Virtual Reality

U Wisconsin Prof Seeks To Bring Data Science to Life with Virtual Reality

Students in an online data science program offered by the University of Wisconsin (UW)  may soon get an opportunity to use virtual reality headsets to interact with mountains of data.

"Ryan Martinez, an instructional designer for UW-Extension, sees both a need and an opportunity to make big data come to life in a way that can dramatically change people's behavior," according to a news release. "His proposal to use Oculus virtual reality technology in the online UW Master of Data Science curriculum earned Martinez a highly coveted spot at the Oculus Launch Pad Boot Camp at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California, on May 21."

"If data scientists could more quickly analyze data that's already available, they could make faster decisions, act sooner and potentially even save lives," said Martinez in a prepared statement. "All someone needs is a phone and a VR headset. What we can do to bring the data from virtual reality into real life — it's incredible."

At the boot camp, Martinez and other attendees will receive feedback and mentorship before the company decides which participants will receive scholarships of $5,000-$50,000 to help bring their projects to life.

"We're proud to continue to lead the way with new technologies and practices in higher education," said David Schejbal, dean of the UW-Extension's Continuing Education Division, in a prepared statement. "Ryan's concept may potentially lead to innovative tools we could offer our data science students, and is an interesting option they probably haven't even considered."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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