Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Very Visual Scientist

The Center for Design Innovation (CDI) in Winston-Salem looks more like a design studio than an academic research lab. Nick Hristov, who studies bats and specializes in motion-capture technology, is CDI's first design researcher. He is also a tenure-track professor in life sciences at Winston-Salem State University. At CDI, the work is varied: there's Hristov's research on bats, there's physical and occupational therapy research, and there's even a project that encourages cycling. All CDI projects include some mix of teaching, research, and engagement with the local community, and Hristov is involved with most of them. "It's difficult to respond and be engaged in all these different elements and to maintain the quality of your own independent work," Hristov says. But with these challenges come rewards: specifically, the opportunity to marry his scientific research and his lifelong interest in photography and imaging technology in a single, joint academic appointment. It wasn't a position that he could have prepared for, he says, but when the opportunity appeared, "I saw that it was what I'd been dreaming of all along." Read more.

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