Virtual Reality for Science & Education

Course description Virtual Reality for Science & Education
Year: 2015-2016
Catalog number: 4383VRSE5
Teacher(s):
  • R.M.E. de Lange
  • Prof.dr. S. Haring
  • several guest lecturers
Language: English
Blackboard: No
EC: 5
Level: 400
Period: Semester 1, Block I, II
  • Yes Elective choice
  • No Contractonderwijs
  • No Exchange
  • No Study Abroad
  • No Evening course
  • No A la Carte
  • No Honours Class

Admission Requirements

All 3rd year Bachelor students and Master students at Leiden University can apply for this course. To apply, e-mail a motivation in which you explain why you are interested in this course and a description of your background to mail@robindelange.com. The aim is to work with a diverse group of highly motivated students who want to explore the possibilities of VR. Admission will be based on this aim.

Description

After the promises of Virtual Reality (VR) of the nineties could not be fulfilled, we hardly heard anything about VR for quite a while. The announcement of the Kickstarter campaign for the Oculus Rift changed that abruptly and started a next generation of VR headsets. By combining different technologies that have been developed separately from each other, these headsets do seem to be able to live up to the expectations people have of VR.
Anyone who has tried a recent VR headset, can imagine the enormous potential of developments in this field for gaming and cinema. The visual experience of VR allows the viewer to be truly immersed in a different world. As a result, game developers and movie makers are fully experimenting with these emerging technologies.

However, the potential of Virtual Reality technologies greatly exceeds application within the gaming and entertainment industry alone. The possibilities that are opened by the ability to create and capture immersive virtual environments seem nearly limitless.
Applications within many different fields can be imagined, some of which are already in development:
• Immersive data visualizations of complex systems
• Visualizations of buildings that have not been built yet to optimize the design process
• Realistic simulations to let police officers safely train dangerous situations
• A virtual classroom for a more intense experience of a MOOC
• Exploration of archeological sites to connect findings and reconstruct an environment

In this experimental course, we will explore the potential of VR technologies for science and education. With a group of 25 students from different disciplines, we are going to study and experience VR, identify what sets it apart from other media and come up with new ideas for VR applications ourselves. In this process we try to find ways how Virtual Reality can help us to understand and solve complex problems.
For the final assignment of this course, you develop a VR concept with a group of 1-3 students. This concept can be communicated in the form of a video or –preferably- a working prototype. You learn basic skills to develop VR applications in Unity3D and film and edit 360˚ videos. Help and hardware will be available while you are developing your prototype. The course will end with a public exposition of the concepts.

Course Objectives

In this experimental course students will:
• get familiar with state-of-the-art VR technology, its current limitations and near-future developments;
• study and experience available VR content and identify what sets VR apart from screen-based media;
• analyze how VR can help to understand and solve complex problems;
• obtain skills to create interactive VR content using Unity3D and 360˚ film technology;
• create a VR prototype that has potential value for research and/or education.

Timetable

The course starts on Friday September 11, 2015 and will have 10 weekly sessions from 11:00 – 13:00 (11 Sep, 18 Sep, 25 Sep, 2 Oct, 9 Oct, 16 Oct, 23 Oct, 30 Oct, 6 Nov & 13 Nov)

Mode of instruction

10 weekly lectures

Assessment Method

Group project, presentation and accompanying paper

Blackboard

Not applicable

Reading List

To be announced

Registration

To apply, e-mail a motivation in which you explain why you are interested in this course and a description of your background to mail@robindelange.com. The aim is to work with a diverse group of highly motivated students who want to explore the possibilities of VR. Admission will be based on this aim.

Contact information

Robin de Lange
www.robindelange.com
mail@robindelange.com

Remarks

Languages