Data Visualization on Massive Scales

A conversation with Chris Johnson, Director, Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute, and Distinguished Professor, School of Computing University of Utah; and Bob Bishop, Founder and President, ICES Foundation and past CEO, Silicon Graphics; hosted by Larry Smarr, Director, Calit2, a UC San Diego Irvine Partnership (HD Qualcomm Institute), UCSD.


ICES Foundation- Bob Bishop

ICES Foundation is working to integrate all the sciences that apply to the planet and create predictability. The challenge is going from analytics into discovery, and then support. The data is so big, it’s hard to come to grips with unless you consolidate thru geoformat. Dynamic interactive visualization can be used to understand all of the big data at hand.

You can use all this data to build an Earth System Model, to look at everything from the ocean atmosphere to the solar system.
The whole solar system is talking to itself and is interconnected. ICES has satellites that are monitoring the Earth’s magnetosphere in real time. Visualization is the only way you can possibly understand all the information at our hands.

In the future, Bishop would like to see a more complete climate analysis with these newly coupled visualization systems.


Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute, University of Utah- Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson has been using scientific visualization to study the complexity of the inner body and much more. The ability to see things at high resolutions for the first time, and the ability to see them in a time dependent interactive way instead of a play back way, gives scientists insight they need to progress forward.

New technologies, such as high performance computing, high resolution walls, new hardware and software, and algorithms open up fresh ways for science to be viewed and applied to solve problems that previously couldn’t be solved.

Some of the projects Johnson and the Institute are working on include:

-Creating personalized patient dependent models of the body and their function (ie. computational models of the heart and simulations of the activity to create modeling in the field)

-Real time seeing during surgery of the body

-Cultural Heritage: the Digital Michelangelo Project (scanned the entire “David” statue with lasers, to yield almost a billion triangles to visualize the statue. The product? An amazingly high resolution that is essentially a perfect copy of the statue.