UW Reality Lab

Leadership

Brian Curless
Director

Brian Curless is a Professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. He earned his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and, after a stint as a research engineer at SRI International, went on to earn his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. He is co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of the journal Foundations and Trends in Computer Graphics and Vision and served as chair for the International Conference on 3D Vision (3DV 2013). He received the Stanford University Gores Teaching Award, Stanford's Arthur Samuels Computer Science Thesis Award, NSF Career Award, Sloan Fellowship, and UW ACM Teaching Award. His work on 3D surface reconstruction led to real-time 3D mapping algorithms now used in Microsoft Hololens and Google’s Project Tango devices. His research is focused on 3D photography and computational photography with applications to AR and VR.

Brian's Website


Ira Kemelmacher-Shlizerman
Co-Director

Ira Kemelmacher-Shlizerman is an Assistant Professor in the Allen School at the University of Washington. She founded a startup Dreambit that was acquired by Facebook Inc., where she is now also a Research Scientist focusing on computational photography, AR, and VR. She received her Ph.D in computer science and applied mathematics at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Her works were awarded the Google faculty award, Madrona prize, the "Innovation of the 2016 Year Award" by Geekwire, selected to the covers of CACM and SIGGRAPH, and covered by most national and international media and press with special TV episodes, e.g., age progression for missing children. Her Moving Portraits work was tech transferred to Google Inc. Ira’s research is in the intersection of computer vision, computer graphics and learning, with particular interest on people modeling and virtual and augmented reality.

Ira's Website


Steve Seitz
Co-Director

Steve Seitz is Robert E. Dinning Professor in the Allen School at the University of Washington. He is also a Director on Google's Daydream team, where he leads teleportation efforts including Google Jump and Cardboard Camera. He received his B.A. in computer science and mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley in 1991 and his Ph.D. in computer sciences at the University of Wisconsin in 1997. Following his doctoral work, he did a postdoc at Microsoft Research, and then a couple years as Assistant Professor in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He joined the faculty at the University of Washington in July 2000. His co-authored papers have won the David Marr Prize (twice) at ICCV, and the CVPR 2015 best paper award. He received an NSF Career Award, and ONR Young Investigator Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, and is an IEEE Fellow and an ACM Fellow. His work on Photo Tourism (joint with Noah Snavely and Rick Szeliski) formed the basis of Microsoft's Photosynth technology. Professor Seitz is interested in problems in 3D computer vision and computer graphics, and their application to virtual and augmented reality.

Steve's Website


Core Members

Barbara Mones
Director of Reality Studio

Barbara Mones has been working to develop innovative applications in the area of computer graphics and animation, both in academia and industry, for 18 years.

For 10 years, she was a tenured Associate Professor and the Founding Director of the Visual Information Technologies MA/MFA Program, a course of study in multimedia, computer graphics and animation at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. In addition, she designed and implemented training programs in the areas of digital modeling, animation and 3D paint at Dreamworks/Pacific Data Images and Industrial Light and Magic. She also consulted in the area of computer animation training for the Disney company. She has served as the Art Chair for the Education Committee, Panels Chair for the 1997 conference, and coordinated an international Student Animation Competition for the ACM/SIGGRAPH organization for the past 17 years.

Barbara worked for the White House and National Aeronautics and Space Administration on Al Gore's GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) Program, a project whose mission was to connect children from over the world through the internet to study satellite imagery and learn about the ecological impact of soil and water use. For this she was presented with a NASA Group Achievement award.

She has lectured extensively on an international level on topics related to computer graphics, animation and curriculum development and has designed and executed her own graphics and animation that have been shown in many museums and institutions worldwide, including the Smithsonian Institution and the Villa Ciani Museum in Switzerland. Her animated work has been shown in the SIGGRAPH Electronic Theater. She continues to be a practicing sculptor and exhibit her work nationally and internationally.

Barbara's Website

Aditya Sankar
Director of Research and Education

Aditya Sankar is the Director of Research and Education at the UW Reality Lab, and Lecturer at University of Washington CSE. He received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Washington, where he was advised by Prof. Steve Seitz. His research focuses on in-situ 3D reconstruction and modeling of spaces using mobile devices. He is broadly interested in problems in graphics, vision, and human-computer interaction, particularly relating to Augmented and Virtual Reality. Prior to arriving at UW, he worked as a research software developer at Microsoft Research, Bangalore, India.

At the Reality Lab, Aditya is designing and teaching the next generation of VR/AR courses, and leading a range of research projects within the lab. He has an in interest in entrepreneurship and exploring the real world applications of VR/AR research, particularly in the areas of education, skills training, and cultural heritage preservation.

Aditya's Website

David Kessler
Reality Lab Program Manager

David is a Conference and Stage Manager, a logistics and people wrangler, and an organizer of just about anything for Academic, Corporate, or Arts organizations. He specializes in analyzing complex systems of people, data, and equipment, and making them intelligible and usable. He has a knack for finding odd skills and stories - something that gives him great joy and part of how he approaches complexity: Look at a situation from multiple perspectives so you can simultaneously see both forest and trees... So you can see how to help a perfect idea meet a bumpy reality.

David is Co-Producer of the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, and a Board Member for the local non-profit, Maritime Folknet. Before moving to Seattle and joining UW, he worked at the MIT Sloan School of Management as Program Coordinator for Sloan Student Life, and as the head of major student conferences for the school. He has also worked at Boston University and Harvard, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and First Night International. He has worked as a Calligrapher, Free-Lance Writer and Editor, Event Planner, Whisky Educator, and Sea Chantey Singer. He Studied Philosophy and Medieval Studies at Boston University. .

David's Website


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