USF Arpa Thumbnail ARPA stands for Augmented Reality Pedagogical Agent.
AR (Augmented Reality)-enhanced learning, was developed in collaboration with Dr. Sanghoon Park, College of Education, and is an innovative form of instructional technology that enables students to experience a real-time view of a physical world through augmented reality delivered digital learning content. The application was developed for both Android and iOS tablets.
This project involved many different technologies:
* 3d modelling and 3d animation were used to create the 3-dimensional avatar.
* 3d printing was used to create the AR cubes.
* Unity3D was used to create the interactive experience and deploy to both Android and iOS.

Florida Postcards

The Florida Postcards project was initiated by Laura Runge, PhD. in order to visualize the world's largest Florida Postcard database, contained within the USF Library.
This project was written in HTML/CSS/Javascript and designed to run as a website.
The visualizations created included:
* A timeline of postcards
* An interactive map plotting the postcard sender and receiver coordinates
* An interactive dashboard with which users can explore the data in depth and search for specific cards

AR Engineering Building Demonstration

The AR Engineering Building demonstration is an AR-powered walk-through of a three story building proposed by the Engineering department. Using architectural renders, the Advanced Visualization Center created 3D models of the buildings exterior and interior. A custom interface and tracking system was developed to enable navigation of the building in the augmented / mixed reality space. Using a mobile tablet, the app allows users to view the building interactively from any angle, and features navigation buttons to display each floor, specific rooms, and the exterior environment.


The Global Interdisciplinary Food Technologies (GIFT) project, collaboration with Dr. decker (CAS) designed by the AVC to make a freely-accessible website that could provide farmers with detailed global data relevant to agriculture. The site and visualizations run on multiple platforms and are accessible through mobile devices. The Advanced Visualization Center developed interactive data visualizations that allow users to explore large datasets easily for areas such as : annual growth periods and rainfall data collected by the UN, globally.


The Advanced Visualization Center, in Collaboration with Dr. Erin Kimmerle, Institute of Forensic Anthropology and Applied Science(USF), created a 3D simulation of the Dozier School for Boys fire that took place November 18, 1914. The recreation was generated using 3D modeling and animation software. The digital models of the school were also 3D printed in sections so that viewers could see the layout more clearly. Other artifacts were also scanned, 3D printed and shared virtually.


The Virtual Patient Safety (VPS) project is an educational Virtual Environment designed to train nursing staff on the proper procedures for preventing and responding to patient falls. Made in collaboration with the VA, the Advanced Visualization Center (AVC) designed and built 3D models including Avatars, virtual bots, the virtual environment and all of the assets. The AVC, also generated the animations, and avatar control systems. The simulation featured a full interactive 3D virtual environment in which the user plays the part of a nurse responding to a patient fall. An instructional system was developed to capture data about the each users interaction in the virtual space, as they answered multiple choice questions, input free text observations, and their time taken at each stage of the simulation. feedback was also given to the user after each response location.

Archaeopteryx Hololens Viewer

The Advanced Visualization center developed a one-of-a-kind HoloLens application in collaboration with Dr. Ryan Carney that allows the user to see a virtual reconstruction of a specimen of Archaeopteryx in augmented reality. The AVC created the app with features that allow the user to see the 3D specimen both as it was found in the fossil, and also as an animated complete skeleton. Interactive modes also allow the user to control the wings of Archaeopteryx. This project received widespread attention through Dr. Ryan Carney both by Fox News and National Geographic.

About AVC


Howard Kaplan: Senior Technologist / Visualization Specialist

Howard uses multiple types of visualization as a means of study and application; including its use as an educational tool for learning in the context of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. Many of his visualization applications revolve around real-world data, 3D graphics and simulation, and 2d interactive media. He often uses instructional design techniques and graphics programming to provide students and educators with technology that fit with their class projects, course presentations and research needs. He received a BFA from Ringling College of Art, and an M.Ed from the University of South Florida. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D, in Engineering Science, Biomedical and Chemical Engineering at the University of South Florida.

His unique skillset has allowed him to develop the Advanced Visualization Center at the University of South Florida, which serves as a campus wide resource. He has since also implemented the 3D Printing Lab, and Visualization student lab. Howard's work has also been featured in the journal Science,, Siggraph,, and Fox News. He was also selected by the Center for Digital Education as a Top 30 Technologists, Transformers and Trailblazers in 2014.

Areas include: 2D & 3D Imaging, Medical Simulation, 3D Printing, Tactile Visualization, Physicalization, User Experience Design(UX), Instructional Design, Graphic User Interface Design (GUI), High Resolution Displays, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Stereoscopic Technologies, gesture control, creative coding, rapid prototyping, Game Design, 3D Modeling, Animation, and alternative methods for data representation.

Gilberto Jaimes: Technology & Systems Analyst

Gilberto is a researches visualization techniques in vast areas of 3d design and modeling to create interactive 3D Simulations, 3D models, and 3D prints for students, researchers and staff. Brought in as an undergraduate student, Gilberto evolved his skillset to include areas of data analysis, statistics, and scripting while completing a BS in Biomedical Sciences and a MS in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. His area of expertise resides in 3D Modeling and Animation using the software packages such as Maya, Inventor, Meshmixer, Alias Autostudio, and Blender. Using these skills he's created 3D simulations for with students for class projects, taught workshops on 3D Printing and 3D modeling, and has created customized 3D models for researchers. He has also incorporated scripting in the form of Python and R for statistical Analyses and continues to develop his skills in web development using HTML, CSS, JS, PHP, Laravel

Spenser Mason: Software Development Specialist

Spenser is an undergraduate student working toward a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science. He is experienced in a wide range of software development fields, including web scraping, data analysis, game development, educational software, front-end web development, etc. He specializes in the Unity game engine to develop software as well as JavaScript and webpage development. His tasks there have ranged from teaching others how to program so they can write their own software, to developing a full-scale educational app for mobile devices using augmented reality and 3D printing. His typical projects involve visualizations of data using platforms such as the d3 JavaScript library. He also frequently performs other computer-related tasks such as administrative work on the computers in the AVC computer lab.

Student Assistants

3D Print Lab Technician and Pokemon Master: Sydney Russell - College of Engineering

Past Student Employees

Visualization Lab Monitor: Javier De La Vega - College of Engineering
Visualization Lab Monitor: Harish Kumar Chittam - College of Engineering
3D Print Tech: Robert Busic - College of Engineering
Software Development Specialist: Matthew Wedebrock - Computer Science, B.S. Currently employed at Honeywell Aerospace.

arpa.jpg - USF Arpa Thumbnail (22.4 KB) Spenser Mason, 06/19/2017 01:48 pm

flpostcards.JPG (23.5 KB) Spenser Mason, 06/20/2017 10:09 am

archy.jpg (15.8 KB) Spenser Mason, 06/21/2017 10:21 am

gift.jpg (10.1 KB) Spenser Mason, 06/21/2017 10:42 am

vps.jpg (145 KB) Spenser Mason, 06/21/2017 10:44 am

vps.jpg (19 KB) Spenser Mason, 06/21/2017 10:45 am

engbuilding.jpg (49.5 KB) Spenser Mason, 06/21/2017 10:50 am

engbuilding.jpg (32.1 KB) Spenser Mason, 06/21/2017 10:51 am

dozier.jpg (47 KB) Spenser Mason, 06/21/2017 11:03 am