CIS&T students to present virtual reality projects, tech

Students in the Introduction to Virtual Reality class at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will present their final projects as well as virtual reality technology and equipment Tuesday, Dec.12.


            Students will make small presentations on their individual projects, but also be available for visitors from the community to experience the projects and other virtual reality. “Computer Information Systems and Technology Research: Exploring Virtual Reality” will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. in the Mukaiyama University Room in the Frame-Westerberg Commons.


            Virtual reality is a computer simulation that creates the illusion of a three-dimensional environment. Headsets and motion sensors enhance the effect and allow users to move about in the VR environment.


            Each student in the Introduction to VR class, taught by instructor Jeremy Callinan, has worked alone or in a group to develop a limited virtual reality. Projects will include a hockey simulator, a carnival game, crawling through a dungeon, becoming a wand-wielding wizard, cooking at a barbecue grill and taking a tour of the Pitt-Bradford campus.


            The tour of campus used a 360-degree camera to capture places and events at Pitt-Bradford. The other projects required students to build an environment from scratch.


            Callinan will also show off other VR technology, such as the new Sony PlayStation VR, which allows users to play games in three dimensions.


            Visitors can also try a high-end VR unit, the HTC Vive, which allows users to move in three dimensions. Callinan will have the unit ready to use Google's Tilt Brush, a room-scale 3D painting program.


            In addition, Callinan will have other all-in-one headsets available for visitors to try.


            This is the first semester that Callinan has taught the VR class, which was made possible by the creation of a new VR lab. The lab was paid for by a technology endowment founded by President Emeritus Richard E. McDowell and his wife, Ruth, and Zippo Manufacturing Co.


            For more information on the VR event, contact Callinan at


            For those unable to attend the VR event next week, Pitt-Bradford will present an art show, “Explore the World of Virtual Reality,” from Jan. 12 through Jan. 26 in the KOA Art Gallery in Blaisdell Hall.


            Callinan and computer information systems and technology students are working with Anna Lemnitzer, assistant professor of art, and her students to create an exhibition featuring two- and three-dimensional art in virtual reality.