AstroViz 2018

Jun. 13, 2018 - Jun. 15, 2018

Pasadena, CA


Conference Session Videos Posted

The workshop is over but the conversations live on. The AstroViz keynotes and conference sessions are now available for viewing on YouTube:

Final Schedule

The schedule has been adjusted slightly from the preliminary version in order to better acommodate the numbers of talks in the various sessions. Times estimates for each talk are based on a 5+2+1 (=8) minute allocation for each speaker (5 minutes for presentation + 2 minutes for questions + 1 minute to transition). Discussion periods will close out each session (20-30 minutes). Speakers are invited to seed topics for discussion, and attendees are welcome to bring up ideas not covered by talks.

Note that if you are not attending but would like to participate remotely you should visit the Reigster for Webcast page (tab on left) and you will receive emails with the webcast instructions and schedule. Sessions in BOLD will be webcast (except for the Interactive Hands-On session).

Wednesday, June 13​


8:00-8:30 AM - Breakfast (catered)

8:30-8:45 AM - Opening Remarks

Robert Hurt: Welcome and overview

Gordon Squires: Role of NASA's Universe of Learning in this Workshop

Janice Lee: Preparing our AstroViz White Paper

8:45-9:00 AM - Introductions 1

Chair: Robert Hurt

Getting to know your peers in the visualization community is a core goal of this workshop. At various times during the first day everyone with get one minute to stand up, say who they are, where they work, and what they find cool in viz.

9:00-10:00 AM - KEYNOTE: Rick Sternbach 

Astronomical Art: Sharing Our Visions of the Universe

10:00-10:30 AM - Break (refreshments)

10:30-12:15 AM - SESSION: Visual Storytelling

Chairs: Kimberly Arcand & Ryan Wyatt

Visualization is ultimately about telling stories using imagery that may stand on its own or work in conjunction with text or dialog. How do we tell clear and compelling stories that engage, inform, and inspire without being misleading or unclear?

10:30 Kimberly Kowal Arcand Aesthetics & Astronomy
10:38 Travis Rector Public Conceptions and Misconceptions Regarding Astronomical Images
10:46 Nickolas Conant Learning at a Glance
10:54 Morgan Rehnberg Don’t Forget to Have Fun!
11:02 Michelle Viotti STEM Stories: A Cognitive, Humanistic Perspective on Visual Storytelling
11:10 Brandon Lawton ViewSpace: Leveraging NASA Visualizations to Tell Compelling New Stories in Informal Learning Venues
11:18 Joseph DePasquale When 2D isn’t enough and 3D is too much
11:26 Brian Hamilton Day Exploring Planetary Surfaces with NASA's Solar System Treks
11:34 Leah Hustak Visualizing Webb Concepts: from Process to Product
11:42 Jacqueline K Faherty Visualizing Gaia DR2 Data
11:49   Discussion Period

12:15-1:30 PM - Lunch (catered)

1:30-1:45 PM - Introductions 2

1:45-2:30 PM - SESSION: Asset Sharing

Chair: Brandon Lawton

A visualization is only effective if it is seen or used by others. This session will explore technologies and strategies to improve access to the existing wealth of astronomical visualizations, and how social media might be leveraged to increase visibility. How, as a community, can we better reach a broad cross-section of audiences including museums, educators, lifelong learners, and underserved communities?

1:45 Jeffrey Nee NASA's Museum Alliance
1:53 Gordon Squires Reimagining Astropix
2:01 Lars Lindberg Lindberg Christensen The Community-driven Planetarium Content Archives at ESO and ESA/Hubble
2:06 Lars Lindberg Lindberg Christensen Audiovisual standards for astroviz
2:14   Discussion Period

2:30-2:45 PM - Introductions 3

2:45-3:15 PM - Break (refreshments)

3:15-4:45 PM - SESSION: Planetarium Roundtable

Chair: Mark Subbaro, Ryan Wyatt

Planetariums have long been a key public-facing window into compelling astronomical imagery, and have been exploring the opportunities afforded by immersive environments long before terms like virtual reality were coined. What kinds of visualization projects are planetariums engaged in today, and where are they headed in the coming years? This session will feature updates from the attendees from the planetarium community, giving perspectives on immersive astronomy aimed at everything from small communities to international audiences.

3:15 Jeffrey Nee Interactive, Social Learning in immersive / VR / 360 environments
3:23 Briana Ingermann Interactive teaching with planetarium visualizations
3:31 Travis Rector How Do We Know a Planetarium is Enhancing Learning?
3:39 Matt Russo Our Musical Universe
3:47 John. M Keller Sound Planetarium - Multisensory Displays of Astronomical Data
3:55 Douglas Roberts How to expand the reuse of WWT
4:03 Lars Lindberg Christensen The ESO Supernova, status after opening
4:11 Ryan Jason Wyatt AstroViz at the California Academy of Sciences
4:19 Mark SubbaRao Domecasting from Adler Planetarium
4:27   Discussion Period

4:45-5:45 PM - KEYNOTE: Eric Whitacre

Deep Field: Fusing Art and Technology

6:00-8:00 PM - Conference Dinner


Thursday, June 14


8:00-8:30 AM - Breakfast (catered)

8:30-10:00 AM - SESSION: Visualization Software

Chair: Frank Summers

The days of photographic plates and acrylic paint are (nearly) behind us. Modern visualizations often enabled by software that let us display a calculated view of the universe. This session will examine software that lets us process, render, or interact with astronomical imagery and datasets. What tools already exist to enable amazing visualizations of data? What open-source projects are available for work and how do we connect them to engaged developer communities?

