On September 20th, 2013 I visited the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition labs at the University of Maryland. The institute had recently increased their staff of PhD researchers from two to six and had increased their world reach thanks to the momentum of changes to the Health Maintenance Act in DC. The labs were full of visitors from all over our lovely planet — learning testing methods and food safety requirements should their food products be exported to the USA. I was especially pleased to see water testing labs similar to those I worked near at the University of Washington. I was also enthused that the ten information technologists supporting the lab were interested in data visualization methods. Great day of discussions and perspective.
During May-August 2013, I buried my head into writing a new book, The Simulaton Life, while staying local in Providence, RI. The book should motivate others to understand my passion for simulation as understanding and hopefully find new collaborators willing to put serious effort into that endeavor.
On November 7-12 2012, I visited two University of Texas campuses to investigate research directions. I was impressed by how quickly the Dallas campus is growing as my nephew took me for a tour of the campus that Roger Malina now calls home. Time in Austin at the Texas Advanced Computing Visualization Center rattled some neurons that needed rattling. Thanks to Francesca Samsel for hosting me. Weekend at U Oklahoma with Chris Weaver was quite pleasant for career planning as well.
On October 14-19 2012, I attended the VisWeek series of conferences in Seattle, Washington. While representing RISD and performing conference organizing tasks (primarily as the art show chair with Dan Keefe and Lauren Thorson), I received a thorough update on all work being done internationally for better human insight and awareness in the realms of scientific visualization, data visualization, and visual analytics. The conference continues to grow as work picks up in wider realms and more organizations. Quite the community experience as usual.