Silicon, Carbon, Culture

SILICON, CARBON, CULTURE is a joint initiative of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Fine and Applied Arts, with support from the Madden Initiative in Technology, Arts, and Culture and the Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Office of the Chancellor.


Neil Oberg 
Advisor:  Benjamin Schaeffer


The War and Peace project attempted to model historical conflict relationships between 150-odd countries from 1800-1990 from a network model standpoint.  The model used a texture-mapped sphere with a high resolution NASA photograph of the Earth from space being the texture.  Mapped onto the surface of the sphere were smaller, colored spheres representing each country.  A user could navigate through the network with a controller and view the network from the standpoint of the currently selected country. The model represented conflict relationships between countries with lines from one country center to another country center.  The degree centrality of the node with respect to the entire network was represented by it's color, with red being a high degree centrality and blue being a low degree centrality.  Degree centrality corresponded to the intuitive idea of "how many conflicts I've had with other people." The other factor that was modeled was prestige.  From the viewpoint of a selected country, it and all of the countries it had relationships with expanded and contracted at faster or slower speeds depending on how prestigious each country was.



Chris McDowell, Bo Lu, Madhur Nigam,
Karen Medina, and Varun Tuli
Advisor:  Benjamin Schaeffer


The Info-Forest project looked at the relationship between groups of people on campus.  In the visualization, the groups are represented by tall pylons in a forest.  The paths in the forest connect the groups together.  Then visually we can learn what the nature of their relationships are by looking at the markers on the path.  There are three types of markers:  rocks-difficult relationship, weeds - bad relationships and flowers - good relationships.