User behaviour and computing infrastructure
The creation of 3D-Worlds for technical, economic or entertainment purposes is a unique challenge for computer scientists and software developers. There are few areas where content, user behaviour and computing infrastructure and technology are so tightly connected as e.g. in Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs), a very popular form of virtual worlds with many millions of players. Research in virtual world technology therefore comprises many different areas:
- Usability concerns and patterns around spatial metaphors
- Security of platforms (both server and client)
- Scalabilty of infrastructures
- Distribution and performance of virtual worlds
- Collaboration and interconnection with existing media
- Feature management and content mapping strategies
Modelling, Usability and Security
There are currently few people who understand the complexity behind virtual worlds and they presumably are from a gaming background. But virtual worlds offer a unique opportunity for the sciences as well: BWelabs is a research project that tries to create a virtual world portal for scientists to collaborate and run virtual and remote experiments. Nanotechnology has been chosen as the first scientific target for BWelabs.
This research is sponsored by the MFK of Baden-Württemberg and conducted in cooperation with the Universities of Freiburg (Institute for material science FMF), Stuttgart (Institut for technical optics ITO), FIZ Karlsruhe for scientific documentation, archiving and meta-data and the respective data centers of the participating universities. The computer science and media faculty at HDM has taken over responsibilities for modelling, usability and security in this research project.
Opportunities for software developers
Platforms for virtual worlds are another research area offering opportunities for software developers and computer scientists. Currently Darkstar/Wonderland is one of the possible platforms to be used for BWelabs but further research on its scalability and security is needed.
If you are looking for Bachelor or Master thesis work or software projects in the context to virtual worlds please use the contact information below.
Prof. Dr. Jens-Uwe Hahn