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Dr. Ryan P. McMahan Speaks at the 2nd Annual TEDxUTD Event

The University of Dallas at Texas will be holding its second annual TEDx event this Sunday. Both UT Dallas faculty members and students will join community experts as featured speakers as they deliver their talks centered on the theme of “Beneath the Surface.” The event will include three faculty members including Dr. Ryan McMahan, an assistant professor of computer science and of arts and technology, and two students from UT Dallas.

Dr. Ryan McMahan will be speaking about the history of virtual reality and its potential mainstream applications. McMahan’s research interests include virtual reality, 3-D user interfaces, human-computer interaction, training transfer, modeling and simulation, and computer graphics.

Dr. Ryan P. McMahan is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Dallas, where his research focuses on the effects of system fidelity for virtual reality (VR) applications and systems. In his Future Immersive Virtual Environments (FIVE) lab, wireless head-mounted displays (HMDs) and a motion tracking system are used to create high-fidelity VR applications that include head-tracked stereoscopic graphics, 3D sound localization, and tactile feedback via wireless handheld controllers. Through user studies, Dr. McMahan’s research determines the effects of system fidelity by varying components such as stereoscopy, field of view, and degrees of freedom for interaction techniques.

Dr. McMahan’s current research focuses on the effects of system fidelity for learning and training transfer. This research involves identifying a learning objective, building a VR application to train the tasks involved, and evaluating the amount of training transfer that occurs through objective and subjective measurements. By varying the level of system fidelity among cohorts of participants, Dr. McMahan’s research is able to provide indications to the effects of fidelity on learning and training transfer.

Dr. McMahan received his Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2011 from Virginia Tech, where his dissertation focused on the effects of visual display fidelity and interaction fidelity in VR games. From Virginia Tech, he also received his B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science in 2004 and 2007. Before joining the faculty at the University of Texas at Dallas, he was a postdoctoral associate at Duke University, where he served as the Interim Director of the Visualization Technology Group and oversaw the operations of the Duke Immersive Virtual Environment (DiVE). Dr. McMahan is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at Duke University.

The event will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday, April 12th, in the Alexander Clark Center. One hundred seats are available for the live TEDx event. Tickets are $5 and will be on sale from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Thursday in the Student Union Comet Cafe.

The campus community also can follow the event on Twitter @tedxutd or on Facebook. The event also will be filmed and posted later on the TEDx Talks YouTube channel and website. Some of the best talks from TEDx events have gone on to be featured on and garnered millions of views from audiences across the globe.


About the UT Dallas CS Department

The Department of Computer Science at UT Dallas is one of the largest Computer Science departments in the United States with over 1,300 bachelor’s-degree students, more than 1150 master’s students, 90 PhD students, and more than 85 faculty members. They are committed to exceptional teaching and research in a culture that is as daring as it is supportive. The Computer Science department distinguished faculty and their PhD students publish their research in top journals and present their results at leading conferences. Their research has also been in the national and international spotlight.

Source – UT Dallas | News Center

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