kind first-person experience of an athletic venue or event using virtual reality.

    Project Description

    For this REU my project is to create a one-of-a-kind first-person experience of an athletic venue or event using Oculus Rift goggles and a software called Unity 3D. The purpose of this project is to allow people to get a first-hand experience without actually being in the environment. Just imagine putting on the Oculus Rift goggles and being submerged into any type of environment within seconds this is what my project is all about, which is virtual reality. Virtual reality is an environment that simulates physical presence in places in the real world or imagined worlds. My project is mainly focused the Clemson experience you get when you attend an event at the Little John Coliseum, whether that event is a basketball game or a concert. This visualization will be essential when it comes to recruiting and funding. My mentors for this project are Jeff Kallin and Jonathan Gantt who are employed with Clemson University Athletics.

    Week 1

    Doing the first week of the REU, we had an introduction course/workshop to Linux and Palmetto (which is the super computer better known as a cluster). We also created our own personal websites, so we can update them with our weekly process. Then on Friday we had a workshop on the craft of research with Dr. Tanner, in which she taught us about what research really is. As far as my project I was able to import the files into Unity 3D and I am now starting the process of adding materials and textures to the objects in my scene. But for some reason Unity 3D is running slow since I imported the 3D model, I'll have to research solutions starting next week to fix that problem.

    Week 2

    Doing the second week of the REU we had an introduction to Visualization by Dr. Byrd. We had part 2 of research methods with Dr. Tanner. We had two enrichment lectures one about the use of mapping and analytics for engagement and decision-making and the other one was about big data in biological research. Then we had a webinar about applying to graduate school by Luis Melara. We also took a tour of the Digital Production Arts Lab at Clemson University.

    As far as my project, with the help of my cohorts I was able to fix the problem with Unity 3D running so slow. Now Unity 3D is working perfectly fine. I’m still in the process of assigning material and textures to the components of my project. I ran into another problem some of the components have different components within each other that should be different materials and textures. So I am going to have to create those components myself in Solid works or Maya and apply the material and textures that way. I’m also in the process of researching how I can make the door open when walking through the Little John Coliseum. I’m also in the process of assigning music to different areas of the arena.

    Week 3

    Doing the third week of the REU we took a tour through the visualization Zoo with Dr. Byrd, looking at all different types of visualization tools. We also discuss abstracts and what an abstract in tells will Dr. Tanner. At the end of the week we travel to the Information Technology Center home of the supercomputer, where we were given a tour of the facility. I learned how much about what it takes to maintain and operate a supercomputer.

    As far as my project, this week I was able to add audio to different parts of the arena. So when you proceed into one area of the arena the audio being to play and when you leave the area the music stops, that’s the same for the other areas in the arena also. I also worked on the animation of the doors trying to get the doors to open and close when you approach them. As of right now the doors will open when you approach them but once you walk through the doorway the door doesn’t close behind you. So in this upcoming week I will be working on solving that problem. I also started working on the player animations and researching how to make the avatar perform certain movements.

    Week 4

    Doing the fourth week of the REU we had a workshop on public speaking and elevator pitches by Dr. Lori Pindar. We also worked on our abstracts with Dr. Lori Tanner. At the end on the week we were giving a demo of the social media listening center.

    As far as my project, this week I was able to get help from a graduate student who is an expert in Unity 3D. He was able to help me with the door animation, now they closed once you leave the area. He was also able to help me with the animation of the avatars. I also worked on my PowerPoint for the mid-week presentations that are coming up next week. I also found a basketball avatar that I would like to purchase so I would insert him/her into different scenes. I’m also in the process of researching a mobilize set up for the Oculus Rift goggles.

    Week 5

    Doing the fifth week of the REU we gave our mid-week presentations. Everyone did exceptionally well on their mid-week presentations. As a result of the mid-week presentation five students were chosen to attend the XSEDE Conference in St. Louis, I am one of those chosen ones. So I’m super excited about this opportunity I have to present my research I have been doing for the summer and to network with people from all areas of the world.

