Philadelphia-based 3D geospatial software company Cesium has brought in notable computer graphics expert Dr. Norm Badler to lead metaverse research.
Prof. Badler will work to expand Cesium’s contributions to the open metaverse, a future concept described as an interactive, immersive, 3D version of the internet.
Prof. Badler comes to Cesium after 5 decades of teaching at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the Rachleff Family Professor in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences.
“It is a unique honor to welcome the person who taught me computer graphics, Norman Badler, to Cesium,” said Cesium CEO Patrick Cozzi. “True to Cesium’s values, we are making this move into metaverse research with collaboration at the forefront and are interested in working with industry and academic partners to benefit the community.”
Building the open metaverse is an ongoing, collaborative effort that spans many industries and fields of study. Working alongside metaverse behemoths like Epic Games and NVIDIA, Cesium’s platform enables the streaming of massive amounts of 3D data (a metaverse must) and provides a bridge to bring real-world 3D data collected from sensors like satellites and drones into digital worlds.
Working at the intersection of math, geometry, AI, interactive systems, computer vision, and art, Prof. Badler is widely recognized as the pioneer behind computer graphics research at Penn. He was the founding director of the University’s Center for Digital Visualization (the ViDi Center), the Center for Computer Graphics, and the Center for Human Modeling and Simulation. He is also credited with building the Digital Media Design Undergraduate Degree program and (with Prof. Stephen Lane) the Computer Graphics and Game Technology Masters program, both in Penn Engineering.
Prof. Badler produced the Jack software for interactive ergonomic human models and simulation in the mid-90s, a solution that still exists today and is marketed by Siemens. In 2021, he was named to ACM SIGGRAPH’s Academy Class, considered one of the highest honors in the field of computer graphics.