October 24, 2003
Oliver named to lead VRAC
by Steve Karsjen, Ames Laboratory
James Oliver has been appointed director of the Virtual Reality Applications
Center (VRAC), effective Jan. 1, 2004. He will replace James Bernard, who is
stepping down after 13 years to pursue other interests.
Tom Barton, director of ISU's Institute for Physical Research and Technology
(IPRT), of which VRAC is a leading member, cited Oliver's experience in both
academia and private industry.
"In addition to his outstanding background in software development, Jim
brings a valuable understanding of the needs of industry to an organization
that strongly promotes industry interactions," Barton said.
Oliver is an associate professor of mechanical engineering and chair of the
newly established graduate program in human computer interaction. Prior to
that, he held numerous positions in the private sector. Most recently,
Oliver was vice president of software development for Cognicity Inc.,
Minneapolis, and senior director of software development for Engineering
Animation Inc. of Ames.
Researchers at VRAC develop computer interfaces that integrate virtual
environments, wireless networking and third-generation user interface
devices to amplify the creativity and productivity of people. VRAC is home
to the C6, the world's first fully immersive six-sided virtual reality
VRAC is involved in approximately $10 million in ongoing contract research
with companies such as Deere & Co. and Procter & Gamble, and
government agencies such as the National Science Foundation.
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
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