The Sound of Immersion

Simulated virtual environments are poised to deliver rich multi-sensory experiences. Decades of advances in computer graphics, physics-based animation, and display technologies have made it possible to visually depict a wide range of animated content: from colliding and fracturing objects, to virtual characters and splashing water. Unfortunately, our visual simulations are essentially “silent movies” with sound added as an afterthought. This shortcoming is especially problematic for interactively simulated VR content, since realistic sounds must be generated on-the-fly, with proper synchronization, and 3D spatialization, in order to provide a compelling immersive experience.

Doug James is a Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University (since June 2015), and was previously an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Cornell University (2006-2015). He holds three degrees in applied mathematics, including a Ph.D. in 2001 from the University of British Columbia. In 2002 he joined the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University as an Assistant Professor, before joining Cornell in 2006. His research interests include computer graphics, computer sound, physically based modeling and animation, and reduced-order physics models.