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EBI Conference This Week Examines Human-Computer Interaction Issues

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HINXTON, UK--A high-level panel of speakers will address issues of human-computer interaction and visualization in a conference this week sponsored by the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) here. "Frontiers in Visualization and Human-Computer Interaction '97: Visualizing the Future of the Life Sciences" will be held December 10-11 at the new Wellcome Trust Genome Campus.

The event will focus on current uses of visualization in the biosciences, including bioinformatics, and how visualization technologies can be used to extract information and knowledge from raw scientific data. It will be keynoted by two experts. Andries van Dam, the Thomas J. Watson, Jr., University Professor of Technology and Education and professor of computer science at Brown University, is a founder of SIGGRAPH. José Luis Encarnação, professor at the Technical University of Darmstadt and director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics, also in Darmstadt, was what the conference organizers called a "driving force behind the founding of Eurographics."

The theme of the first day of the conference is visualization in experimental science. Van Dam will head the agenda with a talk on "Frontiers in 3D Human-Computer Interactions." He will be followed by Encarnação, who will discuss "Advanced Computer Graphics for Experimental Sciences: The Paradigm Shift from Presentation and Interaction to Navigation and Experimentation." Other talks the first day include "Graphics in Support of Scientific Experiments in the context of WWW, Internet, Intranets and Extranets," by Detlef Krömker, who heads the animation and HD-image communication department of the Fraunhofer Institute, and "VRML and Java 3D for 3D Graphics," by Jean-Francis Balaguer, technology manager for 3D graphics at Artemedia Online in Lausanne. There will also be demonstrations of virtual reality for distributed experiments, the logistic simulator SIMPROLOG, with graphical front-end and animation; and facility management using graphics and animation.

The first-day morning session will be chaired by Paolo Zanella, head of EBI and chair in the Faculty of Sciences, Department of Informatics, at the University of Geneva. The afternoon program is chaired by Robin Breckinridge, of Hoffmann-La Roche.

Visualization in the Biosciences is the topic of the conference's second day. The morning session, chaired by Ian Butlerworth of Imperial College, London, includes discussions of "Visualization in Healthcare and Life-Sciences," by Michael Berman of Silicon Graphics; "Visual ization in Chemistry and Molecular Modeling," by Jurgen Brickmann of Darmstadt University of Tech nology; "A Prototype Molecular Interactive Collaborative Environ ment," by Phil Bourne of the San Diego Supercomputer Center; and "The Intelligent Integration of Pharmaceutical Information and Visualization," by Howard Bilofsky of SmithKline Beecham.

The Thursday afternoon session will be chaired by John Wise, currently head of information technology at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, but who will soon head nonclinical development information management at Roche Pharmaceuticals. Speakers include "Visualization in Bioinformatics," by EBI's Alan Robinson; "Medical Informatics," by John Boyle of Robert Gordon University; "Visualization of Embryonic Development," by John McLachlan of the University of St. Andrews; and "Data Mining and Visual ization of Expression Data," by Gareth King of Zeneca Pharma ceuticals. The conference will conclude with a panel discussion, chaired by Wise, on "Does Data + Visualization = Knowledge?"

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