In October 2002, the Computer Graphics and Visualization Group at the Technical University Munich opened its doors to the students of Computer Science. Professor Dr. Rüdiger Westermann was appointed to establish this new group within the Faculty of Informatics and to mold it into a persistent institution for scientific research and education. Now serving as the head of the group, Prof. Westermann came from the Aachen University of Technology, where he was head of the Scientific Visualization and Imaging group.

The research and education efforts of the Computer Graphics and Visualization group span a wide spectrum ranging from Scientific Visualization and Realtime Computer Graphics to Computer Games, Visual Computing and Computational Steering.

Activities in Scientific Visualization cover a variety of different topics common to many areas of science and engineering. Particular interests include the exploration of large-scale data sets as they arise in medical imaging or numerical simulation techniques. In this context the dominant goal is to define Scientific Visualization as a multi-stage pipeline, including data generation and processing techniques as well as mapping and display techniques. Efforts also concentrate on the formulation and computational solution of selected 2D and 3D problems, and the efficient visualization of the results. Among others, hierarchical approaches and approaches that efficiently exploit parallelism and/or dedicated graphics hardware to generate, process and visualize large-scale data sets are investigated.

In Interactive Image Synthesis ongoing activities deal with the fundamentals of 3D computer graphics, and in particular with techniques to achieve interactive frame rates for both the realistic rendering of complex models and scenes and for the visual simulation of real-world phenomena. Major themes cover standard graphics algorithms and their efficient implementation through graphics APIs as well as the development of completely new classes of algorithms, which are specifically designed to exploit state-of-the-art graphics hardware. Efforts are focused on the creation of static and dynamic imagery including complex polygonal models and scalar or vector valued volumetric objects. Projects aim to develop algorithms to achieve real-time simulation and rendering of selected phenomena, and to integrate these techniques into game technology or virtual environments, as they will be developed in cooperation with the Leibniz-Computingcenter.