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  1. Chen, J.Y.C. (Ed.)
    In recent years there has been a sharp increase in active shooter events, but there has been no introduction of new technology or tactics capable of increasing preparedness and training for active shooter events. This has raised a major concern about the lack of tools that would allow robust predictions of realistic human movements and the lack of understanding about the interaction in designated simulation environments. It is impractical to carry out live experiments where thousands of people are evacuated from buildings designed for every possible emergency condition. There has been progress in understanding human movement, human motion synthesis, crowdmore »dynamics, indoor environments, and their relationships with active shooter events, but challenges remain. This paper presents a virtual reality (VR) experimental setup for conducting virtual evacuation drills in response to extreme events and demonstrates the behavior of agents during an active shooter environment. The behavior of agents is implemented using behavior trees in the Unity gaming engine. The VR experimental setup can simulate human behavior during an active shooter event in a campus setting. A presence questionnaire (PQ) was used in the user study to evaluate the effectiveness and engagement of our active shooter environment. The results show that majority of users agreed that the sense of presence was increased when using the emergency response training environment for a building evacuation environment.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 29, 2023
  2. Chen, J.Y.C. ; Fragomeni, G (Ed.)
    Visualizing data effectively is critical for the discovery process in the age of big data. We are exploring the use of immersive virtual reality platforms for scientific data visualization for COVID-19 pandemic. We are interested in finding ways to better understand, perceive and interact with multidimensional data in the field of cognition technology and human-computer interaction. Immersive visualization leads to a better understanding and perception of relationships in the data. This paper presents a data visualization tool for immersive data visualizations based on the Unity development platform. The data visualization tool is capable of visualizing the real-time COVID pandemic datamore »for the fifty states in the USA. Immersion provides a better understanding of the data than traditional desktop visualization tools and leads to more human-centric situational awareness insights. This research effort aims to identify how graphical objects like charts and bar graphs depicted in Virtual Reality tools, developed in accordance with an analyst’s mental model can enhance an analyst’s situation awareness. Our results also suggest that users feel more satisfied when using immersive virtual reality data visualization tools and thus demonstrate the potential of immersive data analytics.« less
  3. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are synthetic chemicals that are harmful to both the environment and human health. Using self-interaction-corrected Born–Oppenheimer molecular dynamics simulations, we provide the first real-time assessment of PFAS degradation in the presence of excess electrons. In particular, we show that the initial phase of the degradation involves the transformation of an alkane-type C–C bond into an alkene-type CC bond in the PFAS molecule, which is initiated by the trans elimination of fluorine atoms bonded to these adjacent carbon atoms.
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023