The Giant Walkthrough Brain at Beakerhead

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Breakerhead brochure with Giant Walkthrough Brain description

On September 12th and 13th, 2014, the Giant Walkthrough Brain is presented in the Dome Theatre at TELUS Spark, Calgary’s innovative science centre. The show is part of the annual Beakerhead festival which highlights art, science, and engineering across the city of Calgary.

In collaboration with science communicator and TV host Jay Ingram, the LINDSAY Virtual Human team has created a 3-dimensional, highly illustrative model of the human brain. In the 1970s, this idea was put forward by neurosurgeon Joseph Bogen, who proposed to build a neuroscience museum as a giant walkable brain. The Giant Walkthrough Brain is a live stage performance, with Jay Ingram as the fantastic story teller and The Free Radicals band presenting original music through a tour of fascinating findings, facts, and science (with some fiction) around the function and structure of the human brain.

Tatiana Karaman, Douglas Yuen, Dylan Dobbyn, and Justin Kelly — students in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Calgary, have created the computer models and animations from which they constructed an incredible journey through a 3-dimensional, artistically rendered model of the human brain, enhanced by walkways, tunnels, info displays, and other features to create a true walkthrough experience.

The original brain models are provided by Zygote Media Group. The Giant Walkthrough Brain project received financial support from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC).

See the UToday story for more details on the show and on how modern information technology enhances science education and communication projects like the Giant Walkthrough Brain.

Also, don’t forget to check out the Beakerhead 2014 program guide.

Story:

  • Jay Ingram, science communicator, book author, tv host

Music:

  • The Free Radicals: Dr. Trevor Day, Steve Dodd, Ben Jackson, Garth Kennedy, Josip Vulic

3D Model Design:

  • Dr. Christian Jacob, design team lead
  • Tatiana Karaman, 3d modelling: brain, navigation pathways, on-stage “Brain Navigator”, M.Sc. student, Computational Media Design
  • Douglas Yuen, 3d navigation, slide show and movie integration, M.Sc. student, Computer Science
  • Dylan Dobbyn, 3d modeling: neural networks, synapse, BHSc student, Bioinformatics, Bachelor of Health Sciences,
  • Justin Kelly, 3d modeling: dendritic growth models, M.Sc. student, Computer Science

Computer Science Students bring Giant Brain to Life

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Back row, from left: Trevor Day, associate professor of physiology at Mount Royal University and leader, singer and rhythm guitar player for the Free Radicals band; Douglas Yuen and Justin Kelly, master’s students in computer science; and Dylan Dobbyn, undergraduate student in bioinformatics. Seated: Christian Jacob, professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Calgary; Jay Ingram (on Facetime); and Tatiana Karaman, master’s student in the Computational Media Design program. Photo by Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

In collaboration with science communicator and TV host Jay Ingram, the LINDSAY Virtual Human team has created a 3-dimensional, highly illustrative model of the human brain. In the 1970s, this idea was put forward by neurosurgeon Joseph Bogen, who proposed to build a neuroscience museum as a giant walkable brain. The Giant Walkthrough Brain has been presented as a live stage performance at the Banff Centre’s Margaret Greenham Theatre, with Jay Ingram as the fantastic story teller and The Free Radicals band presenting original music through a tour of fascinating findings, facts, and science (with some fiction) around the function and structure of the human brain.

Dr. Christian Jacob has been leading a team of four students — Tatiana Karaman, Douglas Yuen, Dylan Dobbyn, and Justin Kelly — in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Calgary, who made it their summer project to construct an incredible journey through a 3-dimensional, artistically rendered model of the human brain, enhanced by walkways, tunnels, info displays, and other features to create a true walkthrough experience.

See the UToday story for more details.

Story

  • Jay Ingram, science communicator, book author, tv host

Music

  • The Free Radicals: Dr. Trevor Day, Steve Dodd, Garth Kennedy, Josip Vulic, Robert Vulic

3D Model Design

  • Dr. Christian Jacob, design team lead
  • Tatiana Karaman, 3d modelling: brain, navigation pathways, on-stage “Brain Navigator”, M.Sc. student, Computational Media Design
  • Douglas Yuen, 3d navigation, slide show and movie integration, M.Sc. student, Computer Science
  • Dylan Dobbyn, 3d modeling: neural networks, synapse, BHSc student, Bioinformatics, Bachelor of Health Sciences,
  • Justin Kelly, 3d modeling: dendritic growth models, M.Sc. student, Computer Science

The Giant Walkthrough Brain project is financially supported by the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, the Department of Computer Science, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Research Opportunities @ LINDSAY

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So far, our largest LINDSAY team in 2011. Many happy faces and great contributions from everybody — no matter your age or discipline of research: computer science, biomedical sciences, bioinformatics, computer graphics, information design, visualization, story telling, …

The LINDSAY Virtual Human team is always looking for enthusiastic students at the undergraduate or graduate level.

We have positions available for graduate students at the Master’s and Ph.D. level. We are also seeking undergraduate or graduate students interested in Research Summer placements.

