Archive for the ‘3D VR’ Category

Cyberworlds in Chester

Hot on the heels of my visit to Limerick in the summer came another academic conference that was much closer to home, as it was hosted by my own department (Computer Science) at the University of Chester.  This was the Cyberworlds 2017 conference, which was organised by my colleagues Prof. Nigel John & Dr. Serban Pop, in collaboration with Dr. Alexei Sourin from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore).  Academics arrived in Chester from all over the world to share the results of their latest research, make new contacts, and renew old ones.  Many research students and members of staff in the department were pressed into service to help with the never-ending list of tasks that are required to make a conference happen; my own contributions included shepherding delegates on and off of buses between Chester city centre and Thornton Science Park, chopping up large amounts of cheese, and arranging for two guitarists to provide some evening entertainment.  I also collaborated with department lecturer Lee Beever and research student Peter Butcher to submit a poster for the conference, based on data gathered for my Ph.D. thesis, which happily was accepted.  I must admit I didn’t realise until rather close to the deadline that a short paper was required as well as the poster, which led to a few days of rather concentrated and intense work, but it was very satisfying to see the results in the final conference proceedings.  Within a week of the conference finishing we were welcoming this year’s new intake of Level 4 students.  Whatever else it may be, my job certainly isn’t boring!

Poster for Cyberworlds 2017

‘Traversing social networks in the virtual dance hall: visualising history in VR’

 

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I went to a conference in Limerick…

I went to a conference in Limerick

To hear about matters academic

There were talks about dancing

And songs quite entrancing

But writing it up is no pic-er-nic!

I’m now on my way back from the ICTM Conference at the University of Limerick, and I know for a fact that I’m not the only academic who should know better to have committed the experience to five-line verse, proving in the process that we really ought to stick to what we know about.  (It’s irresistible, somehow.)  Limerick is an interesting and attractive city, and well worth a visit.  The university is on a large and very scenic campus at the edge of the city.  The campus straddles the river Shannon, and includes several substantial bridges, including the ‘bridge of life’ – a winding footbridge whose end can’t be seen from its beginning.  It’s functional and philosophical at the same time.

Bridge of Life

Part of the Bridge of Life at the University of Limerick

My real reason for being in Limerick was to present a paper as part of a panel with two colleagues from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario; Margaret Walker and Gordon Smith.  Our panel was called “Imagined Borders and Unexpected Intersections:  Exploring Musical Legacies in Three Communities”.  Margaret and Gordon reported on work they have been doing on various aspects of multicultural music-making in Kingston, Ontario and in Nova Scotia.  You can find more information about their work here and here. My presentation – Field Hollers, Foxtrots and Fire Watching – summarised my Ph.D work on dance bands in Chester and North Wales, and outlined my future research plans, relating to 3D virtual reality presentation of historical information.

As well as taking part in the panel presentation, I also attended other talks on (for instance) the physics of Spanish bagpipes, computer-based movement analysis of Tango Argentino, and the transmission of music traditions in Uganda, and made contacts with people working in related fields all over the world.  All of these gave me ideas and sources which I expect will be useful in my own work in future.  Travelling to an overseas conference is hard work (even once you’ve been accepted, and found funding), but very worthwhile.