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Capstone Address

Tosiyasu L. Kunii

Fellow of IEEE
IT Institute, Kanazawa Institute of Technology


On Science of Computer Visualization

This capstone talk is to share our thinking on the scientific ground of the current state of the art of visualization by computers. Observing a few decades of historical evolution of computer visualization, a honest impression tells there are collections of art and techniques. There have been numbers of visualization modeling, design, implementations and applications. In the long history of science, in analogy, the situation looks very similar to that of alchemy in material science in a sense that there is diversity lacking consistency. The diversity of applications makes it hard to see consistency. The consistency requires for us to abstract the most essentials out of the diversity, and hence the most abstract mathematics. It has been true in science in general, and in the theory of universe in particular.

In 1968 driven by the need of very difficult visualization task of realizing fashion show on a computer screen at the time vector displays were in bloom, a raster needed to play the role of an atom in material science to display 4D shapes with textures in place of a vector in visualizing fashion show as presented in the 1st SIGGRAPH paper [T. L. Kunii, T. Amano, H. Arisawa and S. Okada, "An Interactive Fashion Design System 'INFADS' ", Computer and Graphics, Vol. 1, pp. 297-302 (1975), as the Proceedings of the 1st SIGGRAPH, July 15-17, 1974, Boulder, Colorado]. A more general visualization atom has appeared in 1991 as volume [Arie E. Kaufman, "Volume Visualization", IEEE Computer Society Tutorial, 1991]. In 1999 a volume has been further generalized as a cell by a higher level of abstraction to an arbitrary dimensional cellular spatial structure [Tosiyasu L. Kunii, "Valid Computational Shape Modeling: Design and Implementation", International Journal of Shape Modeling, pp. 123-133, World Scientific, December 1999.], CW-complexes in particular [J. H. C. Whitehead, "Algebraic Homotopy Theory", Proceedings of International Congress of Mathematics, II, Harvard University Press, pp. 354-357, 1950.]. The notion of quotient space has been explored since then, and an adjunction space has turned out to be truly general to represent any visual and non-visual information flexibly [Tosiyasu L. Kunii, "Cyber Graphics", Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Cyber Worlds (CW2002), November 6-8 2002 Tokyo, Japan, pp. 3-7, IEEE Computer Society Press, Los Alamitos, California, November 2002.; Tosiyasu L. Kunii, Masumi Ibusuki, Galina Pasko, Alexander Pasko, Daisuke Terasaki and Hiroshi Hanaizumi, "Modeling of Conceptual Multiresolution Analysis by an Incrementally Modular Abstraction Hierarchy", IEICE Transactions on Information and Systems, in press, September 2003.]

Short Biography

Tosiyasu L. Kunii is currently Professor and IT Institute Director at Kanazawa Institute of Technology, Honorary Visiting Professor of University of Bradford, and Professor Emeritus of the University of Tokyo and of the University of Aizu. He was Professor of Hosei University from 1998 to 2003. Before that he served as the Founding President and Professor of the University of Aizu dedicated to computer science and engineering as a discipline, from 1993 to 1997. He had been Professor of Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Tokyo from June 1978 until March 1993, after serving as Associate Professor at Computer Centre of the University of Tokyo in October 1969. He was visiting professors at University of California at Berkeley in 1994 and University of Geneva in 1992. He received his B.Sc. in 1962, M.Sc. in 1964 and D.Sc. in 1967 all from the University of Tokyo. He received the 1998 Taylor L. Booth Education Award of IEEE Computer Society. He is Fellow of IEEE and IPSJ. He has published over 50 books and over 300 refereed papers in computer science. Dr. Kunii was Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Visual Computer: An International Journal of Computer Graphics (Springer-Verlag) (1984-1999), and International Journal of Shape Modeling (World Scientific)(1994-1995), and was Associate Editor of IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications(1982-2002). He is Associate Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Visualization and Computer Animation (John Wiley & Sons) (1990-) and on the Editorial Board of Information Systems Journal (1976-), and Information Sciences Journal (1983-).

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