If you have any questions about our project or would like to know more about an exciting project at the intersection of Computer Science, Bioinformatics, Anatomy, Physiology, Medical Education, Information Visualization and Human-Computer Interfaces, please consider joining the LINDSAY Virtual Human Team. You will participate in cutting-edge research and join a passionate group of people.

Here is a direct link to our Contact page.

Computer Science & Programming & Bioinformatics

If you have a passion for computer programming, if you know about or are willing to learn programming in Objective-C, Mac OS X, iOS or web-based programming in JavaScript, HTML5, or WebGL — or if you are just excited about programming and software development, please contact us.

Design & Art & Creativity

If you like good design, have a sense for the arts, and if you would like to work bring together Arts & Sciences, then we are interested in talking to you. We need creative members on our team, who help with the artistic design of our user interfaces, presentation of data, information, and processes. We use cutting-edge visualization and rendering techniques. If you would like to learn more about this and help us create stunning visuals for our simulations, please contact us.

Complexity, Abstraction, Machine Learning, Optimization

There are many challenges with respect to the software engineering and conceptual organization of the data structures and processes that we need to create in order to build real-time simulations of human physiology. If you are interested in pushing the envelope in computer simulation and multi-scale modeling, please contact us.

Anatomy & Physiology & Medical Education

Do you have a passion for medical education? Do you know about human anatomy? Do you enjoy learning about the physiological processes of the human body? If this sounds interesting and exciting to you, then please contact us.

Lindsay Team is ASTech 2014 Honoree

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Image source: http://astech.ca/gala

The ASTech Foundation seeks to inspire innovation in the province of Alberta and honours its most outstanding people with this award.

The LINDSAY Virtual Human team is proud to be among the distinguished finalists for ASTech 2014. The ASTech Gala took place in Edmonton on October 15, 2014.

See the ASTech Gala site for more information, images, and videos.

LINDSAY featured at AAAS 2014 in Chicago

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Dr. Christian Jacob demonstrating engaging software for anatomy exploration: brain walkthrough (background screen), Zygote 3D Anatomy Atlas & Dissection Lab (iPad)

The LINDSAY Virtual Human project was introduced to an international audience on February 14 at the AAAS 2014 Annual Meeting during a symposium entitled “Virtual Humans: Helping Facilitate Breakthroughs in Medicine“.

See the UToday story for some more details.

Here is the symposium abstract from the AAAS website:

Advances in computer hardware and software has made it possible to model the human system in silico, conduct virtual experiments, and validate these with in vitro/in vivo experiments. In addition to developing realistic simulations of the human, a new emerging field—systems medicine—is facilitating the integration of various “omics” along with detailed engineering and mathematical models of the human system. This, in turn, has allowed significant improvements in medical diagnosis and treatment. In this symposium, experts in computer graphics, engineering, and medicine discuss current state-of-the-art and future directions in computer-based modeling of humans at various levels of abstraction and how computational models and simulations are aiding new discoveries in medicine. Key topics covered are P4 Medicine (Personalized, Predictive, Preventive, Participatory), drug validations through a virtual liver, cardiovascular simulation models, advancing education through virtual human anatomy and physiology, neural disorders modeling and simulation, and physics-based models of hip injury.

Speakers:

Here is a brief clip from a news report during the symposium.
 Marshall Bradshaw, AAAS News

Free 3D Anatomy Resources at University of Calgary

Dr. Heather Jamniczky (right) and Dr. Chrsitian Jacob showing 3D anatomy software created at the University of Calgary

Dr. Heather Jamniczky (right) and Dr. Chrsitian Jacob showing 3D anatomy software created at the University of Calgary

In July 2013, UToday announced the release of our first app, the Zygote 3D Anatomy Atlas and Dissection Lab, which is available to the public on the Apple iTunes Store. A detailed description of this app, its features and short tutorials can be found on Zygote’s Atlas web site.

As of September 2013, all students, faculty and staff at the University of Calgary can download this app for free on their iPhones or iPads.

  • Lindsay Anatomy App for iOS: download from this site.

In addition, the LINDSAY site offers a web-based 3D anatomy atlas and exploration tool, which allows to build and customize virtual specimens and save these under your own account.

  • LINDSAY Anatomy Atlas on the Web: download from here.
  • LINDSAY Anatomy Specimens: a collection of virtual 3D specimens of human anatomy. Download from lindsay.ucalgary.ca.

For any questions and comments regarding the updates and a download link, please contact Christian Jacob (cjacob@ucalgary.ca)!

Photo: Drs. Christian Jacob and Heather Jamniczky

Zygote 3D Anatomy Atlas & Dissection Lab

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Zygote 3D Anatomy Atlas & Dissection Lab. This app for iPad and iPhone was developed by the LINDSAY team and Zygote Media Group.

As of July 2013, the Zygote 3D Anatomy Atlas & Dissection Lab is available as an app on the iTunes App Store for iPhone and iPad.

This is the first product outcome from a collaboration between the LINDSAY Virtual Human Team and our industry partners at Zygote Media Group Inc.

Check out the product showcase page with video tutorials on Zygote’s website.

There is also an overview video of the Zygote 3D Anatomy Atlas & Dissection Lab on YouTube.