Friday, July 4, 2008

Official Release of PrimPlotter at SL5B Conference

The Plotter Prim Vendor at the DataViz site.

The Image Array at DataViz site. Each one of the four orthoganal panels is rezzed by a single Plotter Prim, which can be seen at the uppermost vertex.

The DataViz Panel Presentation at SL5B.

The past few months I have been experimenting with Second Life in various different areas. During this time, I designed and engineered my first SL application: PrimPlotter. The actual scripting was done by Annie Obscure, a software engineer. PrimPlotter is a RL-to-SL script that generates 2D or 3D scatter plots from data in a spreadsheet. It consists of two parts: 1) an excel spreadsheet template that serves to input the data to be plotted and controls the dimension of the graph and the size and shape of the datapoint prims; and 2) an SL "Plotter Prim" which actually rezzes the scatter plot within SL.

PrimPlotter was officially released at Linden Lab 5th Birthday conference, on July 2nd, 2008 in SL. For more information about PrimPlotter, including downloading the application and obtainin a copy of the Plotter Prim, please visit the data visualization wiki. The user manual of the application, as well as download instructions can be found here. In SL, the Plotter Prim component of the application can be found at the Data Viz Site in SciLands. At the site, one can actually find 96x4 image panel array similar to the one in ACS island, except this one can be generated autmoatically by the PrimPLotter application.

In addition to the PrimPlotter application, I have also been experimenting with the ability to incorporate SEcond Life into the classroom. As part of the Pharmacy students' Pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine class, Iintroduced them to Second Life. I had the students visit the emerging health-related sites, and introduced them to the concept of virtual patient groups and other web2.0 developments such as wikis and blogs, which are becoming increasingly relevant in the context of personalized. medicine, personal genomics, and the general trend of patients increasingly taking healthcare into their own hands. One of the drawbacks I found was that SL took too much of the student's attention away from the material(although the average time spent by the students in SL for the entire class was between 2 and 3 hours total). On the positive side, I was able to interact with all the students in SL far more than I have actually ever been able to interact with them in RL.

To explore the potential use of SL in promoting educational collaboration and exchange, I invited Dr. Jesus Olivero, a professor from Universidad de Cartagena, who specializes in studying environemental health problems in Colombia. While he visited my lab, I introduced Prof. Olivero to SL. Later on in June, I visited his lab at Universidad de Cartagenta, and gave two talks there: one about our pharmaceutical sciences research work , the other about exploring Second Life as an educational tool and to promote communication. I was pleasantly surprised to find two of the students attending my talk were able to visit me in world a couple of days later, after I had returned to the US.

About Me

I am Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences