Last week, Mike Nutt, lead PI, and myself, Shelby Hallman, project manager, boldly went where no NCSU librarian has gone before -- to THE CAAV annual conference! The Higher Education Campus Alliance for Advanced Visualization, or THE CAAV for short, is a non-profit organization focusing on issues and discussion within the realm of immersive and advanced visualization. THE CAAV is a newer organization, established in 2015, with 168 current members. The members represent a range of roles and types of advanced scientific visualization labs, including academic labs and national labs.
For this year’s second annual THE CAAV conference, we all ventured to the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming (cue images of endless beautiful sky, cowgirls/boys, and trains). Members from all over the world - including a group from Australia! - met for 3 days to share, connect, and learn. Presentations covered topics including: the CAVE2 at the Electronic Visualization Lab at University of Illinois at Chicago; Unity 3D; collaborative data visualization through asymmetric VR systems; STEM undergraduate visualization; simulation based learning; and data visualization tools such as UniCAVE. We also attended a tour of the 3D Shell Visualization Center, University of Wyoming’s awesome visualization center that houses a CAVE, VR/AR equipment, responsive touchscreen displays, and more.
During the conference, Mike and I had the opportunity to present on the Immersive Scholar grant (slides) and host a discussion session for feedback, questions, and suggestions. More importantly, we were able to approach the idea of collaboration between Immersive Scholar and THE CAAV. As THE CAAV mainly consists of those working in established scientific, research-based visualization labs, we (libraries) can learn much from them, their tools, workflows, and collaborations. Through our discussions and attendance of presentations, it’s clear that the issues the Immersive Scholar grant aims to address, namely a lack of community of practice and technical/resource barriers, are issues faced by THE CAAV members as well. As we work through the grant we hope to combine our shared experiences and interests, as well as grow and learn from each other. Whether focusing on sharing tools and applications, or facilitating conversation through a dedicated Immersive Scholar channel in their Slack workspace, we are looking forward to working with THE CAAV towards our common goal!
Interested in learning more about THE CAAV? Visit their website to find out more! I encourage anyone who is interested in the Immersive Scholar grant to become a member of THE CAAV. Membership is free, just fill out this form! Registration is limited to those associated with academic institutions or national labs. As an added bonus to becoming a member, the Slack workspace is accessible by members only!