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EPSRC CDT in Next Generation Computational Modelling

Team building exercise Boldrewood Campus

As part of the induction activities, the CDT students were given the following team building exercise.

Given a printout of a computer-generated view of the Boldrewood campus (figure 1, top), they were given 30 minutes to re-create that scene as realistically as possible. Available props given were the Boldrewood campus as actually built, the CDT cohort, some additional students benefitting from the centre's Python Programming Primer, the CDT manager and a director.

One of the students happened to have a high quality camera with him, but it soon became clear that a wider lens was required and that a smartphone would capture the scene better. The photographer positioned himself on bicycle stands to achieve the best possible view, while another student directed the actors ready for the photo shoot.

Computer generated image (top) and recreated scene (bottom).

Figure 1: Computer generated image (top) and recreated scene (bottom).

The results are visible in Figure 1 (bottom). The students quickly realised that the path leading from the left of the image towards the buildings and the centre of the image is visually the most dominant item and decided to align people relative to this path. Thus, the viewpoint is differently chosen than in the computer generated image, and the buildings appear under a different angle. This originates in the path not having been built where the computer generated perspective anticipated it, and the students being given a task that was impossible to fulfil perfectly - an exercise in prioritising.

The white van could not be removed within the 30 minutes as the driver could not be located but two other vans could be persuaded to leave for the picture to be taken.

Computer generated image (top) and recreated scene (bottom) with actors highlighted.

Figure 2: Computer generated image (top) and recreated scene (bottom) with actors highlighted.

Figure 2 highlights the people involved in the re-creation of the scene: the group of students sitting on the lawn are mostly CDT students together with other attendees of the programming primer, the two people in front of the white van are a CDT student and the CDT manager, the CDT's director is cycling along the path. Further actors were deliberately placed towards building 176 (building on the left), one person towards building 175 (building on the right), and one person entering the image from the left on the path.

Overall, an impressive result. Can future CDT cohorts do even better?

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