Virtual reality is a useful tool for exploring and presenting 3-D data because your brain is naturally tuned for interpreting the 3-D world. Experiencing the data in 3-D rather than on a 2-D screen takes advantage of these tunings. And, of course, it makes for a very memorable presentation of data, both to scientists and to the public.

iTHEMS researchers Gilles Ferrand and Don Warren hosted an all-RIKEN workshop on virtual reality on October 7. This workshop drew nearly 30 people from RIKEN and beyond. Almost everybody studied something other than astrophysics. Most people were not iTHEMS members. Several were not researchers! Attendees learned about the VR project that Gilles and Don have worked on for two years, and got to explore data using VR headsets.

The goal of the workshop was to build a community of researchers with a shared interest in VR. And, as Nathan Shammah demonstrated, any time you put scientists in a room together you can get discussion about their work. We hope that continued discussion of VR leads to more discussion of personal research, and maybe even new interdisciplinary projects!

If you missed the first workshop, but would like to join Gilles and Don for the second workshop (a day-long, hands-on experience to learn about the VR demo and teach you how to develop software for VR), send Gilles or Don an email.