Santiago Lombeyda’s VR for Scientists

October 4, 2019

Santiago Lombeyda teaches Interaction Design’s Interactive Data Visualization class. He is also a collaborator on Caltech/JPL/ ArtCenters’ program  Data to Discovery. His most recent work is showcased on Caltech’s News site. Santiago says “We are thinking about what doing science will look like 10 to 15 years from now,” says Santiago Lombeyda, a computational scientist at the Center for Data-Driven Discovery (CD3), the group behind the virtual reality research, as well as other data science projects. CD3is a joint partnership between Caltech and JPL, which is managed by Caltech for NASA. “In the future, a scientist might be working on their desktop, and then they could just grab a pair of virtual reality glasses, or they may even be already wearing regular glasses that enable VR, and then start manipulating their data in the same shared visual context of their actual work area.”

Recently, the scientists presented their VR tumor program at a computer graphics conference, called SIGGRAPH, to favorable reviews. “Some of the comments we kept hearing were how people were excited to see VR for something other than gaming, and also how natural the experience was in our VR setup,” says Lombeyda.

Cover and main images: A still from the Virtual Reality (VR) protype program OVS (Open Visualization Space), which allows users to examine a model of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), a type of small translucent worm.

A still from the Virtual Reality (VR) protype program OVS (Open Visualization Space), which allows users to identify candidate tumors in imaging scans obtained from patients. The purple areas show components of a patient’s lungs.Credit: Santiago Lombeyda of Caltech’s CD3, in collaboration with JPL and NCI