Penn Center for Computer Graphics Joins SIG to Build Region's Largest Motion-Capture Studio

PHILADELPHIA- – The Center for Computer Graphics at the University of Pennsylvania is partnering with Susquehanna International Group LLP to build a new computer graphics center and gallery for the program, as well as create the largest academic motion-capture studio in the region.

The SIG Center for Computer Graphics and the SIG Gallery at Penn will open in the spring of 2009 and provide a state-of-the-art Vicon Motion Capture system and laboratory for projects such as 3D motion picture special effects, computer graphics design and animation, simulation and modeling of large-scale human crowds and research into the interrelationships of human movement, language and communication.

The motion-capture studio will be approximately 800 square feet. The accompanying gallery will serve as the public entrance to the Center and will include a virtual companion wall that will be programmed to interact with visitors, indicating the interactive nature of the program and its research. These newest additions to Penn computing will be housed in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, next to Penn’s first computer, ENIAC.

“Collaboration is a key for Penn’s computer graphics programs,” Norman Badler, professor of computer and information science at Penn and director of the SIG Center, said. “With SIG’s generous support, we will expand our laboratory and its computer graphics equipment to provide undergrads to doctoral candidates with the tools required to collaborate on projects in computer science, engineering, fine arts and communications. It is what this industry needs and demands of students entering the job market.”

With the SIG Center’s emphasis on a left- and right-brain approach to education that includes computer-programming project work, mathematical models and frequent deadlines, many graduates of the program who do not enter the entertainment, game or design industry end up in financial markets and firms like SIG, where emphasis is placed on solutions and collaboration between technologists able to work on multi-expert teams.

SIG is one of the largest privately held financial institutions in the world and provides trading and market making services, institutional sales, research, private equity, venture capital and investment banking.

Computer graphics programs at Penn include an undergraduate program in digital media design that combines engineering, computer science, animation and communications coursework; a master’s program in computer graphics and game technology; and a doctoral program in human modeling and simulation.