Virtual Reality for Science & Education Symposium – 10 March 2016

During the last few years developments in Virtual Reality have gained a lot of momentum. Almost two decades after the inevitable downfall in the hype cycle, the Oculus Rift showed that a VR headset is within reach for the average consumer. This kickstarted many new initiatives, causing an entire VR ecosystem to emerge, with small start-ups and massive corporations creating new headsets, innovative input devices, spherical cameras and loads of immersive content.

These developments open many possibilities for research and education. Realistic simulations allow police officers to safely train dangerous situations. 3D visualizations can help the design process by allowing the user to walk around in buildings that have not been built yet. But we can also think of immersive data visualizations which can be navigated spatially. Psychology researchers can use VR to measure responses to realistic environments and scenarios. Lectures about ancient Rome could be given while walking past the Colosseum and virtual classrooms could make following a MOOC into a more intense and social experience.

To explore the possibilities of this new medium, we organize the symposium ‘Virtual Reality for Science & Education‘ on the 10th of March 2016. The symposium will start at 13:30 at the Scheltema complex in Leiden. Updates about the program will be announced here.

On this day, the students from the eponymous elective research course of the Media Technology MSc. program will present the VR prototypes they have created.
The plenary program will have speakers from different backgrounds: Virtual Reality developers, scientists who use VR in their research and educators who experiment with VR in the classroom. During the day visitors can try many different Virtual Reality demonstrations and experience the potential of VR themselves. The talks and experiences can be discussed during the drinks at the end of the day.

Flyer VR for science and education_10_March_2016

The symposium is free for everyone, but tickets are limited. Registration via this form is required.

Call for project demonstrations & presentations
We are looking for interesting additions to the program of the VRSE Symposium 2016. Do you want to show the VR project you have created? Or share your experiences with using VR in the classroom? We invite you to write a short proposal for one of the following formats:

  • Project demonstration. You will have a stand to showcase and explain your work during the day.
  • Presentation. Your presentation will be part of the central program of the symposium. There are presentation slots for 5, 15 and 25 minutes.

This symposium was made possible by the LUF, the Gratama-stichting and the Faculty of Science.

Embodied Vision 2015

In the spring of 2015 I taught the course Embodied Vision together with Dan North. The course was part of the Media Technology MSc. program.

In the lectures given by Dan the students learned about special effects and illusionism in cinema and how this is used in the service of narrative and spectacle. In the following workshops I gave we explored to what extent the visual effects used in film are usable for creating immersive experiences in Virtual Reality. The studens identified differences and similarities between film and contemporary Virtual Reality. For their final project for the course the students created cinematic VR projects which experimented with e.g. stop-motion, green screens, interactive gaze-controlled video and the dolly zoom effect.


Below you can find some of my slides for the course.

Continue reading

Virtual Reality for Science & Education

In May 2015 the Gratama Stichting and Leids Universiteitsfonds announced that my research project into the possibilities of Virtual Reality for the field of education will receive the Gratama research grant. Prof. dr. Jaap van den Herik helped me with the application procedure, the research will be part of my PhD work supervised by prof. dr. Bas Haring.

The research project includes an elective course where 30 students will explore the potential of Virtual Reality for science and education by creating experimental VR prototypes. More details about the course in the e-Studiegids.

My research project was mentioned in the Leiden University newsletter and Mare.

Leren programmeren tijdens de Lyceo CodeWeken

Samen met het team van Lyceo organiseer ik de Lyceo Codeweken. Ik ben de initiator en coördinator van het project en ontwikkel het onderwijsprogramma.

In de zomervakantie van 2015 start de pilot van dit nieuwe programma in Amersfoort, Amsterdam, Haarlem, Hilversum en Den Haag. In 4 dagen leren middelbare scholieren de basis van programmeren en gaan ze aan de slag met hun eigen game of andere app.

Kijk voor meer informatie op:


Art of Neuroscience talk – Virtual Reality visualization of live EEG data

On March 24th 2015 I gave a talk at the Art of Neuroscience symposium in the beautiful Eye in Amsterdam. More information about this yearly event can be found here.

