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Stimulating Interest in Technological and Engineering Literacy Using a Multidimensional Desktop Virtual Reality Framework

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

New Approaches and Applications to Enhance Technological Literacy - Part I

Tagged Division

Technological and Engineering Literacy/Philosophy of Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1087.1 - 23.1087.20



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Paper Authors


Magesh Chandramouli Purdue University, Calumet (Tech) Orcid 16x16

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Magesh Chandramouli is currently an Asst. Professor in Computer Graphics Techology at Purdue University, Calumet. Earlier, he was a Frederick Andrews Fellow at Purdue University, West Lafayette, where he completed his doctoral studies at the Department of Computer Graphics Technology. He completed his Master of Science from the University of Calgary and his Bachelor of Engineering from the College of Engineering, Guindy, India.

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Gary R. Bertoline Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Gary R. Bertoline is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Computer Graphics Technology, Professor of Computer & Information Technology at Purdue University, West Lafayette. Prior to becoming dean, he served as Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in the College of Technology. From 1995 through 2002, Gary served as Department Head of Computer Graphics Technology at Purdue University. He received the Ph.D. degree in technology from The Ohio State University in 1987, MEd from Miami University, and BS degree from Northern Michigan University. Prior to joining the faculty at Purdue, he served three years as a faculty member in the College of Engineering and Department of Engineering Graphics at The Ohio State University. He is currently a member of Epsilon Pi Tau, SIGGRAPH, American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), and ATMAE.

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Stimulating Interest in Technological and Engineering Literacy Using a Multidimensional Desktop Virtual Reality Framework In this paper geometry and graphics are employed to design and implement amultidimensional dVR (Desktop Virtual Reality) framework to stimulate interest intechnological/engineering literacy. Students, especially those at the beginner’s level, typicallytend to associate terms such as literacy or literature with ‘textual information’ and hugevolumes of books. While a seasoned faculty member or a researcher is quite used to readingvoluminous literature, students and non-domain audience may find this challenging. Hence,this paper puts forth a novel approach wherein an interactive multidimensional dVRframework is used methodically organize and present engineering and technological literature.Technological literature is represented as geometry objects embedded in a graphic interfacethat facilitates viewing from multiple perspectives (literature-wise) and sort and re-structurethe literature as required. Users can navigate within this 3D environment and interact withscene elements. The Virtual scene elements represent various elements of technologicalliteracy in different formats that include 3D representations as well as conventional files suchas word documents, web pages, etc. One primary drawback with a vast majority ofvisualization systems is that information is presented to the audience in a pre-determinedfashion. Nevertheless, there may be times when the information receiver may want to view theinformation in other ways. A good visualization platform should be flexible enough to allowthe user (audience or the information receiver) to interact with the information. The usershould be able to dynamically interact, manipulate, modify, and re-arrange the information inaccordance with their particular needs. Hence, the authors have enabled dynamic interactioncapabilities within this framework that facilitates ‘re-arranging’ the way in which theinformation is presented. The application is being built using web-friendly technologies suchas VRML/X3D and Java/JavaScript to facilitate online dissemination. Over time, researchers and academicians are used to visualizing particular informationin a specific way; sometimes, discipline-specific approaches may exist for disseminating the‘body of knowledge’. However, today’s research and academic scenario is extremelyinterdisciplinary, wherein any research and even teaching venture necessitates people fromdiverse disciplines to collaborate. Several engineering and technology disciplines collaboratewith various other schools and departments, whose members may not necessarily be cognizantof engineering/technological literature. However, interdisciplinary technology courses andgrant applications stand to gain immensely when the collaborators from the non-technologicalside are exposed ‘technological literacy’. An easy-to-use interface that appeals to students aswell as non-domain audience can serve as a significant milestone in fostering collaborationbetween engineering/technological departments and other departments. Hence, this paperpresents a prototype multi-dimensional framework that uses a multidimensional dVR system togenerate a ‘visual-analytical database’ of engineering and technological literacy.Keywords: Engineering literacy, Technological literacy, Multidimensional Visualization,DVR

Chandramouli, M., & Bertoline, G. R. (2013, June), Stimulating Interest in Technological and Engineering Literacy Using a Multidimensional Desktop Virtual Reality Framework Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22472

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