Chris Harding

Chris Harding

Assistant Professor
GIS, Human Computer Interactions, Computational Geology

1620 Howe Hall
354 Science I
Dept. of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011
Phone: (515) 294-4868
Home Page:

M.Sc. (Diplom) Geology (Geoinformatics), Free University Berlin, 1993;
Ph.D. Geology, Computational Science Certificate, University of Houston, 2001

Research Interests
My interests are in combining geoscience research and teaching with the emerging field of Virtual Reality. Besides being a faculty member of the department of geological and atmospheric sciences I am also part of the Virtual Reality Applications Center (VRAC) and ISU’s Human-Computer-Interaction (HCI) program which is housed at Howe Hall.

I am interested in building interactive geoscientific Virtual Environments that take advantage not only of the well established visual component (e.g., large displays with stereo vision) but employ touch and sound as well – two perceptual mechanisms that are particularly interesting research topics within Virtual Environments. Geoscientific tasks carry a special set of problems that distinguish them from other forms of scientific visualization (e.g., medical or engineering) and therefore need a special approach.

I have several years of practical experiences with geoscientific virtual environments: I worked on the University of Houston’s Virtual Environment Research Laboratory, my Ph.D. thesis dealt with audio-supported, haptic (touch-based), fault modelling of bathymetric data and I was involved in VR research at Shell and Exxon, where I worked with large stereo displays (virtual theaters), scientific sonification and haptic interaction with volume data.

Research Pages

Geol 453/552 – GIS for Geoscientists I Syllabus
Geo-Time-Machine Web Site

Selected Refeered Publications
Harding, C. (2005) Multi-Modal Interfaces – Challenges and Opportunities. 9th International Conference on Information Visualisation, IV 2005, pp. 51.

Harding, C. (2005) Multi-Modal Virtual Environments – A Geoscience Perspective. 11th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, vol. 9.

Harding, C. & Newcomb, M.C. (2004) Supporting Interactive Data Exploration for GIS Planning Tasks with a Multi-modal Virtual Environment,. Third IEEE Workshop on Haptic, Audio and Visual Environments (HAVE) 2004, pp. 81-86.

Harding, C. (2004) Modeling of geoscience data in a multi-sensory Virtual Environment. IEEE Computing in Science and Engineering (CiSE), 6, pp. 89-92.