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    The Research Institute of Visual Computing - About Us


    Visual computing represents one of the most challenging and inspiring arenas in computer science. Today, fifty percent of content on the internet is in the form of visual data and information, and more than fifty percent of the neurons in the human brain are used in visual perception and reasoning.

    RIVIC is the collaborative amalgamation of research programmes between the computer science departments in Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea Universities.

    Our goals are:

    • To make Wales the indisputable internationally leading country in visualisation, volume graphics and visualisation and video visualisation, visual supercomputing, flow visualisation and medical visualisation.
    • To raise the overall profile of computer vision and image/video processing to internationally leading geometric modelling, scanner data, and computer vision and image/video processing including data-driven facial animation, and image analysis and measurement.
    • To raise the research capability to an internationally visible level in computer graphics and virtual environments.

    We will achieve these goals by:

    • Building our capacity and changing the Welsh landscape in visual computing
    • Building on the substantial infrastructure investment in visual computing within Wales
    • Raising the international standing in terms of research quality and scientific impact in areas of visual computing
    • Promoting long term and sustainable collaborations between Welsh HEIs
    • Supporting Excellence in Computer Science Education
    • Development of Industrial Research and Knowledge Exploitation & Engagement


    ‘Building Capacity, Changing the Landscape’

    RIVIC – Logo


    The RIVIC Logo is a high-genus shape depicting four interlocked Mobius strips. Each strip symbolises one of the four partner universities. The rings are interlocked symbolising unity and the coming together of  four distinct entities to make something greater than the whole. The complete structure is itself a Mobius strip. The logo was designed by Ben Spencer , a Swansea PhD student.

    RIVIC – Funding

    Funding of £5M has been awarded to RIVIC  by WAG, as the first ‘One Wales’ national research centre and will be used to:

    • Enrich and strengthen the pool of core academic scientists in visual computing in Wales by bringing in high quality research scientists who have a track record of working at the frontier of science and technology, and operating at an international level.
    • Stimulate and facilitate collaborative research by providing new researchers in key areas where there is R&D synergy.
    • Stimulate and facilitate international collaboration through a programme of visiting research fellows, typically 3-6 months, enabling collaboration with the top research groups around the world.
    • Enhance the scope for  knowledge exploitation  by increasing capacity and capability, and ensuring the research is attuned to WAG’s economic strategic priorities, industry and the public service agencies.
    • Establish a Masters Graduate School to provide advanced and coordinated visual computing training in Wales
    • Support the management and public-engagement

  • RIVIC – Structure

    RIVIC is the collaborative amalgamation of research programmes between the computer science departments in Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea universities.

    It is comprised of :

    • 20 core academic members: existing research-active academics in areas of visual computing in the four Welsh universities,
    • 8 recruited academic members: investment to strengthen the Institute by attracting world class scientists in areas of visual computing,
    • 10 additional academic members: scientists in Welsh universities not specialised in visual computing with great interest in the subject and a track record of working closely with visual computing scientists.
    • 70 non-academic members: mainly research officers and research students (PhD and MPhil students) working in areas of visual computing, and project managers and commercial managers working directly in areas of visual computing.
    • 20 associated members from the academic and industrial sectors in Wales working closely with visual computing scientists in the Institute.
    • 30 honorary members from outside Wales, including internationally leading scientists in visual computing, and senior UK and international academics and industrialists working closely with visual computing scientists in the Institute.

    Management Structure

    As the lead partner, Bangor is responsible for coordinating finances with the partner institutions and reporting to HEFCW. The overall director of the Institute is Professor Sian Hope. The scientific programmes and activities will be led by two co-directors, Professor Min Chen and Professor Nigel John, both of whom are internationally established scholars in visual computing, and have excellent track records of research management.

    The Institute will be managed by an Institute Management Committee (IMC):

    • Professor Sian Hope (Bangor), Principal Grant Holder, and Honorary Director
    • Professor Min Chen (Swansea), Co-director,  Scientific Programmes
    • Professor Nigel John (Bangor), Co-director,  Operations and Finance
    • Professor Ralph Martin (Cardiff), Deputy Director, Scientific Programmes
    • Dr. Reyer Zwiggelaar (Aberystwyth), Deputy Director Operations and Finance
    • Karen Padmore (CAST Ltd), Knowledge Exchange and Generic Support

    The management committee will be overseen by an independent and significant Strategic Advisory Group (SAG), consisting of a Scientific Advisory Board and an Industrial Advisory Board. They will provide the vision and advice necessary to maintain and advance the Institute as a player on the global platform.


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