Lab Tour
The SAVAGE Graphics Lab is dedicated to research and development in computer graphics and visualization.


Lab Director

Dr. Donald House

In his research, Dr. House has explored many aspects of the fields of computer graphics and visual perception. His current research thrust is investigating how to make visualizations more effective from a perceptual point of view. He is best known for his work in the area of physically based modeling, championing interacting-particle approaches to the simulation of cloth, drapery and other flexible materials. He and David Breen compiled the book Cloth Modeling and Animation. Early in his academic career, House was known as an authority on brain mechanisms for depth vision in anuran amphibians (frogs and toads).

Associated Faculty

Dr. Brian Malloy

The focus of Dr. Malloy’s research has been program analysis, program visualization, testing and maintenance. His research into program analysis has entailed the development of parsers and parser front-ends to enable construction of graphical program representations to facilitate program analysis. Thus, Dr. Malloy’s research also encompasses compiler technology, grammarware, parser front-end construction and development. He is best known for his work in reverse engineering C++ programs into convenient graphical representations to facilitate program comprehension, analysis and visualization.  However, he has recently begun teaching video game construction and is currently involved in the development of an architecture simulator that operates in tandem with a video game to
teach computer programming.

Dr. Andrew Duchowski

Dr. Duchowski’s research and teaching interests include visual attention and perception, eye movements, computer vision and graphics. Dr. Duchowski holds B.Sc. (’90) and Ph.D. (’97) degrees in Computer Science from Simon Fraser University and Texas A&M University.  He joined the Computer Science faculty at Clemson in January, 1998.  Dr. Duchowski maintains the School of Computing’s Eye Tracking Laboratory.  In 2000, he co-founded the ACM’s Eye Tracking Research & Application biennial symposium and is best known for his Eye Tracking Methodology: Theory & Practice monograph.


PhD Students

Meng Zhu

Meng ZHU is a second year PhD student. He has a broad interest in graphics and visualization, with his current focus on adding textures on overlapping surfaces in a volume rendering process in stereoscopic display for ease of human perception. Existing researches have shown that textures of special pattern can greatly facilitate human perception when viewing multiple overlapping surfaces, especially in stereoscopic environment. As volume rendering is widely applied nowadays, it is of practical significance to combine the technique with volume rendering. In the future, he would like to incorporate eye tracking facilities so that eyeball movement can be tracked at real time and responses made to enhance the visualization on the region of gaze automatically.

He holds a BS degree in Information and Computing Science and a MS degree in Operation Research from Beijing University of Technology. He is working with Dr. House towards his PhD degree. Apart from those focuses, he is also very interested in all aspects of C++ and software engineering.

Jonathan Cox

Jonathan is currently a second year PhD student whose recent work focuses on alternate methods of visualizing projected hurricane paths.  It is believed that the widely used cone of uncertainty can be a somewhat misleading visualization tool because of the fact that it only has a sixty to seventy percent chance of covering the actual path a hurricane will take.  By utilizing both the projected path and historical data, Jonathan is working with Dr. House to create a more complete visualization of the actual paths that might be taken by a hurricane.

Jonathan completed his BS in Computer Science with an emphasis in Fine Art at Clemson in August of 2009.  He began working with Dr. House in the spring of 2009 and hopes to pursue research in the application of artificial intelligence techniques in creating and running dynamic, self-sustaining environmental simulations in real-time.

Icy Wang

Icy Wang is a new PhD student and currently the only girl in Savage Lab. She is interested in graphics, embedded systems, and software engineering. As a new member of Savage Lab she hopes she can learn more about graphics and find an interesting topic to focus on for her thesis.

Icy has a BS in Software Engineering from Tongji University. She is working with Dr. House to attain her PhD.

Undergraduate Students

Chris Malloy

Chris Malloy is a Computer Science major in his junior year at Clemson University. He is interested in graphics and visualization, as well as software design and analysis. He feels privileged to be working in Savage and enjoys the stimulation of working on interesting and exciting projects and the opportunity to be involved with and learn from a team of talented researchers.

Masters Students

Brandon Pelfrey

Brandon is interested in GPU-based rendering, scientific computing, and physically-based animation where concepts from physics are brought into the realm of computer graphics. These techniques enable artists to more easily create realistic depictions of water, colliding objects, and other phenomena which would otherwise require incredible amounts of time given traditional animation methods. Check out his home page for more information on his research and projects.

Cory Buckley

Cory BuckleyCory is very interested in the digital arts and hopes to one day work in either the movie or game industry. He enjoys many aspects of the production pipeline such as conceptual drawing, character design, story design, 3D modeling, programming visual effects, interface design, and even audio engineering. Because of his interest in digital art and his compassion for games, Cory is deeply involved in the creation of an educational game that aims to teach programming. He is also very interested in East Asian languages and culture and hopes that his future work will allow him to continue his language studies.

