Friday, June 1
We started the day by taking Myers-Briggs tests and then discussing the unscientific qualities of that categorization system. After looking through some research papers, we concluded that it isn’t a good idea to base any decisions on the results. After that discussion, we heard a presentation by an engineering librarian about what resources the campus library has to offer, how to search for published papers, and who to ask for help.
We took a VRAC technology tour next, which really means trying on some headsets and looking around/demoing the C6. I’m pretty familiar with where the industry is right now in terms of head-mounted displays, so the headsets just offered me the fun of watching other people’s first times. The C6, a nearly-unique room-size virtual reality device, might’ve brought up more questions than it answered. The idea is that you stand in a 10x10x10 ft. box that feels like it’s made of glass. Each side has several projectors to put a 3D image on that wall with the perspective dynamically changed according to the position the head tracking system reports. The largest limitation is that it can only create the illusion for one person at a time. If your head isn’t tracked, the perspectives are wrong (proportional to your distance from the head that is tracked) and it breaks your sense of presence in the virtual environment. I’m curious about a few of the design decisions, because it seems like the whole setup could be built for a tiny fraction of the price we heard, but it might just be a product of how old it is.
We went to a high-calorie sports bar for lunch, blogged for half an hour, then went to ARG (Affinity Research Group) training. This recurring class focuses on providing tools for diverse groups to work well together. At the end of that, we got into our research groups and discussed milestones and meeting times.
We went to one of the gyms on campus, got properly registered, and toured the facility. I hung around at the end and bouldered with Aidan for a little while before heading to the apartment and calling home.