1. Significant results or events: 

   A) Events:

   On December 17th the Virginia Tech CAVE(tm) became operational.  
   Chronology of events is posted at 


   B) Human Computer Interaction:

     1) The formation of the CAVE Student Lead Users Group (VT-CAVE 
     SLUGs) in February was significant in that it lead to the 
     creation of several projects where CAVE Interfaces were 
     designed from a HCI usability prespective.  Many of the CAVE 
     SLUGs are associated with the Center for Human Computer 
     Interaction(CHCI). From this group there was one particularly 
     good HCI project where Kevin Curry and Kent Swartz (both M.S. 
     CS students) created CAVE.net 


     a Networking Sub-group of the VT-CAVE SLUGs which focuses on 
     Networking CAVE Applications.  In particular Kevin's and Kent's 
     project: "CAVE Networking Supporting Multi-User Virtual 


     was built on top of CAVERNsoft's LIMBO. This project, which is 
     associated with the CHCI, represents how Virginia Tech will 
     continue to develop CAVE-to-CAVE collaborative tools from an 
     HCI usability prespective by building on top of existing PACI 

     2) Another CAVE evaluation/usability project is Ms. Jongran 
     Lee's Ph.D. dissertation in the Department of Interior Design: 
     "Comparing the Effectiveness of Computer Simulation on Computer 
     Monitor vs. Virtual Reality as Communication Tools in Interior 
     Design".  The purpose is to investigate the communication 
     effectiveness of two types of computer simulation: passive walk-
     through animation of an interior design on a PC-monitor, and the 
     immersive walk-through of the same design in the CAVE. This is 
     one of many projects associated with the Interior Design Futures 


   C) Materials Systems Simulation/Visualization:

     1) Dr. Ron Kriz spent the summer of 97 at NCSA and learned more 
     about CAVE programing.  During that same summer Ron worked with 
     John Shalf (NCSA) who created "Atomview": a CAVE application 
     which visualized results of a supercomputing models of 3D 
     bimetal crystals with dislocations and cracks. Atomview has been 
     used extensively by Professor Diana Farkas in the Dept of 
     Materials Science and Engineering and Director of the Center for 
     Modeling and Simulation Material Science


     Recently Professor Farkas and her colleagues at Material 
     Research Institute in Switzerland have been studying 
     nanostructures and have used Atomview extensively in their 
     research.  Ms. Revathy  Narashinham (MSE GRA) is now modifying 
     Atomview for future studies in supercomputer simulation/
     visualization of defects in nanostructures.

2. Expected results, progress and/or events in the coming quarter:

   A) Now that we have established a working model for developing 
   CAVE-to-CAVE collaborations, I will spend the remainder of the 
   budget on hiring Kevin and Kent to continue their development 
   using CAVERNsoft's LIMBO.
   B) From the Alliance98 meeting I will follow up on contacts and 
   discussions about working with John Toole and Janet Thul-Thompson 
   on establishing a Virtual Reality Training Center at the Access 
   Center near the NSF Headquarters.  Since this depends largerly on 
   VPST/Prosolvia (my current industrial partners), I can not commit 
   but will work closely with NCSA-PACI and VPST/Prosolvia in 
   exploring this tenative proposal.

   NOTE: both of these efforts will require additional funding beyond 
         the next quarter.  Specifically I'd like to plan ahead and 
         pay Kevin and Kent full GRA's at $18K for each of their 
         efforts which will come to a total of an additional $36K of 
         direct costs. 

3. Any proposed changes to project plan:

   A) From our Team-C meeting discussions at Alliance98 I want to 
   devote more time to working with Rachael Brady and Mike Folk on 
   establishing an HDF format to be used with Crumbs.  Crumbs will 
   be used by about ten researchers in Biology, our Vetinary School 
   of Medicine and Dr. Bert Newmark M.D. a radiologist at our local 

   B) I also want to work more closely with ODU on learning how to 
   use CAVE5D since there have been many requests to use CAVE5D in 
   several projects here at Virginia Tech.  I want to congratulate 
   Glen Wheless on job well done. 

4. Meetings attended last quarter:

   Just Alliance98.

5. Alliance-related publications and presentations:


6. Alliance-related proposals and awards:   

   A) NSF Combined Reserach Curriculum Development (funded $220K):  
   "Combined Research and Curriculum Development: Computer Simulation 
   of Material Behavior -- From  Atomistic to the Continuum Level"

   B) NSF 97-18 Learning & Intelligent Systems (LIS): "Breaking 
   Conceptual Barriers: Learning in Collaborative Virtual 
   Environments",  Good reviews encouraged to resubmit.

   C) USDA Grant (funded $120K): Putting Bugs into CAVE Rooms.

   D) Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) Virtual 
   Reality Center Study Award (funded at $29K).

Closing comments:

I am very encouraged by our progress since December 17, 1997 when the
CAVE became fully operational.  What little PACI funds we have remaining 
($15K) will be spent to continue to proceed with what is our best momentum 
in establishing a HCI CAVE-to-CAVE collaboration with our PACI parnters.
Additional funds requested beyond this next quarter will be used to extend 
the current project to include developing other CAVE-to-CAVE collaborations.