GVU at 30

Watch Highlights from the GVU Center's 30th Anniversary



More Highlights:







Join Us Nov. 2-3, 2022 in Atlanta to Celebrate GVU's 30th Anniversary


You are invited to join us this fall as we celebrate the GVU Center's 30th Anniversary and our community of researchers who are advancing globally focused computing solutions. Register for any of the anniversary events listed below – taking place Nov. 2 and 3 – and learn about the legacy of our research community.

The GVU Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology is dedicated to transforming computing research into innovative, relevant, and useful solutions that address the needs of people. As we celebrate 30 years in Atlanta, we continue our focus to unlock and amplify human potential through innovation in a variety of interactive computing techniques. Our community of researchers from across Georgia Tech's six colleges embody a unique collaborative spirit, one that fosters dynamic, interdisciplinary teams able to address complex human challenges.


Anniversary Program | Nov. 2-3, 2022

Technology Square Research Building



10:00 - 11:00

  • Interactive Installations and Event Registration

11:00 - 12:30

  • Welcome  Charles Isbell, The John P. Imlay Jr. Dean of Computing

  • Director’s Remarks  Keith Edwards, Director, GVU Center

  • Keynote  Animating Humans:  What Have We Learned In 30 Years?

    Jessica Hodgins, Professor, Carnegie Mellon University

12:30 - 2:00

  • Impact Awards Presentation (lunch provided)

2:00 - 5:00

  • Research Showcase

  • Interactive Installations

  • Craft Lab Ribbon Cutting



12:00 - 1:20

  • Distinguished Alum Brownbag Talk (lunch provided)  Earth, Wind & Fire Magical Hair: A Trio of Production Challenges

    Heather Pritchett, Walt Disney Animation Studios




Title: Animating Humans:  What Have We Learned In 30 Years?

Jessica K. Hodgins Professor, Computer Science and Robotics
Carnegie Mellon University

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Jessica Hodgins is currently the Allen Newell University Professor in the Robotics Institute and Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University.  From 2008-2017, she was also VP of Research at Disney Research, running research labs in Pittsburgh and Los Angeles.   From 2018-2022, she was the lead for a new AI Research lab for Facebook based in Pittsburgh. Prior to moving to Carnegie Mellon in 2000, she was an Associate Professor and Assistant Dean in the College of Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1989. Her research focuses on computer graphics, animation, and robotics with an emphasis on generating and analyzing human motion. She has received a NSF Young Investigator Award, a Packard Fellowship, and a Sloan Fellowship. She was editor-in-chief of ACM Transactions on Graphics from 2000-2002 and ACM SIGGRAPH Papers Chair in 2003. She served as ACM SIGGRAPH President from 2018-2020.   In 2010, she wasawarded the ACM SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award and in 2017, she was awarded the ACM SIGGRAPH Coons Award, the highest technical honor in computer graphics.   In 2018, she was inducted as an ACM Fellow and in 2020, she was inducted as an University Professor at Carnegie Mellon University.





Heather Pritchett Technical Director
Walt Disney Animation Studios

Thursday, Nov. 3, 12  - 1:20 p.m.


Title: Earth, Wind & Fire Magical Hair: A Trio of Production Challenges 

Abstract: Production challenges are rarely solved by the pure application of code. Many obstacles encountered in the making of a CG animated movie balance artistic needs against production limits. Potential solutions often have restrictions related to budget and immovable release dates. This talk walks through three complex problems from Tangled, Moana and Frozen II and the solutions needed to resolve them.

Bio: Heather Pritchett, (MS CS 93) started with Walt Disney Animation Studios shortly after graduation. After 28 years, she’s still enjoying her job. In her nearly three decades with Disney she has worked on theme park projects, videos games, shorts, live-action films, and animated films, both hand-drawn and CG. She is a frequent mentor for new hires and part of an internal committee that address workflow issues and technical debt. She recently finished up work on “Strange World”, which is hitting theaters on November 23rd. She can’t tell you about her current project because it’s still a secret.  When she’s not recovering from a global pandemic, she likes to volunteer for organizations like Girls Who Code, PyLadies and Django Girls.




Meet our researchers and explore the work in their labs at the GVU Research Showcase, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2 - 5 p.m.




Interactive Installation



AI Meets Pepper’s Ghost: A Co-Creative Dance Experience

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 10 - 11 a.m. & 2  - 5 p.m.
Milka Trajkova, Brian Magerko

In our NSF supported research, “Participatory Sensemaking in Embodied Co- Creative Agents”, collaborators from Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State University seek to understand the embodied creative sensemaking process in a modern improvisational dance setting to better develop the design of a modular AI agent (LuminAI) to creatively collaborate with a dancer. The purpose of this installation and performance is to offer people a glimpse of how LuminAI works in real-time, i.e., an experience of a dancer interacting with the AI agent through a captivating Pepper’s Ghost illusion. Through this imitated black box space, audience members will be able to experience dance technology in a unique and engaging way, inducing conversations about the limitless applications of dance and technology in the realms of learning, training, and creativity. In addition, this performance will inform scientific work in understanding how dancers collaborate with agents and how to engage audience members with AI. If deemed successfully, it can be used in future performances as the system develops over time. This installation will also be suitable for ACM CHI and Creativity and Cognition interactivity demo submissions.


Computational Craft Lab | Grand Opening Nov 2

The Georgia Tech Computational Craft Lab is a new makerspace in the GVU Center, located in the Technology Square Research Building. The grand opening, Nov. 2 (2:15 p.m.), will take place during the GVU Research Showcase (2 - 5 p.m.) and allow the campus community to see what the new space offers. Register for the showcase at the top registration link.

The lab specializes in:

  • Computational Craft
  • E-textiles
  • Soft Electronics

Equipment in the lab may be used for academic and research purposes across the entire Georgia Tech community. Come explore and connect with others in our new makerspace.