Donald Greenberg: Convergence in the Information Age

Department of City and Regional Planning Professional Planning Colloquium

Donald Greenberg, the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Computer Graphics, has been researching and teaching in the field of computer graphics since 1966. During the last 15 years, he has been primarily concerned with research advancing the state-of-the-art in computer graphics and with utilizing these techniques as they may be applied to a variety of disciplines. His specialties include real-time realistic image generation, color science, and computer-aided architectural design.

Greenberg's talk will present the historical growth of computer graphics and its potential for a multi-disciplinary approach to the planning of our urban fabric. 

For roughly five decades the computer industry has been following Moore's Law with exponential growth since the invention of the integrated chip. Although this has provided huge research and commercial possibilities for many industries, what is not sufficiently realized is the impact the technological changes have had on the convergence of different disciplines.

Of particular interest are the massive amounts of data now being collected, from digital photography and image processing to sensor and measurement data, all of which are difficult to understand without modern visualization techniques. This data tsunami combined with the advances in processing power, storage, comSmunication networks, and pictorial displays will influence the future practice in many disciplines related to the built environment. Of course, these include architecture, several engineering disciplines, planning, and others. Why then do departments still exist in such isolation?