Vincent Navarro, EON Reality Certified Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality Developer
As a member of the first cohort of graduates from the Lehman College Virtual Reality Innovation Academy (VRIA), I became an EON Reality Certified VR/AR Developer in April 2018. This new and exciting 10-month, non-credit training program, is a partnership of Lehman and EON Reality, a world leader in Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) knowledge transfer. Previously, I earned a BS in chemistry and a MS in computer science, both from Lehman. VR allows for the creation of immersive computer-simulated environments of real or imaginary places. Whereas VR creates environments, AR adds a layer of information to ones existing environment allowing for enhanced and richer experiences. As a basic science researcher, a great part of my work consists of peering through a microscope at living cells. Visualizing these cells in VR is intriguing as it represents an evolution in analyzing data. This rapidly expanding technology is applicable to a great range of fields and disciplines.
Lehman’s commitment to excellence led me to apply to the program offered by the School of Continuing and Professional Studies at the state-of-the art facility at CUNY on the Concourse. EON has expert instructors providing well-structured classes and methods that make understanding the material relatively easy, but always applicable to students’ current work or future employment. The first four months consists of training, followed by six months of project-based learning. The diversity of the participants’ backgrounds allowed for a very creative and interesting time.
Currently, I’m using VR/AR to visualize microscopy images. I’ve had some success in generating 3D projections of them in virtual reality (https://tinyurl.com/medicalvr). In addition, using VR I have been able to visualize medical images such as MRI brain scans. I see VR/AR becoming part of the standard workflow in my field of research. It will be used to study data in immersive environments allowing for a level of engagement that is only possible with VR/AR technology. A large pool of VR/AR developers will be needed to create these experiences and the VRIA is well positioned to train them. The VRIA has been instrumental in my career development.