8:30 Carter Emmart OpenSpace: A new NASA supported interactive viz engine for networking and STEM
8:38 Jonathan E Fay WorldWide Telescope at the AAS
8:46 John Conrad Good Montage Image Processing and Visualization
8:54 Frank Summers Cosmic Pointillism
9:02 Alex Gurvich Firefly: An Interactive Web-Based Particle Visualization
9:10 Wolfgang Steffen 3D modeling and visualization with SHAPE
9:18 Cameron Hummels yt: A Toolkit for Astronomical Data Visualization
9:26 Pawel Biernacki Visualising hydrodynamics: 2D, 3D and VR
9:33 George Djorgovski Multidimensional Data Visualization in Virtual Reality
9:41   Discussion Period

10:00-10:10 AM - INTERACTIVE SESSION: Overview of Show & Tell Stations

Chair: Emily Law

10:10-10:40 AM - Break (refreshments)

10:40-12:10 PM - INTERACTIVE SESSION: Show & Tell

Words and slides are no substitute for getting your eyes, ears, and hands on an engaging experience. In this break-out session, attendees will offer hands-on experiences with software, hardware, and anything else that can be demonstrated on a tabletop or virtual space. See the cool work your peers have been up to!

Note: This session will not be live streamed.

Emily Law Solar System Treks - Interactive Visualization Conference Room 300
Greg Salvesen The Hubble Ultra Deep Field in Light and Sound Main Room 410
Alex Gurvich Firefly: An interactive and web-based 3d visualization tool Main Room 410
Chad Smith WebbVR: A Virtual Exploration of the James Webb Space Telescope Conference Room 415
Frank Summers VR 360 Movies: Thinking Inside the Box Room 420
Andrew Santaguida Make your own space music with SYSTEM Sounds Main Room 410
Carter Emmart OpenSpace: Exploring the Universe of Astronomy Datasets Conference Room 415
Keith Miller VR Visit to TRAPPIST-1 Conference Room 300
George Djorgovski Multidimensional Data Visualization in Virtual Reality Main Room 410
Wolfgang Steffen Burg Shape Office 310
Jonathan Fay World Wide Telescope Office 307

12:10-1:30 PM - Lunch (catered/box lunches)

1:30-3:00 PM - SESSION: Virtual & Multisensory Realities

Chairs: Robert Hurt & Janice Lee

The idea of visualization has been historically tied to the concepts of images and movies, but new technologies are expanding the realm of possible experiences. This session will explore not just what is being done with immersive virtual reality technology, but opportunities to “visualize” using additional senses like touch and hearing. What makes an expanded sensory experience effective, and how can these technologies help us be more inclusive with our audiences?

1:30 Douglas Roberts Getting our virtual arms around virtual reality
1:38 Emily Law VR Experience with Solar System Treks
1:46 Robert Hurt Adapting TRAPPIST-1 for VR: Lessons We Are Learning
1:54 Bryan Eric Stephenson User Interface and User Experience in Virtual Reality: Changing Perspectives
2:02 Matt Russo SYSTEM Sounds - The Universe Through New Eyes, and With New Ears
2:10 Greg Salvesen Astronomy Data Sonification
2:18 Shane A Myrbeck Data for storytelling in music
2:26 April J Jubett Touching the Stars: Lessons learned in 3D printing parts of the high energy Universe
2:34 Miguel A. Aragon-Calvo Visualization-driven science
2:41 Kyle Boyer Introduction
2:45   Discussion Period

3:00-3:30 PM - Break (refreshments)

3:30-3:45 PM - Unconference Planning: Mark SubbaRao, Ryan Wyatt

3:45-4:00 PM - White Paper Planning: Janice Lee

4:00-5:30 PM - SESSION: Tools & Techniques Roundtable

Chair: Lars Lindberg Christensen

Everyone who creates visualizations has a few awesome tools or techniques that enable their work. This session provides a chance for everyone to exchange “trade secrets” with one another to improve our toolsets and capabilities.

4:00 Robert Hurt FITS Liberator: Still Helping Get the Most out of Astro Images
4:08 Wolfgang Steffen The interactive virtual astrophysical laboratory SHAPE
4:16 Kevin Healy Blender as a Visualization Tool
4:24 Emily Law Cesium - 3D Globe platform
4:32 Luis Miguel Gonçalves Calçada Space Engine - Free Universe Simulator and data visualization tool
4:37 Luis Miguel Gonçalves Calçada X-Particles - A powerful particle system for Cinema 4D
4:42 Luis Miguel Gonçalves Calçada Cycles - GPU renderer for Cinema 4D with fulldome capabilities
4:49   Discussion Period



Friday, June 15​


8:00-8:30 AM - Breakfast (catered)

8:30-9:15 AM - SESSION: Unconference 1

9:15-10:00 AM - White Paper Break-Out 1

10:00-10:30 AM - Break (refreshments)

10:30-11:15 AM - SESSION: Unconference 2

11:15-12:00 PM - White Paper Break-Out 2

12:00-1:30 PM - Lunch (on your own/not catered)

Afternoon - Open time



Chair: Anyone with a good idea!

No organizing committee can anticipate every permutation of ideas worth exploring at a workshop, so we are leaving some time to add programming on the fly. As the workshop progresses there will be opportunities to suggest topics worth exploring as a community, and the ones of greatest interest will be added to the Friday agenda.

AstroViz White Paper

Chair: Janice Lee

We hope this workshop provides opportunities to network and collaborate for all attendees. But to have a lasting impact it is important to capture the key ideas and outcomes in a format we can share with the broader community. We will produce a white paper summarizing key issues identified during the workshop, pathways to addressing those issues, as well as how best to sustain a productive community of practice.