Facets of Virtual Environments. First International Conference, FaVE 2009, Berlin, Germany, July 27-29, 2009, Revised Selected Papers

Research Article

Exploring the Use of Virtual Worlds as a Scientific Research Platform: The Meta-Institute for Computational Astrophysics (MICA)

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  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.1007/978-3-642-11743-5_3,
        author={S. Djorgovski and P. Hut and S. McMillan and E. Vesperini and R. Knop and W. Farr and M. Graham},
        title={Exploring the Use of Virtual Worlds as a Scientific Research Platform: The Meta-Institute for Computational Astrophysics (MICA)},
        proceedings={Facets of Virtual Environments. First International Conference, FaVE 2009, Berlin, Germany, July 27-29, 2009, Revised Selected Papers},
        proceedings_a={FAVE},
        year={2012},
        month={5},
        keywords={Virtual Worlds Astrophysics Education Scientific Collaboration and Communication Data Visualization Numerical Modeling},
        doi={10.1007/978-3-642-11743-5_3}
    }
    
  • S. Djorgovski
    P. Hut
    S. McMillan
    E. Vesperini
    R. Knop
    W. Farr
    M. Graham
    Year: 2012
    Exploring the Use of Virtual Worlds as a Scientific Research Platform: The Meta-Institute for Computational Astrophysics (MICA)
    FAVE
    Springer
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-11743-5_3
S. Djorgovski1,*, P. Hut2, S. McMillan3, E. Vesperini3, R. Knop3, W. Farr4, M. Graham1
  • 1: California Institute of Technology
  • 2: The Institute for Advanced Study
  • 3: Drexel University
  • 4: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
*Contact email: george@astro.caltech.edu

Abstract

We describe the Meta-Institute for Computational Astrophysics (MICA), the first professional scientific organization based exclusively in virtual worlds (VWs). The goals of MICA are to explore the utility of the emerging VR and VWs technologies for scientific and scholarly work in general, and to facilitate and accelerate their adoption by the scientific research community. MICA itself is an experiment in academic and scientific practices enabled by the immersive VR technologies. We describe the current and planned activities and research directions of MICA, and offer some thoughts as to what the future developments in this arena may be.