Brown Computer Graphics Group Brown Computer Graphics Group


Cave Structure
Cave Structure

Project Overview

In the fall of 1997, six Brown departments - Applied Math, Chemistry, Cognitive Science, Computer Science, Geology, and Physics - were awarded a joint National Science Foundation MRI (Major Research Infrastructure) grant to develop a university-wide computing facility for collaborative research and education. The result is a new supercomputing and immersive virtual reality lab - the Center for Advanced Scientific Computation and Visualization - located at 180 George Street. This lab is available as research, computing, and education facility and is fostering scientific investigation and graduate and undergraduate instruction in a variety of fields, including chemistry, geology, cognitive and linguistic sciences, physics, archaeology, biology, computer science and applied mathematics.

The lab contains a high-performance parallel computer and a cave. Brown's cave is an eight-foot cubicle in which high-resolution stereo graphics are projected onto three walls and the floor to create an immersive virtual reality experience. High-end workstations generate the 3D virtual world and create the sounds of the environment. Special hardware and software keep track of the positions and movements of a person entering that virtual environment, changing the images in the cave in a way that allows the visitor to feel immersed in the virtual space.

The Computer Science department is using the cave for a variety of projects that will benefit from an immersive virtual reality environment: scientific visualization, concept visualization, novel artistic concepts, algorithm visualization, behavior simulation, and user interface research. Current Graphics Group projects include the following:



Cave Painting


User Interfaces for Virtual Reality


ARCHAVE - Visualization in Archeology





Brain Diffusion Tensor MRI Visualization




For general information about Brown's Cave or to arrange for a visit, please visit The Center for Computation and Visualization (CCV) web page or email

For information about The Graphics Group's Cave-related research, please contact Andrew Forsberg at

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