Art of Neuroscience talk

In my talk I presented the Virtual Reality visualization of live EEG data I created with my team mates Eva Delincakova and Bert Spaan at the Hack the Brain hackathon in May 2014. I discussed the potential of Virtual Reality for immersive data visualization and how this could be used in the field of education.


The day before the event Tycho Hoogland and me were interviewed about the event by BNR Nieuwsradio Eyeopeners. Here you can listen to The program (in Dutch), our part starts afer 14 minutes.

An important part of the event was the competition for which many beautiful images were submitted. The winning image, by Jean-Christophe Billeter and many others can be found here.

Choosey Female by Jean-Christophe Billeter, University of Groningen

Choosey Female by Jean-Christophe Billeter, University of Groningen

And my slides:

Oculus Rift demonstraties, lezingen & workshops

Benieuwd naar de immersive ervaring van de Oculus Rift en de mogelijkheden van Virtual Reality voor uw bedrijf? Ik verzorg workshops, lezingen en demonstraties met deze Virtual Reality headset voor allerlei evenementen. Een leuke ervaring voor de bezoekers van een congres, beurs of symposium, of als onderdeel van een geslaagd bedrijfsuitje!

Ik selecteer software op maat en verzorg een demonstratie volledig. Voor grote bezoekersaantallen kan ik werken met meerdere systemen. Naast de Oculus Rift DK2 en DK1 werk ik ook met de MYO, de Razer Hydra of Xbox controllers als input.

Zelf willen leren programmeren voor de Oculus Rift? Ik geef speciale programmeercursussen en workshops waar je leert programmeren voor Virtual Reality! Meer informatie over de diensten die ik verleen staat hier.

Interesse? Neem dan contact op voor extra informatie of een offerte. Per e-mail: of telefonisch: 06-11952499

Nu ook demonstraties met de Samsung Gear VR!

Oculus Rift portret (Large)

Embodied Vision Workshop: Augmented and Virtual Reality with Unity3D

On the 19th of June 2014 at 10.00, I’ll teach a workshop for the Embodied Vision course of the Media Technology MSc. program. Below you can find a short description of the workshop and the assignment. After the workshop I’ll post a summary of what we’ve discussed.

Embodied Vision Workshop: Augmented and Virtual Reality with Unity3D

In this workshop we will go through the basics of working with Unity3D, discuss interesting projects made with the software and experiment with creating your own Augmented or Virtual Reality project. I will explain about the Vuforia library which can be used to create mobile AR apps and get you started to develop for Oculus Rift. For the workshop you will need Unity Pro which can be downloaded from Please install the software beforehand. You can make use of the 30-day trial version.

Groups: 1-3 people
During the lectures you have learned about many different special and visual effects used in film and the different goals (such as: distraction, shock, spectacle, narrative, integration, immersion) that can be reached by applying these effects. For this assignment you are challenged to make use of the visual effects offered by Augmented and Virtual Reality to support one (or more) of these goals you find most interesting.
Since learning Unity3D is an essential part of this workshop, you should make use of this software for your project. Exceptions can be made however, if you can give good reasons for this.

Mind Extensions website

In Western tradition, thinking has been commonly seen as a very secluded activity. As our environment is getting more and more saturated with technologies, it is becoming clear however, that our minds are less separated from the world as we might think. Many questions arise, questions about artificial intelligence, about the technologies we use to solve problems and how these affect the way we think. What does it mean to know something when we have all the world’s information at our fingertips? Can thinking technologies help us to understand more complex problems? What does it mean when technology enters the brain? Can we decode our brain activity to such extent that we can actually read people’s thoughts? Does the use of technological aids affect what we should learn? How should this change be incorporated in our education system?

The Mind Extensions website aims to create an environment where ideas around these matters are created, collected, exchanged and discussed. These ideas can come in many different shapes and sizes: from essays to interactive artworks and from poems to web lectures. We hope to build an active community with various people from different disciplines who read, write, share and discuss posts.

Exploring how we Use Technology to Think

Exploring how we Use Technology to Think

Programming Summerclass

This summer BijlesinWassenaar organizes a Summerclass during which pupils learn the basics of reading and writing code. They learn about if-statements, data types, loops and arrays. They are familiarized with new techniques such as Augmented and Virtual Reality. They apply their new learnt knowledge in a small project they make themselves!

Programmeercursus (Large)