Andrea Gauthier named finalist in SSHRC Storytellers challenge

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

A big congratulations goes out to Andrea Gauthier, @MScBMC grad, PhD student and ScienceVis lab member. Andrea has been named a finalist in the SSHRC Storytellers competition. Andrea’s research examines the features of game design that may be leveraged to promote learning. As a finalist Andrea will be invited to attend the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in May and present her work. Congratulations Andrea!


European Conference on Game Based Learning

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A big congratulations goes out to Andrea Gauthier, who won top honors at the European Conference on Game Based Learning for her PhD paper titled Serious Game Facilitates Conceptual Change about Molecular Emergence Through Productive Negativity. Andrea is currently in her 4th year of PhD studies. Her research examines the potential of gameplay in remediating misconceptions relating to the study of complex emergent processes in undergraduate biology. Read Andrea’s paper here.


Poster presentation at VS-Games conference 2016

By | Event, Research, Uncategorized | No Comments

Andrea presented a poster entitled “Woes of an RCT for Game-Based Learning Research” at the 8th International Conference on Virtual Worlds and Games for Serious Applications, a.k.a. VS-Games, in Barcelona on September 8th and 9th, 2016. The purpose of the poster was to foster a discussion about the pros and cons of employing a randomized controlled trial methodology in serious games research and to talk about what methods might be valid in order to balance internal and external validity in such studies. The poster was well received at the conference, whose overarching goals are to develop and nurture theoretical and academic rigour in the discussion of serious games and virtual worlds.

CosmoCaixa: VS-Games conference venue
VS-Games conference

Formica polyctena

By | Ant, Research | No Comments

One of the ongoing projects and collaborations the ScienceVis Lab has been involved in relates to how animations of dynamic processes are mentally processed and how educational animations can be designed to facilitate this processing.Ant posed and renderedFor an upcoming educational study, we are designing stimuli that depict ant locomotion. For these stimuli, we require a realistic ant model and rig, which I have been working on recently. The rigging process involved determining what controls would be necessary, with the ability to match data from primary literature sources by verifying measurements of angles and distances on the model.Ant rig with segment anglesAnt rig with animation controlsThis animated gif shows a few of the possible model motions in action.In process rig showing ant motionDetail and textures were sculpted on to the model to increase the perception of realism.Ant "displacement" textures showing model detailThe design of the dynamic nature of the stimuli is still in progress, but hopefully soon we will see this ant walking.

Two mMaya tutorials

By | Molecular, Process | No Comments

Through the molecular visualization work that we have been doing, a number of processes have been explored that may be worthwhile sharing with the broader science visualization community. Here are two tutorials that explore the use of Molecular Maya to help visualize macromolecules.

Poster presentation at SABER Conference

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Andrea presented her most recent results from her doctoral research at the Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research national meeting at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, on July 16th, 2016.

Left: University of Minnesota, Brunswick Hall; Right: Andrea Gauthier in front of poster

The SABER national meeting is focused on sharing the most up-to-date theories and evidence on biology education best-practices and strives to set standards of rigour in biology education research. Andrea contributed to the discussion on active/interactive learning with her research that investigates how educational game design can help undergraduates overcome misconceptions about molecular motion and interactions.

Molecular Visual Storytelling Workshop – AMI 2016

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Jodie, Gaël, and Stuart will be presenting a workshop at the AMI meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.
Principle 9 - Crowded molecular environment

The workshop is titled “Visual Storytelling in Molecular Animation: Accuracy and Design” and covers the unique challenges of creating visual narratives in the molecular world. For one thing, you’d be too small to hold a pencil. Oh, I mean creating narratives about the molecular world.

We’ll cover molecular-scale phenomena and narrative design that takes these into account. There will be an exercise that puts the discussed ideas into practice. The exercise resource booklet can be downloaded here, along with a standalone storyboard template used in the workshop.

AMI 2016 Reference Materials Booklet

AMI 2016 Digital Storyboard Template


2016 SciVis Retreat

By | Misc, Research | No Comments
Science Visualization Retreat

May 17-18 marked the inaugural ScienceVis Lab retreat. We headed north for some much needed headspace and fresh air. Our agenda included a discussion of the potential advantages and pitfalls of animation and novel interactive technologies for supporting learning in life sciences, some ideas for future studies, and a primer on stargazing courtesy of Michael Corrin.