Undergraduate Research at the Vis Center


The VisU program draws on students from both the University of Kentucky and the University of Puerto Rico. During the course of the summer our students work on research projects in support of the Vis Center’s research projects. At the outset of the programs, the students receive a handbook and training session discussing research and computer science as well as an introduction to the Vis Center and the research being carried on here.

Throughout the summer the students work on their projects, participate in a weekly project review meeting, have the opportunity for exposure to other research experiences and create and deliver a final project presentation. Past student projects have included improving HD multi-projector display technology, streamlining the data process for a eye-tracking system, developing a system for digitally unwrapping ancient scrolls, improving our ability to use the scroll scanning data and creating an iPad application to view an ancient manuscript of the Iliad.

Each week, students meet for a project review meeting with the program coordinator, technical supervisors and Dr. Seales. During the project meeting, each student gives an update on their project and received feedback and support from the supervisors. The students also met each week to practice their oral presentations. During the 2011 pilot program, a weekly seminar series was also introduced. The seminars elicited lively discussions around the topics of research, interdisciplinary research, creativity and ethics.

In addition to internal experiences, the students also have the opportunity to visit industry settings. Past tours have been to the the headquarters of HP Extreme located in Lexington in 2010 and the international headquarters of Alltech in 2011.

Our Vis U students are able to stretch and develop their skills while functioning in a professional environment and in the end accomplish meaningful work that supports the larger research projects being carried on in the Vis Center. One of our students from Puerto Rico summed up his experience this way: “Since I came here, I’ve learned a lot of new things. First of all, I’ve learned to work in a group, with people who share the same interests I have. I’ve learned how to approach a problem in a very different way. Normally I just make a Google search, or read a book and I’m done, but in these two months I’ve learned the meaning of the word “research”, I’ve learned how to dig for information, how to study it and finally how to apply it and use it. In addition, the most important thing is that now I am feeling more confident with myself.”   Learn about our students

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