Category Archives: My Job

Sheridan 3D Game Featured at the 2010 Olympics

Sheridan College, a leader in digital media, has created the first ever real-time auto-stereoscopic 3D game that does not require 3D glasses. The game, called “IC3D”, is a showpiece at the Ontario House Pavilion at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, and will be used to introduce some of Ontario’s most well-known tourist attractions to the world-wide audience in Vancouver.

Developed in collaboration with Toronto-based company Spatial View, the Sheridan IC3D Game is an interactive real-time application where players use BlackBerry® smartphones as game controllers to assemble puzzles featuring some of Ontario’s most popular tourist attractions.

Visitors to the Ontario House Pavilion will play the puzzle game featuring 20 of Ontario’s landmark attractions, displayed as ‘icicons’,* on 46” Spatial View auto-stereoscopic 3D screens. The pieces of each attraction, or ‘icicon’, appear scattered on a frozen 3D landscape. Up to five players work collaboratively to assemble the ‘icicons’, each using a BlackBerry smartphone. Once complete, a multimedia presentation of the attraction is displayed on each player’s device.

“The cutting edge technology of Sheridan’s 3D Game showcases our province’s tourism icons like never before. The world will see in a unique and innovative way that there truly is no place like Ontario to live, visit and invest,” said Michael Chan, Ontario’s Minister of Tourism and Culture.

“The project is a great example of how Sheridan’s expertise in applied research can seamlessly combine multiple disciplines as diverse as art and information technology. Sheridan’s long experience in digital media made collaborating with Spatial View on a 3D gaming and visualization project an ideal partnership,” said Jill Birch, Sheridan’s Vice President of Business Development. “This unique and innovative collaboration not only demonstrates the Province’s commitment to innovation in technology, but we think it has been a model for how technology companies and educational institutions with expertise in applied research can partner to create technological breakthroughs.”

“We are excited to be working on such an innovative project with one of North America’s premier Visual Design educational institutions,” says Beat Raemy, CEO of Spatial View. “The combination of Spatial View’s technology and Sheridan’s creative software development skills has resulted in a truly amazing glasses-free 3D experience.”

The Sheridan 3D Game was created by Sheridan’s Visualization Design Institute (VDI), an applied research unit with established expertise in the field of computer visualization and specializing in deploying game technologies in 3D environments. A team of students from the college’s Applied Computing and Engineering Sciences School worked with VDI staff to take this application from concept to finished product.

Founded in 2004, Spatial View is a leading developer of 3D image processing and display technologies. The company’s vision is to make 3D more accessible, affordable and versatile opening up 3D to a broader market, including mobile and personal computers. Spatial View’s unique technology allows users to view 3D content in high quality on a variety of platforms without the need for 3D glasses.

The Blackberry and RIM families of related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive properties and trademarks of Research in Motion Limited.

Collision Investigation Skid Marks

This series of lessons contains animations and simulations designed to teach police officers how to estimate a vehicle’s speed from four different types of skid marks.

Each lesson begins with a tutorial and a 3D movie showing a collision and the type of skid mark it produces. A second movie shows how the police officer should measure and record the length of the skid mark.

Next, a simulation lets the learner explore the effect of different road conditions by generating skid marks for the learner to measure, record and estimate the vehicle’s speed.

The final module in each lesson provides police officers with a math tool to apply the appropriate formula to estimate a vehicle’s speed from skid marks.

These materials were produced for the Justice Knowledge Network, a five-year research and development project to develop e-learning for Canadian police forces.

Suspect Apprehension Pursuit

SAP is a basic refresher-training course that focuses on pursuit regulations and techniques based upon the Ontario Police Service Act’s Suspect Apprehension Pursuits Regulation. It provides a review of basic pursuit training, current pursuit regulations and provides an overview of various pursuit situations.

The course consists of eight lessons, most of which are presented as tutorials followed by practice quizzes to test the students’ understanding of the lesson. Two lessons also contain animated movies that illustrate various techniques officers use to pursue and stop a vehicle.

The regulation itself is presented as a missing-word game where students gain or lose points depending on their understanding of the regulation. This is done so as to encourage the students to read the regulation carefully.

The course concludes with a final exam that provides students with a self-test of their knowledge. The exam can be repeated as often as desired, each time with some different questions randomly selected from the lesson quizzes.

This course was produced for the Justice Knowledge Network, a five-year research and development project to develop e-learning for Canadian police forces.

Transfusion Medicine Online Learning

The object of this educational research project was to determine if a case-based, self-directed e-learning module could effectively supplement core learning objectives in the health sciences program. Our partner was the Faculty of Health Sciences of the McMaster University.

The VDI team worked with Doctors Anthony Levinson, Sarah Garside, and Kathryn Webert from McMaster to create a web-based e-learning course to teach principles of transfusion medicine. This is an interdisciplinary topic that frequently “slips through the cracks” of the curriculum.

The project integrated elements of learning theory and instructional design that were consistent with new MD curriculum goals. These included:

  • Literature search and expert consensus to identify content objectives and core concepts.
  • An e-tutor to promote guided discovery within a tutorial mode.
  • An interactive interface to promote active learning.
  • Pre-tests to orient learners and measure their prior learning as well as measures of their confidence.
  • A problem-based/case-based approach.
  • Interactive elements such as clinical pearls and key facts.
  • Animations of key concepts and mechanisms.
  • Mini-cases to buttress learning through elements of deliberate and mixed practice.
  • Practical clinical issues to aid integration into practice (e.g. Writing orders, obtaining informed consent).
  • Post-tests for self-evaluation of the learner’s new knowledge and level of confidence in that knowledge.
  • Funding for this research project was partly supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Bayer Healthcare.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Visualization

FAS was a project I worked on at VDI. We collaborated with McMaster University on a Fetal Alcohol Syndrome visualization, which demonstrated the subtle changes in an embryo affected by FAS

What is FAS

Prenatal exposure to alcohol can cause a range of disorders, known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). One of the most severe effects of drinking during pregnancy is fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). FAS is one of the leading known preventable causes of mental retardation and birth defects. If a woman drinks alcohol during her pregnancy, her baby can be born with FAS, a lifelong condition that causes physical and mental disabilities. FAS is characterized by abnormal facial features, growth deficiencies, and central nervous system (CNS) problems. People with FAS might have problems with learning, memory, attention span, communication, vision, hearing, or a combination of these. These problems often lead to difficulties in school and problems getting along with others. FAS is a permanent condition. It affects every aspect of an individual’s life and the lives of his or her family.

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) is an umbrella term describing the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects include physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning disabilities with possible lifelong implications. The term FASDs is not intended for use as a clinical diagnosis.

FASDs include FAS as well as other conditions in which individuals have some, but not all, of the clinical signs of FAS. Three terms often used are fetal alcohol effects (FAE), alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND), and alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD). The term FAE has been used to describe behavioral and cognitive problems in children who were prenatally exposed to alcohol, but who do not have all of the typical diagnostic features of FAS. In 1996, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) replaced FAE with the terms ARND and ARBD. Children with ARND might have functional or mental problems linked to prenatal alcohol exposure. These include behavioral or cognitive abnormalities or a combination of both. Children with ARBD might have problems with the heart, kidneys, bones, and/or hearing.

All FASDs are 100% preventable-if a woman does not drink alcohol while she is pregnant.