    As far as my project I have talked with my mentor and he’s in the process of ordering the mobilize Oculus Rift headset with the Samsung phone and the game controller, so we can put that to use. I’m also in the process of adding in more animation to the doors and avatars.

    3D Model Of Practice Court

    3D Model Of Arena Court

    Research TimeLine

    Click Here to View PowerPoint Prsentation!

    Week 6

    Doing the sixth week of the REU first we reviewed visualization research articles with Dr. Jill Gemmill. Then we had a round table discussion with Jim Bottum, who is the Vice Provost and Chief Information Officer for Computing and Information Technology at Clemson University. Our talk with him was wonderful and very inspiring to continue to pursuit our goals in life. As a result of this talk with Jim, he decided to fund the rest of the student to go to the XSEDE conference. Now everyone will get the opportunity to present their research and network with people. Then we giving two great presentations one in-titled Stuck at Sea: The Life and Times of Barnacles and Oysters by Dr. Andrew Mount and the other one was Hidden Icebergs: Implicit Social Knowledge in Graduate School by Dr. Gabriel Hankins. Finally we went down to Charleston, SC for an amazing Mini-Conference. The conference to me was a great experience; I got a chance to present my research, network with unknown students, practice my elevator pitch/ public speaking skills, visit the church where the nine people lost their lives, try fresh sea food for the first time which was amazing and spend quality time with my cohorts. A huge thanks goes out to Dr. Byrd, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!!!!

    As far as my project I’m still in the process of adding animation to my 3D model as far as animating the basketball avatars the doors. I’m also in the process of adding videos into certain areas within the 3D model. I’m still waiting on the mobilize Oculus Rift set up to come in it should be this week coming up.

    Week 7

    Doing the seventh week of the REU first we discussed Research methods and ethics with Dr. Tanner. Next we had a round table discussion with Dr. Vernon Burton who is the Director of Clemson Cyber institute and a Professor of History. Then we had a lecture on Representing Data for Human Observers: Nuggets of Wisdom from Research in Vision and Cognition by Dr. Bernice Rogowitz and she also sat down with each one of us individually to discuss our webpages. Then we had a workshop on cover letters/ interview skills by Nicholas Paschvoss who is the assistant director of the career development center at Clemson University. Then we had a workshop on Advanced Visualization and Interactive Displays by Dr. Wole. Then we had chocolate 101 by Dr. Hoskin, which I was looking forward to until I found out that I wasn’t a fan of dark chocolate. Then finally we had our graduate student seminar part || with Dr. Jill Gemmill in which we discussed and review graduate level research papers. We also had an interesting photoshoot.

    As far as my project I worked on finishing up the animation and videos. I also conducted my peer review session where my cohorts got the opportunity to experience the Clemson experience with the oculus rift goggles and then had to fill out a survey. Doing this week I also started working on finalizing my abstract, poster, and paper. I’m still waiting on the mobilize oculus rift headset.

    Click Here to View my Lightening PowerPoint!

    Week 8

    Doing the eighth and final week of the REU Dr. Wole had a visualization lecture of his experience with writing a visualization paper, where he talked about all the details of his publish research paper. Also doing that week we had to give a lightening talk about our research projects to a group of incoming freshmen. At the end of the week we gave our final presentation and had a closing ceremony. This visualization REU has been a great experience and I’m glad I was given the opportunity to particular in it. Thank you very much Dr. Vetria Byrd and good luck with your career at Purdue University.

    As far as my project, I will continue to work on my project throughout the school year. The mobilize oculus rift headset has arrive also and I can’t wait to implement that into my project.

    In My Own Words

    Click Here to View Writing Sample of College of Charleston Mini-Conference!!!

    Click Here to View Writing Sample of XSEDE Conference!!!

    Last updated: 08/03/2015