February 9, 2022 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Speaker: Rus Gant

As we move forward with an ever rapidly increasing on-line component to everyday education at Harvard it is clear from the experience of the last two years that we need new ways to deliver a high-quality pedagogical product to our students be they remote or residential. While applications like Zoom provide a base-line ability to communicate, they offer little to advance either the teaching or learning side of the equation at a quality one expects from an institution like Harvard. What is needed is the ability to give both the student and teacher the ability to behave more in the way they traditionally do, on campus, in the classroom or laboratory. To open up that narrow communication channel that Zoom provides we need to add additional ways to create and distribute the visual and experiential side of Harvard that has been lost in moving away from the physical classroom and laboratory.

To that end we are creating an experience built from real data of the real place. Using state-of-the-art scanning and 3D modeling technology, we are building both a digital twin and a first person interactive experience to both experience and better manage the real Harvard. It will first and foremost look and feel like the real world. Such a virtual world must leave the user concentrating on the teaching, learning and social interaction and not on the fidelity of the environment the way one does in virtual game spaces. This virtual world will strive to be a digital mirror of the real Harvard from top to bottom. When you immerse yourself in the Harvard virtual space you must see and have experiences in the same way intellectually and emotionally like you do in the real-world Harvard, only virtually.

Zoom registration

About the Presenter

Rus Gant is a well-regarded international multi-media artist, XR Architect, computer engineer, educator and visual futurist. He is currently on the Research staff at Harvard University in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, where he is the Director of the Visualization Research Laboratory and the Director of the Virtual Harvard Project, he is also a recent Research Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Center for Media Studies and is on the adjunct faculty at Tokyo’s Showa Women’s University's Institute for Language and Culture. He is currently pursuing work in the future of real-time 3D computer graphics and imaging for virtual production, next generation virtual reality, augmented reality and telepresence for science teaching and research.

About the Harvard Discovery Series

Formerly known as The Digital Futures Discovery Series, the Harvard Discovery Series is a collaboration between Cabot Science Library and the Harvard University Digital Scholarship Group (DSSG). This event series brings scholars on the frontiers of digital knowledge-making to a Harvard audience in an intimate and interactive setting.