Norman I. Badler

University of Pennsylvania/

Bio: Norman I. Badler is the Rachleff Professor of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania.  He received his BA in Creative Studies Mathematics from the University of California Santa Barbara in 1970, his MSc in Mathematics from the University of Toronto in 1971, and his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Toronto in 1975.  He served as the Senior Co-Editor for the Journal Graphical Models for 20 years and presently serves on the Editorial Boards of several other Journals including Presence.  His research involves developing software to acquire, simulate, animate and control 3D computer graphics human body, face, gesture, locomotion, and manual task motions, both individually and for heterogeneous groups.   He has supervised or co-supervised 62 PhD students, many of whom have become academics or researchers in the movie visual effects and game industries.  He is the founding Director of the SIG Center for Computer Graphics, the Center for Human Modeling and Simulation, and the ViDi Center for Digital Visualization at Penn.  He has served Penn as Chair of the Computer & Information Science Department (1990-94) and as the Associate Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science (2001-05).

My Lifelong Quest to Control Virtual People

Abstract: Simulating human activities, rather than just creating movements, has been the long-term goal of my research enterprise. Over the past decade, we have been developing systems for animating more individualized agents by addressing the impact of personality type on movement, considering environmental influences on locomotion and group behaviors, and reconstructing ancient societies. Some of this work will influence my new role in Metaverse research at

Michael Zyda

Professor of Engineering Practice, University of Southern California

Bio: Michael Zyda is the Founding Director of USC’s Computer Science Games Program, and a Professor of Engineering Practice in the USC Department of Computer Science. At USC, he founded the Computer Science Games Program and the year-long advanced game projects course that forms the core of USC Games and took that program from no program to the #1 Games program in the world. That program has been rated #1 by the Princeton Review for ten of the last eleven years. His alums have shipped games played by over 5 billion players, about $250B in revenue and $2.5B in payroll to those alums. Zyda is an ACM Fellow, IEEE Fellow, an IEEE Virtual Reality Technical Achievement Award winner, a Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors, a Fellow of the Asia-Pacific Artificial Intelligence Association (AAIA) and a National Associate of the National Academies. Zyda is a member of the Editorial Board & Games Column Editor, IEEE Computer magazine. Zyda is a Distinguished Collaborator for the Stanford Human Perception Laboratory affiliated with the Institute for Human-Centered AI.

Now that everything has been renamed the Metaverse, how do we educate developers for it?

Abstract: Almost every online game is being renamed as a portal to the Metaverse. All of these different Metaverse are currently not capable of sharing your friend’s list, your avatar or any in-game experience you have had – this needs to be engineered in from the start for the Metaverse to succeed. We discuss that requirement and the education required to build the developers for the Metaverse.

Debmalya Sinha

Software Engineer at Meta

Bio: Dr. Debmalya Sinha is a Software Engineer at the Reality Labs, Meta (formerly Facebook Reality Labs) working on building the next generation Augmented Reality creation platform: “Spark AR”. Prior to this he worked as a Rendering Engineer and helped build MMORPG games like Mavericks and Scavengers. Dr. Sinha has a Ph.D. in Light Fields Rendering from the University of Warwick and an ME in Human-Computer Interaction from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. Currently based in London, he is trying to build a small but growing collection of old film cameras and photo books!

Photography in the age of the Metaverse

Abstract: Photography is one of the most expressive yet efficient ways of communication that very few other mediums can match. As the world is shifting towards augmented and virtual experiences, it is more important than ever to question ourselves, what makes a good photograph. This keynote will briefly go over the basic photographic techniques and composition examples with a historical context and think out loud how all these techniques can be applied to create immersive experiences for the metaverse – as creators, engineers, and researchers

Kurt Debattista

Professor, University of Warwick

Bio: Kurt Debattista is a Professor and Director of Research Degrees at WMG, University of Warwick. He holds a PhD from the University of Bristol, an MSc in Computer Science, an MSc in Psychology and a BSc in Mathematics and Computer Science. His research has focused on high-fidelity rendering, parallel computing, high-dynamic range imaging, machine learning, serious games, and applied perception. He has had grants funded with EPSRC, InnovateUK/TSB, Royal Society, HVM Catapult, NHS, EU, and internal funding. In 2013 he was granted a Royal Society Industrial fellowship. He has been engaged with collaboration with industry in several projects including work with JLR, Arup and Lear amongst others.

Applied Perception for Visual Computing

Abstract: Appropriate modelling and understanding of human factors to enable perceptually higher quality visual technologies is the major focus of this talk. Examples of this will be shown for evaluating the potential significant value of high-fidelity VEs for decision making in industry for real-world driving experience with different levels of fidelity for the equivalent virtual experience. The design and running of experiments dealing with the cross-modal relationship between senses and, comparing spatial and temporal visual resolutions and identifying a non-linear relation when available computation resources change. Displaying HDR imaging under complex lighting conditions and significantly improving optimisation prediction for HDR video compression.

Ergun Akleman

Professor, University of Texas A&M

Topological Mesh Modeling

Abstract: Topological Mesh Modeling is an umbrella term that covers all our work based on extensions of the theory of graph rotation systems. It includes (1) Orientable 2-manifold mesh modeling using graph rotation systems and its computer graphics applications, (2) Knot modeling with immersions of non-orientable manifold meshes and (3) Topological constructions that are based on geometric and physical constraints with graph rotation systems. In this talk, I will demonstrate some properties of topological mesh modeling.

Pınar Yoldaş

Professor of Robotics in Art UC San Diego

Bio: Dr. Pinar Yoldas is an infradisciplinary architect and a professor at the University of California, San Diego. Her work develops within biological sciences and digital technologies through architectural installations, kinetic sculpture, sound, video and drawing with a focus on post-humanism, eco-nihilism, anthropocene and feminist technoscience. Her solo shows have been exhibited at Roda Sten Konsthall, Polyteknikum Museum Moscow and Ernst Schering Project Space. Her group shows have been at National Art Museum of Beijing; Transmediale, ZKM, HKW, HeK, Nordic Biennial, 14th Istanbul Biennial,Taiwan National Museum of Fine Arts, MAAT and V&A. Dr.Yoldas’ residencies include the MacDowell Colony, UCross Foundation, VCCA, Quartier21 Künstlerstudio-Programm, and UdK Berlin. Her work has been featured in Arte TV, Die Welt, Vice, Art21, Der Spiegel and Vogue Turkey, to name a few. She holds a Ph.D. from Duke University. Her mixed background includes a BArch from Middle East Technical University, a MA from Bilgi University, an MS from Istanbul Technical University, an MFA from UCLA and a Ph.D. from Duke University. Pinar is a 2015 John Simon Guggenheim Fellow and a 2016 Future Emerging Arts and Technologies Award recipient. She holds a bronze medal in organic chemistry in the national science olympics and had her first solo exhibition when she was five.

Is there life after NFTs?

Abstract: NFTs took the art world by storm with flashy art stories and otherworldly sales prices. There’s still a large group of digital creators who are wrapping their head around the idea. In the age of never-ending pandemics, catastrophic wildfires, extreme weather, global warming, economic collapse and extinction, is there life after NFTs? Presentation will focus on the social role of art and the significance of new economic models.