Sigma Xi Orange County Chapter

Next Meeting

September 20th, 2011

Reservations and Directions

“Special Relativistic Visualization – Einstein’s Visions”

Scientific Visualization is finally coming of age, thanks to the cost-effective graphics-card technology spurred by the video-game marketplace. It is now possible to generate computer visualizations of esoteric and mathematical concepts heretofore beyond the ken of the human eye. An extraordinary example is the visualization of objects moving past the observer at relativistic velocities – velocities near the speed of light where objects shrink and time slows down. Einstein once asked himself, “What would they would look like … ?” Thanks to Dr. Black, now we know.

He will present some 30 minutes of computer-generated animation sequences representing the state of the art in the field of Scientific Visualization of Relativistically Moving Objects. He will briefly discuss and exotic theories of physics such as "Large Extra Dimensions" (LXD) as they relate to visualization, and the Special and General Theories of Relativity as they are projected before you for your edification and amusement.

This presentation is an 'out-take' of Don's research into "Visualizing Non-Intuitive Physical Phenomena" at UCI. As a result of this research, "new" physics will be able to be explored in a virtual laboratory on the desktop. The animation sequences are out-takes of SIGGRAPH and other computer graphics and visualization conferences held over the last few years. In addition to the animations of Daniel Weiskopf, Corvin Zahn, Andrew Hamilton and Antony Searle, Don will provide a non-mathematical overview of Einstein's Theory of Relativity and the field of Relativistic Visualization.

Don V. Black, Ph.D.

Don V. Black, Ph.D. is currently the chief scientist and director of Digital ChoreoGraphics, a computer graphics software development firm specializing in visualization. In 1976 he joined the microcomputer renaissance when he founded Digital ChoreoGraphics, a software firm specializing in interactive computer graphics for the minicomputer. ChoreoGraphics developed a number of commercial animation, CAD, and visualization products including EAGER 3D, ProductOne, SnapShot, Animage, Floor Visions, Splash!, and PlanScape. In addition, he contributed to the development of the first mobile satellite digital telephone (the NASA MSAT-X project), and managed the R&D team responsible for the Prisma System, Calcomp’s high-end CAD workstation.

Dr. Black received his MS in Visual Computing from UCI’s School of Information and Computer Sciences. His thesis was entitled "Visualization of Classical and Relativistic Spacetime Geometry". He earned his Ph.D. degree in Visualization and Computer Graphics from UCI’s School of Engineering. His dissertation is entitled "Computational Techniques to Enable Visualizing Shapes of Objects of Extra Dimensions.”

Prior to indulging his life-long dream to earn a Ph.D., Don spent some two decades as an entrepreneur in the software engineering field.  He is a Past Chairman of the Orange County Computer Society, IEEE-OC Volunteers Chair, the Founding Chair of the IEEE-OC GameSIG, and a founding Executive Committee Member of the IEEE CS Task Force on Game Technology. Don did his undergraduate work at North Carolina State University (NCSU), before accepting a position with the Computer Center at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), supporting the Triangle Universities Computation Center (TUCC) conversational programming system (CPS) and the interactive graphics systems.  Don also matriculated at the UCI School of Physical Sciences Department of Physics and Astronomy, and the Stanford SLAC Summer Institute. He now continues with his research into visualizing General Relativity and writing apps for the Android and iPhone.


Send your check (made out to Sigma Xi, Orange County Chapter) by Friday, September 16th to secretary/treasurer

Dr. John Pinson
5069 E. Crescent Dr.
Anaheim, CA 92807-3610
(714) 637-9146.

Paid-up members and their guests, $23; $28 for all others. There is no charge for attending the lecture only but please RSVP so we can have a chair for you! Questions? Feel free to use the letterhead contact. Miss the deadline? Pay at the door by cash or check, but the tab is $3 more! (An “inconvenience” fee.)

Map and Directions

DoubleTree Club by Hilton Hotel Orange County Airport

In the parking lot, drive up to the front door. Tell the valet parking attendants that you're going to the Sigma Xi meeting, and there will be no charge. You can either self-park or let the valets park your car.