Center for Cognition Communication and Culture Opening Set for November 13
Rensselaer will launch the Center for Cognition, Communication, and Culture (CCC) on Tuesday, November 13, with a program of multimedia presentations on the initial core research areas -- cross-modal displays, mixed reality, and synthetic characters -- and an open house. Jonas Braasch, associate professor of architecture and chair of the CCC Planning Group, has been named center director.
The CCC is Rensselaer's 10th Institute-wide research center and will focus on the intersections and interdependency of cognition, communication, and culture in the context of contemporary research, technology, and society. Interdisciplinary research activities will draw on the arts, design, engineering, humanities, science, and social science.
"The Rensselaer Plan is bringing a continued expansion of interdisciplinary research, and the launch of the Rensselaer Center for Cognition, Communication, and Culture is an important milestone in support of that priority," said President Shirley Ann Jackson. "This new center represents a new frontier of both research and pedagogy, and their intersection. The center will bring together researchers from such seemingly diverse arenas as the arts, computer science, cognitive science, and game design to forge new tools at the intersections of the cognitive, cyber, and physical worlds. By making it possible for us to interact with and manipulate vast quantities of data on a human scale, their work will help us to meet our social and technological challenges."
The initial core research areas are: Cross-modal displays, which seek to employ all human sense in understanding and exploring data; mixed reality, in which data overlaid on the real world enriches learning and research environments; and synthetic characters -- computer programs intended to simulate an independent individual.
"Through the CCC we hope to tackle some of the emerging challenges and opportunities that life in our growing parallel digital universe has brought up," said Braasch. "Initially, the center will focus on virtual reality-based narrative and game playing to develop better ways to learn languages in a more natural and entertaining way, work on the design of next-generation synthetic intelligent characters that can interact with us and enrich our social life, and on cross-modal scientific displays that take into account how humans integrate all their senses to explore and understand big data sets produced by the supercomputers like the CCNI, our supercomputing center."
To support this work, the CCC will host a new Emergent Reality Lab -- a large-scale CAVE Virtual Reality System. The system, now under construction, will be located in the Rensselaer Technology Park and support immersive video and audio projection.
The launch will begin at 11 a.m. in the Theater of the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center. If you plan to attend this event, please RSVP via the CCC website. Speakers will introduce specific research projects. The presentations will include: