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Day 1 - Talks

Day 1 – Talks

Time Speaker Title & Abstract
08:10 – 09:00 Registration
09:00 – 09:10 Opening
09:10 – 09:45 Keynote
Professor Takayuki Aoki
Large-scale physics-based simulations and scientific visualizations
Real-world simulations based on physics require huge amount of computer resources. It is one of promising ways to use a GPU as an accelerator for scientific computing. We demonstrate several large-scale applications carried out on the TSUBAME supercomputer equipped with 4,000 GPUs at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. An air flow simulation for 10 km x 10 km area of metropolitan Tokyo with 1-m resolution is computed on 52 billion meshes by the Lattice Boltzmann method, in which a new LES (Large-Eddy Simulation) model has been employed. We also show gas-liquid two-phase flows using the VOF method and a tsunami debris flow including a lot of floating materials with a SPH-DEM coupled solver. The large-size output data are rendered by ray tracing to make realistic visualizations.
09:45 – 10:10 Professor John Taylor The art of visualisation at CSIRO
I will provide a brief personal history of the impact of the art of visualisation on the process of scientific discovery. I will focus on the ability of visualisation to generate scientific understanding and to create engagement with a wide audience. As data volumes in science have rapidly increased, visualisation and visual analytics have now become essential tools for extracting knowledge from these massive data sets. Most scientific data is well structured arising from planned experiments and engineered systems. Unstructured data, for example, images, from scientific experiments and particularly of the real world, are now a major source of “big data” and are the subject of analysis in their own right using new approaches based on machine learning techniques such as deep neural networks. I will provide examples from recent CSIRO research projects that illustrate the importance of visualisation to gaining scientific insight and to conveying the results of complex scientific research to a wide audience.
10:10 – 10:35 Sandy Ressler WebVR – Virtual Reality on the Web
Recent excitement about Virtual Reality appears to be bringing about another round of VR hype. In the mid 1990’s we saw VR explode only to fall flat. This time things look different. One key difference is the use of 360 degree videos and the combination of those videos with the ubiquitous nature of the Web. VR on YouTube using your cellphone for a display device is bringing immersive content to the masses. In this talk we take an entertaining look at all of these exploding technologies and some applications.
10:35 – 11:00 Morning Tea
11:00 – 11:25 Dr Mark Harris Machine Learning with NVIDIA GPUs
NVIDIA GPUs are powering a revolution in machine learning. With the rise of deep learning algorithms, in particular deep convolutional neural networks, computers are learning to see, hear, and understand the world around us in ways never before possible. Image recognition and detection systems are getting close to and in some cases surpassing human-level performance, and deep convolutional neural networks have even been used to generate novel images and other content. I will talk about machine learning and the impact it is having in a variety of fields in the context of several NVIDIA initiatives ranging from hardware platforms to software tools and libraries.
11:25 – 11:50 Alain Chesnais From discrete event simulations of distributed database systems, to particle systems and then on to predictive analytics for social media, the math that ties all of these together
This talk will cover the underlying mathematical concepts that we have used throughout our career to cover such varied topics as evaluating the probability of being in a deadlock situation in a massively distributed database using only locally available information, handling the probabilistic behaviour of large scale particle systems to model fluids and gases and then go more in depth into our current research into predictive analytics in social media to generate early warnings of what content is about to go massively viral.
11:50 – 12:15 Professor Kerrie Mengersen The Three Views of “I See”
Immersive environments and virtual reality are providing exciting new ways of seeing our world. The challenge now is how to move from the “ooh” of IE and VR to the “ahh” of problem solving. This can be cast as three types of “I see”: creating IE and VR for a specific scientific and/or social problem, eliciting information seen by experts in these environments, and using this information to gain insight into the problem of interest. We consider this trifecta in the context of statistical modelling, whereby elicited information is formulated as a prior and merged with available data, and we ask the question:  how much better do we do by bridging the gap between these new visual and statistical capabilities?
12:15 – 12:30 Professor Tristan Perez IntelliSensing Enabling Platforms
Good management and sustainability or our natural and built environments depend on situational awareness and good decisions. Humans and enterprises of all scales can suffer from information overload; so it is key to present the relevant information in a suitable manner for different applications. This way, we can avoid information overload and misunderstanding of risk. This short talk describes how QUT through its Institute for future environments is approaching a research in IntelliSensing Enabling Platforms (ISEP), where the tools and technology developed can find application across different areas. As an example, an overview of ISEP in the agricultural setting will be given.
12:30 – 12:40 Gavin Winter  QUT Cube
12:40 – 13:40 Lunch break
13:40 – 14:05 Professor Eleanor Gates-Stuart Project Mmm
‘Mmm.’ relates to creative thinking in art and design practice, the intellectualising of thought and research involved in developing an idea and critical reflection in making work. In developing a new masters program in Techno Arts at the National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) Taiwan, the current intake of students have little general art practice experience but rather a group of individual skills that are shared in their research and desire for making things. Our aim is to find the core elements that trigger creative engagement and experimentation, transferring ideas into artistic output led by interdisciplinary research through the means of science and technology.
Mmm. signifies that hesitant stage in thinking towards action, the human mind processing meaning and rationalising an idea before being spoken. Such intense scrutiny, the surge of brain activity and reasoning is the simple foundation for generating communication amongst a diverse group of creative people, artists and scientists alike. This is not a discussion of philosophical values but a simple intrinsic method for establishing dialogue in an interdisciplinary team with a wide range of experiences and differing research fields. The simplicity of Mmm. creates an open space for dialogue, an interchange of ideas and entrepreneurial synergy for crossover practice.
14:05 – 14:30 A/Professor Jinny Heyjin Choo A New Approach to Create Integrating Art Therapy Using Animation
This research explores that animation can be used as an art form in an integrative approach of art therapy, and it includes a case study of drawn from the author’s own extensive work with animation in therapy using various media. Art Therapy helps individuals to externalize various psychological problems through creative art activities chosen to support a range of therapeutic methods. In recent years, art therapy has used drawing, music, writing, sound, movement and a variety of other art forms, acknowledging the intimate connection between numerous integrated theories of the arts and the promotion growth and healing. Animation, which focuses on drawn movement, is a unique art form; its production process incorporates many different art forms and media in a multimodal manner. In addition, using animation as a therapeutic approach could provide better access to children and adolescents, who generally understand and enjoy animation, and are familiar with the digital media environment. Ultimately, the integrated art therapy tools will extend the use of existing art therapy to digital media and pave the way for a more positive usage of new media. As this research is still at an early stage, many challenges remain. However, the case study demonstrates that animation therapy has great potential as a new approach to integrative arts therapy; offered in a supportive setting, it can intensify healing and transformation.
14:30 – 14:55 A/Professor Martin Tomitsch The secret life of small data in cities
With big data being hailed as remedy to all the challenges of mass urbanisation, it is easy to forget that much of what makes today’s cities work is founded on the clever use of small data. This talk will use examples to uncover the history and evolution of small data in cities. It will specifically focus on the urban interfaces that shape the everyday experiences of people living in cities.
14:55 – 15:20 Matt Adcock 3D Capture and Annotation for Biological and Cultural Heritage
Natural history collections are an invaluable resource housing a wealth of knowledge with a long tradition of contributing to a wide range of fields such as taxonomy, quarantine, conservation and climate change. However, such physical collections are often heavily underutilized as a result of the practical issues of accessibility. The digitization of these collections is a step towards removing these access issues, but other hurdles must be addressed before we truly unlock the potential of this knowledge. This talk will present some of the work CSIRO is doing to make 3D scans more useful and accessible to both scientists and the public.
15:20 – 15:45 Afternoon tea
15:45 – 16:10 Dr Sean O’Donoghue Data visualization, design, and art in molecular biology
Molecular biology presents life scientists with two key challenges. The first challenge is extremely complex data – for this reason, many potentially important breakthroughs in biomedicine remain buried and undiscovered in publicly available datasets. Data visualization and graphic design – combined with classical bioinformatics approaches – can help bring these discoveries to light. Then, life scientists face the second key challenge: how to communicate these important yet complex, molecular-scale discoveries with peers, funding agencies, and the general public. Here again, principles of data visualization can help, together with animations that use approaches from cinematography, storytelling, and art. This talk will illustrate these issues using work from my team (
16:10 – 16:35 Jon Baginski Capturing reality and creating a digital copy of the real world
Creating a digital copy of the real world and exploring in realtime provides interesting new possibilities for the visualisation industry.
We demonstrate some new technologies and processes for being able to convert and view extremely large datasets and utilise streaming technology to share instantly via the web.
16:35 – 17:00 Tomasz Bednarz Vulkan Down Under
“The Khronos Group announces the immediate availability of the Vulkan 1.0 royalty-free, open standard API specification. Vulkan provides high-efficiency, cross-platform access to graphics and compute on modern GPUs used in a wide variety of devices from PCs and consoles to mobile phones and embedded platforms. This ground-up design, complementing the OpenGL®and OpenGL ES 3D APIs, provides applications direct control over GPU acceleration for maximized performance and predictability with minimized CPU overhead and efficient multi-threaded performance. Multiple Vulkan 1.0 hardware drivers and SDKs are available immediately for developers to begin creating Vulkan applications and engines. More information on Vulkan is available on the Vulkan homepage and in the Vulkan 1.0 press release.”
17:00 – 17:15 Ending: Thank to speakers, wrap up, announcement about dinner, CAF and tomorrow’s workshop etc.
18:30 – 20:30 Computer Animation Festival

