eleVR 2016 Year in Review

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It’s hard to believe that our little group has made it through another year. These are some of our highlights for 2016 – our most productive year ever by some measures (eg. number of blog posts or projects worked on). Here’s to an even more successful 2017!


Organizational Changes

Vi, M, Andrea, and Evelyn: The eleVR team at the end of 2016

2016 was a year of many changes for eleVR. Most prominently, we joined YCombinator Research as part of the Human Advancement Research Community (HARC). Later in the year, we welcomed Evelyn Eastmond to our team. Evelyn has been part of the Communications Design Group from the beginning and we’ve been so excited to have her working more directly with us. With our group now dispersed across the country, we started having VR meetings and exploring what we might want from a virtual office.

We also made some serious efforts to improve our communications and web presence. Since April we have been committed to posting here on a weekly basis, and in September we made a major website overhaul adding categories to all of our posts and making pages for all of the Projects that we’ve worked on.



Talks and Conferences

The only conference the whole team went to all year

Every year we try to attend a variety of conferences to get new perspectives and share our work. Sometimes we return to old familiar conferences, but, with so many conferences out there, we often prioritize exploring new venues, with new people and different perspectives. We’ve also been making an attempt to “divide and conquer” so that, as a team, we can see more and then share what we’ve learned.

We highlighted a few of the events we attended on the blog: M gave a performance at the Living Room Light Exchange, Andrea ran a workshop on webVR at the ICERM Illustrating Mathematics workshop, all four of us attended Art&&Code: Weird Reality, and Evelyn and M attended the Body of Knowledge conference. In addition, Vi enjoyed attending the BIRS workshop on Computational Modeling in Games where she talked about Computational Karaoke and Feminist Procedural Content Generation, and also went to PRACTICE to talk about game design, Newsgeist to explore the future of news, and the White House Math Matters meeting to talk about the future of math education. We also returned to a few familiar conferences: Vi and M talked at VidCon on How to Lose Subscribers on Purpose and Andrea returned to the Bridges Math Art Conference, where we had previously presented our Hypernom work. Finally, 2016 marked the year of our first ever entirely virtual VR talk – Evelyn talked about her work with adding leap motion input to AltspaceVR SDK in Altspace.




peachy ring dances
Just one of the ~20 projects that we worked on this year

When I started this post, I thought the most exciting bit would be reviewing and remembering all of the projects that we worked on this year. I somehow assumed that it would be easy to summarize all of the things that we’ve done this year. Then, I spent some time going over the actual projects and posts we’ve made.

And, wow! It appears that over half of the projects on our projects page have been worked on this year. Of those, a majority were also started this year. Additionally, it appears that May is so long ago that any projects that we worked on before then I remembered as being completed in 2015. Peachy rings? Obviously last year… oh, wait, that was made in April. So, instead of trying to say something about all of the projects we worked on this year, let me just point you (again) at our Projects page. If you choose a project at random, it will probably be one that we worked on in 2016.