School Of Perf Visualization & Fine Arts
Ann McNamara’s research areas are computer graphics, augmented reality, visual perception, virtual reality and eye tracking. She focuses on improving computer graphics and scientific visualization through novel approaches for optimizing an individual's experience when creating, viewing and interacting with virtual and augmented spaces. One example is the challenge that developers face when guiding headset-clad users, who proceed through the fully immersive world of VR gaming, education, and a myriad of other applications, without a set path or script. The growth of VR use has been blunted in part by some users reporting confusion, disorientation or even sickness. McNamara is working to improve the VR experience for everyone with eye tracking, motion cues, and image enhancement techniques to steer users to critical information without reducing their freedom to move about. She is the recipient of an NSF CAREER AWARD entitled "Advancing Interaction Paradigms in Mobile Augmented Reality using Eye Tracking". This project investigates how mobile eye tracking, which monitors where a person is looking while on the go, can be used to determine what objects in a visual scene a person is interested in, and thus might like to have annotated in their augmented reality view. She is an associate professor in the Department of Visualization in the College of Architecture. She earned a BS and PhD in computer graphics from the University of Bristol (England) and an MS in education from the University of Dublin (Ireland).