Day 2 - Workshops

Day 2 – Workshops

Time Location Presenters Workshop
09:00 – 10:30 P Block Tomasz Bednarz, Piotr Szul M1. Big Data and Visual Analytics
This workshop introduces various Big Data frameworks. It starts with general introduction to Big Data concepts, and applications. It showcases Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) and Hadoop MapReduce as an adopted solution by industry for solving big data analytics cases. Also, you will see how to upload and operate on files in HDFS, and step by step develop understanding how to write MapReduce compute code. Various design patterns will be presented, and other frameworks introduced: Apache Pig, Apache Spark, Mahout, and Scoop. Example of running recommender system using Big Data framework will be demonstrated.
09:00 – 10:30 P Block Annette Mcgrath, Andrew George, Aidan O’Brien, Kim-Anh Lê Cao, John Pearson M2. Bioinformatics and Big Data
Driven by advances in measurement and data acquisition technologies that allow very substantial amounts of data to be produced daily and aided by precipitous drops in the price of this data, biology had become a data science. As these technologies improve, the volume of this data is exceeding the capacity of computational hardware using conventional methods to analyse this data, thus creating a ‘Big Data’ problem in Bioinformatics. Nonetheless, the availability of this data provides bioinformaticians with an unprecedented opportunity as effective analysis and interpretation of Big Data offers new ways to uncover hidden patterns in data and to build better predictive models.
Bioinformatics is facing challenges in both managing, storing, processing, analysing and integrating different types of molecular biological information to gain insights that will lead to new discoveries in a number of fields and to new therapies in human health.
This workshop will provide an overview of the Big Data problem in Bioinformatics and will present some of the ways in which bioinformatics researchers are using alternative approaches and methodologies to deal with this problem.
10:30 – 11:00 Morning Tea
11:00 – 12:30 P Block M1. Big Data and Visual Analytics, continued
11:00 – 12:30 P Block M2. Bioinformatics and Big Data, continued
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch break
13:30 – 15:00 P Block Julian Heinrich A1. Multi-Dimensional Data Visualisation with Parallel Coordinates
Today, multidimensional data is ubiquitous. Purchasing a new camera, analysing the stock market, or extracting patterns from gene expression data requires both non-experts and data scientists to make sense of data with muliple dimensions or variables.In this workshop, I will give an introduction to parallel coordinates – a visualisation technique for multidimensional data. In the first part of the workshop, I will provide an overview of the basic geometry and the patterns that emerge in parallel coordinates, and I will disuss the good and the bad parts of this visualisation technique.In the second part, we will learn how to create interactive parallel coordinates charts for the web based on the d3.parcoords.js javascript library and the R statistical computing language.
13:30 – 15:00 P Block Tomasz Bednarz, Daniel Filonik, Xavier Ho, and Steve Psaltis A2. OpenGL for Big Data Visualisation
In modern data science, accelerated visualisation techniques are required to explore data sets in a robust way. This workshop will provide introduction to Open Graphics Language (OpenGL), which is the most widely adopted 2D and 3D graphics API in the industry, bringing thousands of applications to a wide variety of computer platforms, and can be used effectively to visualise big data.
OpenGL would be essential for effective use of big data, due to its real-time interactive capabilities and accelerated rendering. It allows unlocking more value from big data, as it brings possibility of creating new modern analytics tools, user interfaces, interlinking creation of the models based on users’ inputs, etc. Also, in order to effectively use Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, OpenGL is a key enabler.
In addition, OpenGL talks to compute platforms such as OpenCL or CUDA, and enables developers/scientists to create high-performance, visually compelling graphics software applications. The workshop will include introductions and hands-on exercises to basic concepts of hardware rendered graphics, shader language and also web based version of OpenGL, called WebGL.
15:00 – 15:30 Afternoon Tea
15:30 – 17:00 P Block A1. Multi-Dimensional Data Visualisation with Parallel Coordinates, continued
15:30 – 17:00 P Block A2. OpenGL for Big Data Visualisation, continued


Professor Takayuki Aoki, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan
Sandy Ressler, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), USA
Professor Eleanor Gates-Stuart Techno Art Program, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan
A/Professor Martin Tomitsch, University of Sydney, Australia
A/Professor Jinny Heyjin CHOO, Korea National University of Arts, Korea
Professor John Taylor, CSIRO, Australia
Professor Kerrie Mengerson, ACEMS QUT, Australia
Professor Tristan Perez, IFE QUT, Australia
Dr Sean O’Donoghue, CSIRO, Australia
Alain Chesnais, TrendSpottr, Canada
Dr Mark Harris, NVIDIA, Australia
Matt Adcock, CSIRO Data61, Australia
Jon Baginski, Euclideon, Brisbane, Australia

See abstracts here.

Workshops Organisers

Tomasz Bednarz and Piotr Szul (M1: Big Data and Visual Analytics)
Annette Mcgrath (M2: Bioinformatics and Big Data)
Julian Heinrich (A1: Multi-Dimensional Data Visualisation with Parallel Coordinates)
Tomasz Bednarz, Daniel Filonik, Xavier Ho and Steve Psaltis (A2: OpenGL for Big Data Visualisation)

See abstracts here.