Name: Ravish Mehra
Department: Department of Computer Science
School: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Project: Interactive Sound Simulation for Large Scenarios in Virtual Reality Training
Research Advisor: Prof. Dinesh Manocha
Ravish Mehra is a PhD candidate in computer science at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a member of the computer graphics research group headed by Prof. Dinesh Manocha. His research interests lie at the intersection of computer graphics, physically-based simulation and sound propagation. Ravish graduated with BTech in computer science and engineering from IIT Delhi in 2008 and MS in computer science from UNC Chapel Hill in 2011. In past, he has worked in geometry processing, GPU and parallel computing, and graphics rendering.
His current research focuses on developing novel techniques to enable accurate and realistic spatial sound for interactive applications in the areas of virtual and augmented reality, computer graphics, and architectural and outdoor acoustics. Sound is a wave-phenomenon and requires directly solving the acoustic wave equation for accurate solutions. State-of-art sound simulation methods take days of computation and terabytes of memory for medium sized scenes. Through the generous support of Link Foundation, his work will focus on developing interactive sound simulation techniques for handling large scenes found in virtual reality training applications.
Name: Kevin Reo
Department: Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences
School: Brown University
Project: Simulating Human Crowds using Immersive Virtual Environments
Research Advisor: Dr. William H. Warren
Kevin earned a BS in Physics and Psychology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and is currently working toward a PhD in Cognitive Science from Brown University. He studies human perception and action, and his research interests include dynamical systems modeling, interpersonal coordination, virtual reality, and visual control of locomotion.
Thanks to the generosity of the Link Foundation, Kevin's dissertation involves simulating crowds of virtual pedestrians in an immersive, ambulatory virtual environment. He is conducting some of the first experiments on crowd behavior in matched real and virtual environments, which provides an important foundation for validating future simulations. His research on pedestrian interactions and crowd behavior has diverse practical applications, from preventing riots to optimizing evacuation routes, and the simulated crowds of virtual pedestrians he has developed can be used to train emergency personnel (EMTs, firefighters, law enforcement) for life-threatening situations in relative safety.