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University of Iowa News Release

July 14, 2004

UI To Exhibit Virtual Soldier Program At Prestigious Conference

The University of Iowa College of Engineering's Virtual Soldier Research (VSR) program has been invited to exhibit August 9 in Los Angeles at the most prestigious computer graphics conference of its kind in the world.

In particular, the VSR real-time presentation of human modeling and simulation technologies has been accepted for this year's "Real Time 3DX: Demo or Die" at SIGGRAPH 2004, which exhibits the best real-time computer graphics work from industry, universities and "secret" labs.

VSR is an independent research group within the UI Center for Computer Aided Design (CCAD). The eight-month-old project, funded primarily by a $2.5 million contract with the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Command Center (TACOM), conducts basic and applied research for creating new technologies dealing with digital human modeling and simulation.

Karim Abdel-Malek, associate professor of biomedical engineering and VSR director, says that TACOM and the industrial design industry in general are looking for ways to eliminate one of the few remaining reasons to build extremely expensive, real-world prototypes. He adds that VSR's objective is to create autonomous, digital humans that can answer human-factors questions in the virtual world. "The use of autonomous, virtual soldiers that can experience computer-modeled versions of proposed vehicles and weapons systems in the virtual world -- and then provide feedback on those designs -- would go a long way towards eliminating the need to produce expensive, real-world prototypes for human factors research," he says.

VSR researchers include faculty, staff, scientists, engineers, clinical researchers and graduate students from fields including engineering, gaming, psychology, biomechanics, human factors, computers, optimization and industrial design. The UI VSR Team is scheduled to host the 2005 SAE Digital Human Modeling Conference, the most prestigious international conference of its kind, June 14-16, 2005, in Iowa City.

SIGGRAPH, now in its 31st year, is a diverse group of researchers, artists, developers, filmmakers, scientists and other professionals who share an interest in computer graphics and interactive techniques. SIGGRAPH's parent organization is the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the world's first and largest computing society.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,