What happens when you cross an engineer with Halloween? Incredibly awesome things, like using two iPads to create the illusion of a gaping hole in one’s torso:
Cartoons have come a long way since the hand-drawn moving pictures of decades past. Now, the animated films at your local cineplex are made possible by sophisticated computer software created by engineers. Modeling the realistic textures and movement of such things as fur, hair and fabric, for example, takes serious computing power.
What do the blockbuster movie Avatar, high-performance sports gear, the Angry Birds phone app, and pollution-eating bacteria have in common? They are among a host of fascinating innovations developed by engineers and featured in the newest edition of the American Society for Engineering Education’s (ASEE) Engineering, Go For It magazine.
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Every once in a while, an engineer comes along whose work combines different disciplines in a way that is both fascinating and inspiring. Natalie Jeremijenko is one such engineer. A modern-day Renaissance woman, Jeremijenko challenges traditional approaches to problem solving with such initiatives as zip-lines to speed kids to school or The Environmental Health Clinic, where “im-patients” come in with environmental health concerns and leave with creative prescriptions to help solve these issues:
Should this be your new look? Let’s ask a computer
Everyone needs a good makeover once in a while, but what if one can’t afford a makeup artist? In the future, those trying to improve their appearance may be able to turn to computers for not just hair and fashion help, but virtual makeup consultation as well.
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Germany have created software to do just that, using a webcam to capture a 3-D image of the subject’s face.