MS Computer Science
Global Illumination of Isosurfaces
The purpose of my research is to upgrade the quality of 3D scientific
visualization by applying global illumination to isosurfaces.
An isosurface of a three-dimensional (3D) function is a surface
in which all the points have an identical value, called the isovalue.
This isosurface may capture the shape of the brain (from MRI data),
or of a nerve cell (from laser microscopy) or of neutron clusters
(from a computational simulation of neutron stars). Often the shape
is very complex, in which case the subtle effects of realistic lighting
(like soft shadows, inter-reflection, and caustics) make the 3D
structure more evident to the scientific user.
Unfortunately, solving the light-transport equation for these complex
surfaces may take hours to complete. My work is the first to demonstrate
that pre-processing allows these high-quality renderings to be produced
using the video card of an ordinary home computer, and at the same
speed as the low-quality "local illumination" provided by existing
commercial tools for 3D visualization.
Courses taken outside of major
STA 5106 Computational Methods in Statistics I
STA 5107 Computational Methods in Statistics II
PHY 3424 Optics
ART 2010 Photography