Among a legion of fantasy creatures, superheroes, and TV celebrities at this Labor Day weekend’s 30th Annual Dragon Con in downtown Atlanta will be experts from Georgia Tech discussing how science fiction is quickly becoming today’s reality.
Cybersecurity, robotics, wearable computers, virtual reality, and space travel are among the topics faculty, students, and alumni will address during the convention, which is expected to draw more than 70,000 attendees. In all, Georgia Tech people are participating in more than 20 sessions during Dragon Con, starting today.
Computing and Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty, as well as alumni, are contributing to the growth of the Southeast's largest pop-culture convention with technical talks on several tracks, including the video game industry and the electronic frontiers forum.
The Video Gaming track, with six panels that include GT experts, will feature Blair MacIntyre, professor of Interactive Computing, and Maribeth Gandy, Ph.D. CS ‘12 and director of the Interactive Media Technology Center (IMTC), as panelists examining the history and future of “Virtual Reality in Video Gaming." They are also among a group of experts discussing “Emerging Technologies and the Future of Gaming” and the potential impact of augmented reality, projection mapping and wearable displays on gaming experiences. Gandy's final panel is "Going to School for Video Games."
Laura Levy, IMTC research scientist, is a panelist on "Women in the Game Industry" and "Unusual Jobs in the Video Game Industry" and Ben Jacobs, part of the Georgia Assistive Technology program at Georgia Tech, will be on the panel "Gaming with Disabilities."
On the Science track, John Cressler, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, will discuss "The Many Miracles of the Microelectronics Revolution" for non-technical audiences. Aaron Lanterman, associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, will give an overview of synthisized music in pop culture and the evolving technology behind it at the panel "Fifty Years of Music Synthesis."
Computer science major Chad Ramey is teaming with GT Computing Alumnus Chris Grayson, MS CS ‘13 and CEO of Web Sight.IO, for two panel sessions on hacking culture. These panel sessions are set for Saturday and Sunday and are part of the Electronic Frontiers Forum track.
Ramey is also set to share with audiences advancements in robotics, wearable tech and the secrets behind cooking the perfect steak. Grayson is also participating on the “Encrypt the Entire Web!” panel.
During the 15th Annual Dragon Con parade, Saturday at 10 a.m. and televised for the first time (Atlanta CW Ch. 69), costume creations by Industrial Design students – under the direction of professor Stephen Sprigle – will be featured. The students created cosplay outfits for five disabled, wheelchair-bound children, who will wear them in the parade and be escorted by the students.
Con attendees have 10 hours to recover from the jam-packed downtown parade before the Georgia Tech Geekapalooza Comedy Tour, which includes members from across campus. They will perform at the Hilton at 10 p.m. Saturday and show off the group's unique brand of GT humor.
For Georgia Tech folks attending Dragon Con, a meet up is being planned. Details on the Tech meet up, and the 20+ panels from Georgia Tech, will be updated throughout the weekend on the GT@DragonCon Facebook page.