Virtual Reality for Science & Education Symposium – 10 March 2016

Updates about the program below!

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. Around 17:30 we will end the day with some drinks and Virtual Reality demonstrations.

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.


13:30 Coffee, registration and demo’s

14:00 Welcome

14:05 Robin de Lange (Leiden University)
In his talk, Robin will discuss some results from his PhD research so far. Why do many people think Virtual Reality could be a powerful tool for education? What kind of possibilities are there? What is the best way to proceed?

14:30 Guntur Sandino (CleVR)
CleVR specializes in creating complete and customized Virtual Reality (VR) solutions for a wide range of purposes in the (Mental) Health Care sector. Guntur will talk about the interactive applications they have created to treat fear of flying and Social Phobia.

14:55 Student team: DinoZapp
Gosse Mol, Han Lie, Roos Hoefnagel & Nickolas Ioannou will present the VR game they have created where children learn the practices of taxonomy in a playful way. This project was part of the VRSE course and created in collaboration with Naturalis.

15:10 Richard den Tilborg (Ordina)
VR is powerful technology, can it be used to change our subconsciousness for humanized purposes?Ordina SMART realized several cases to influence the brain. Two of them will be explained in this presentation. (1) Can VR help patients wih anorexia? and (2) Battle your fear for public speaking


15:50 Hans Luyckx (IJsfontein)
IJsfontein designs and develops playful (digital) learning based on the belief that people are naturally curious and intrinsically motivated to develop themselves. Hans will talk about the VR projects they created for Veilig Verkeer Nederland and the new Waterlinie Museum.

16:15Lisa E. Rombout
Lisa will discuss the use of the placebo effect in virtual health care, based on her Media Technology graduation research that compared real-world placebo’s with virtual ones.

16:25 – Student team: Orbital Visualization
Bauke Smits & Desiree de Ridder will present the VR application they have created that teaches Chemistry students the complex shapes of atomic orbitals. This project was part of the VRSE course.

16:40Sander Veenhof
To explore which role Virtual Reality can play in the future of education, Sander Veenhof has been developing and testing experimental multi-user VR learning environments for classroom use. In his talk, he will share the results – but the failures too.

17:00 – Discussion, Drinks & Demos

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 (free!) 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
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? We still have openings for the following format:

  • Project demonstration. You will have a stand to showcase and explain your work during the day.

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

About me

Hi there! I am Robin de Lange, a researcher, lecturer and entrepreneur with a focus on Virtual Reality and education. I have a MSc degree in Media Technology from Leiden University and a bachelor’s degree in Physics and Philosophy at the same University.


I am the founder and principal researcher of the Virtual Reality Learning Lab. I do PhD research at Leiden University, supervised by prof. dr. Bas Haring. For my research I study the potential of Augmented and Virtual Reality for understanding and solving abstract problems. I give lectures and teach courses where we explore the possibilities of Virtual Reality for different fields. We also organize Virtual Reality workshops and demonstrations, develop applications and advise organisations on developments in this field.

I am also the founder and program leader of the Lyceo CodeLab, a unique program for high school students to learn how to code.

In the past I have initiated and contributed to many different projects. During my studies, I was the owner of a homework guidance and tutoring company, which was successfully transferred (twice). I’ve created philosophical infographics, developed Augmented Reality applications and worked on the first MOOC produced in the Netherlands.

On this page you can find for what kind of work you can hire me. I am usually in for new challenges, so feel free to contact me!


Some of my previous clients:

Writing of the @-sign

Small research for the course Creative Research, about how people write the @-sign.

Is there a correlation between the age of a person and the degree of similarity of the @-sign and the person’s writing of it?


The results of this research show that there is a correlation between age and the ability to write the @-sign by hand. 50+ people are more likely to write a dissimilar @-sign than students. This is probably caused by age-dependent learning skills.

During my work at my tutor company  I’ve seen a lot of forms in which parents sign in their child for our services. These parents have children who are going to high school so are likely in the age range from 35-50. In the forms we ask, among other data, for an e-mail address. In these forms I often noticed the strange creations which, apparent to the place in the e-mail address, should represent the @-sign. Since i didn’t ever notice anything similar with fellow students or other young people, I formed the hypothesis that the ability to write a @-sign is age-dependent. I came to the following research question:

— Is there a correlation between the age of a person and the degree of similarity of the @-sign and the person’s writing of it? —


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Dichromatic benefits in visual tasks

Short paper for the Creative Research course, about the benefits of some types of color blindness.

Dichromatic benefits in visual tasks
Why colour-vision polymorphism remains

Colour vision deficiency, or colour-blindness comes in many different varieties. In general it can be described as the inability to perceive differences between some of the colours that others can distinguish. Colour-blindness can be caused by eye, nerve or brain damage, but is usually of genetic nature. These conditions of genetic nature are mostly caused by mutations in the X-chromosome of the DNA. Males have only one X chromosome (and one Y-chromosome), while females have two. When one X-chromosome has a mutation which causes some sort of colour vision deficiency, in females the second X-chromosome overrides the mutated one, resulting in regular colour vision. The probability that two X-chromosomes have a certain mutation is of course smaller than the probability of one mutated chromosome. This is why males suffer from colour-blindness more often.


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