Cory has a BS degree in Computing Science with a minor in Modern Japanese Language from Clemson University. He is currently working to attain his MFA in Digital Production Arts and hopes to create a production quality thesis project out of his research with Dr. House and Dr. Malloy. To see more of Cory’s work please visit his website.

Zachariah Inks

Zach has interests in 2D/3D art and programming, focusing on the creation of video game and computer generated films. With a background in fine art and computer science, Zach enjoys bringing both the art and implementation sides of games and film together. When not exploring the creation of art or code, Zach spends his time with his wife and two dogs.

Zach is enrolled in Clemson’s Digital Production Arts MFA and working towards entry into the RCID PhD at Clemson as well. In the SAVAGE lab, Zach is working with both projects, Level Up and Project Green, as an artist and programmer.


Project Green

  • Dr. Donald House (PI)
  • Dr. Joachim Taiber (Project Director)
  • Ashley Triplett (Contractor)
  • Chris Malloy

Project Green is a collaborative effort between Clemson University and SC-TAC (South Carolina Technical Aviation Center) to work on the conceptual design of a test track facility including infrastructure components which support R&D in the domain of clean transportation and advanced vehicle communication. The key objective of this project is to develop a feasible test track facility design in order to qualify for a national R&D center on sustainable mobility which can leverage the R&D capabilities of CUICAR (Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research). Our role in Project Green is to develop a 3D interactive visualization that will allow designers to previsualize potential track layouts and associated building placement and design. This will be constructed within a game engine, to provide flexibility in how the site can be toured (1st person within a test car vs. 3rd person following the car vs. flyover birds eye view).

Web Demo Mirror

Level-UP: Unveiling Programming

  • Dr. Donald House (PI)
  • Dr. Brian Malloy (co-PI)
  • Cory Buckley
  • Wayne Ryan

This project is devoted to the development and classroom evaluation of a new approach to the teaching of introductory programming. A key premise in the design of the approach is that programming students should become intimately familiar with the Von Neumann machine model underlying the execution of their programs. The two innovations supporting this premise will be the design and development of an introductory programming curriculum that exposes the student to a progressively more sophisticated set of programming paradigms, and a computing machine simulator that unveils the more complex models of machine structure required to support these paradigms.

Corollary to this will be the design and development of a video game embedding both the curriculum and the simulator. Thus, the fruits of the project should be usable in a classroom environment, with a teacher guiding development of programming skills, or in a game environment where the student is guided through the curriculum by the video game. We plan to use classroom experience, in a university and in a high school setting, to evaluate the approach for both student engagement, and transferable knowledge. In addition, observations and reflective notes from classroom experience will be used to refine and improve the curriculum and simulator design.

Read More

Communicating Hurricane Information to Public Officials for Proactive Decision Making

  • Dr. Donald House (PI)
  • Dr. Michael Lindell, Texas A&M University (PI)
  • Jonathan Cox
  • Brandon Pelfrey

Sponsored by NSF and NOAA, NSF 0838639

Although the past 30 years have seen major advances in the scientific understanding of hurricane forecasting, there has been a lack of systematic research on the people’s comprehension of this weather information. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) provides forecast advisories, public advisories, discussions, and wind speed probabilities during incidents and tracking software can assist local officials making hurricane evacuation decisions. However, there have been few attempts to scientifically assess the hurricane information that is communicated to local officials. The primary challenges are (1) that most local officials are not trained in the language of meteorology, (2) that most people have difficulty in understanding the probabilistic concepts that are used to communicate uncertainty, (3) the hurricane information must be combined with other information, risks and costs, about which there is little data.

To address these challenges, we are developing a formal model of hurricane evacuation decision making, examining the cognitive processes that are involved in hurricane tracking, so that we can suggest improvements in hurricane evacuation decision training and in hurricane information displays. Our primary contributions to this project are (1) the development of a web-based tool for developing surveys of the effectiveness of hurricane information displays during simulated hurricane events, and (2) the development of new approaches to visualizing the uncertainty inherent in predictions of hurricane behavior.

Eye Movement in Stereoscopic Displays: Implications for Visualization

  • Dr. Andrew Duchowski (PI)
  • Dr. Donald House (co-PI)
  • Meng Zhu
  • Brandon Pelfrey

Sponsored by NSF, HCC Small: 0915085

This project is designed to undertake an investigation of human eye movement within stereoscopic displays, with the goal of improving the perceptual effectiveness of these displays for visualization. While numerous studies have looked at eye motion for conventional displays, there has been very little work on stereo displays. The challenge and the opportunity for eye tracking in stereo displays is that both eyes can be tracked, yielding information on both gaze position on the screen and eye vergence. This will allow the estimation of where the subject is fixating in three dimensional space, not just in screen space. Three-dimensional eye tracking will illuminate how a stereoscopic display is scanned, allowing direct observation of strategies used to explore and interpret information in these displays. This in turn will provide important information to the designers of such displays to increase their effectiveness in transmitting information. Experiments are being done on a unique Wheatstone stereoscope augmented with eye trackers, on an autostereoscopic display, and on a conventional active stereo display.