Virtual reality symposium to address tech trends, research potential

ram reality logo

The 2018 HP Virtual and Augmented Reality Symposium will be held Friday, Oct. 19, 1-4:30 p.m. in Ballroom D of the Lory Student Center. The symposium will include virtual reality perspectives from trainers, designers, creators and psychologists to discuss trends and potential for mixed reality technology. This discussion will be followed by a Q&A panel.  The event is free and open to the public.

The symposium also kicks off the third annual RamReality Create-a-thon, taking place Oct. 19-21.

HP Mixed Reality Symposium Speakers

Jay Fraser, VR business development director at HP Workstations

jay fraserFraser graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2007 and joined the Marine Corps as an Infantry Officer. He spent four years with first battalion, first marines in a variety of roles and deployed twice overseas on a Marine Expeditionary Unit in 2009 and in 2011. He also served as a company commander and operations officer of the Infantry Training Battalion from 2012-2015 while earning an MBA from UCLA. After graduating from UCLA and leaving active duty, Fraser joined HP in September of 2015 as a business manager in the Personal Systems Services team. Currently, Fraser is leading global business development for the Virtual Reality business focused specifically on the military, first responder, and training segment. Although he was born and raised in Boston and his loyalty lies with New England sports teams, he enjoys living with his wife in the beautiful San Diego area.

Laura Malinin, assistant professor, director of the Richardson Design Center at Colorado State University

Laura malininLaura Malinin joined the department of Design and Merchandising at CSU in 2013. Her research is at the intersection of environmental design and cognitive science, focusing on the role of the designed environment (from rooms to cities) in human creativity and wellbeing. At the core of her research program she considers design thinking from a trans-disciplinary perspective by examining physically-situated cognitive processes involved in design creativity (psycho-spatial dynamics), from both process and place perspectives. She has published on topics ranging from theoretical models of creativity and perception to place-based education and service learning. Her place-focused research considers the psychological, physiological, and sociological impacts of designed environments on creative resilience and includes school design, workplace design, and designs for healthy aging. Malinin was appointed director of the Richardson Design Center in January 2018.

Michael Humphrey, assistant professor in Journalism and Media Communication

michael humpreyMichael Humphrey is an assistant professor of digital storytelling in the Department of Journalism and Media Communication at CSU. He also writes for about the confluence of technology and entertainment. Recently his reporting has focused on research and development of software at Adobe that enables creators to edit and distribute mixed reality content for a variety of devices. Last year, he wrote a six-part series about the efforts of pioneers in VR storytelling and how they have collaborated with software engineers in creating immersive narratives. This month, he launched a new monthly series at Forbes that highlights both artists and technologists who work at the edge of mixed reality fine art. As a researcher, his work focuses on how life stories emerge on social media sites and he is beginning to examine this phenomenon on VR platforms.

Mimi McFaul, director of Digital Initiatives National Mental Health Innovation Center

mimi mcfaulMcFaul is a clinical psychologist who traces her way to the Digital Initiatives National Mental Health Innovation Center via a winding career path in correctional institutions, behavioral health systems improvement and a mental health technology startup.

She most recently served as Vice President of Campus Partnerships at Grit Digital Health, creating a mental health fitness center for college students from concept to product. She also served for more than 10 years as the Director of Mental Health at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.

McFaul is a graduate of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the California School of Professional Psychology, San Francisco. She completed her pre- and post-doctoral training at the University of Colorado Denver.

She joined NMHIC because of her frustration with our current mental healthcare system, her steadfast belief that we can find better ways to help people, and a sense of urgency that tells her it’s now or never.

Kaden Strand, CEO of Blue Penguin

kaden strandKaden Strand is the founder and CEO of Blue Penguin LLC, a custom solutions company that blends software engineering and creative design to solve practical problems with the perceptual power of virtual environments. Blue Penguin creates customized and interactive immersive content for emerging virtual reality platforms including Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Microsoft HoloLens. Previously, Strand was the Virtual Reality Initiative Project Lead for the Office of the Vice President for Research at Colorado State University.