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Raimund Dachselt Group

Immersive Exploration of Multiscale Biological Data

Portrait Raimund Dachselt

To find answers to key biological questions, strong computational support and significant advances in data science and biological visualization are required. Our research group is part of the Cluster of Excellence Physics of Life. We want to lay the foundations of exploring multiscale biological data involving latest interactive, immersive visualization technology. Both, smart microscopes and data-driven simulations deliver biological imagery, which needs to be explored, analyzed and understood. Often, such data exists on various interconnected scales. Exploring biological data across several scales (e.g., from molecules to cells to tissues) and allowing a seamless transition between visual models, simulation results or microscopy images at such varying levels of details is key to understand cross-scale causality and emergence. As a next step beyond cross-scale data exploration, we will continue with research on the real-time steering of simulation or microscope parameters and perturbations within immersive environments.

The Interactive Media Lab at the Technische Universität Dresden is conducting computer science research in the field of multi-modal Human-Computer Interaction and Interactive Information Visualization. Our research is focused on how we can interact in a natural way with data from various application domains and with data visualizations, especially on interactive surfaces (from smartwatches to wall-sized displays), in multi-device environments, in mobile contexts as well as in mixed reality settings using Augmented Reality technologies. In various funded projects we contributed numerous novel data visualization and exploration approaches and investigated combined interaction modalities, such as multi-touch and pen, tangible displays, gaze-supported interaction, and body gestures.

Raimund Dachselt Research: Figure
Examples for collaboratively exploring microscopy data in novel display environments: using handheld, spatially tracked tangible displays (top) and a large, multitouch-enabled visualization wall with additional mobile views (bottom).

Future Projects and Goals

  • How can we integrate, efficiently render and effectively visualize multiscale biological data from several sources?
  • Which specific immersive environment consisting of mixed 2D/3D views on multiple displays is most suitable for analysis and steering tasks?
  • Which visualization approaches (including ensemble visualization techniques) are most suitable to compare simulation results, explore spatiotemporal dynamics and support multiscale insights?
  • What are the most appropriate natural interaction techniques to support biologists in their analysis and steering tasks in such an environment?
  • How does an extensible immersive technology platform need to be designed?

Methodological and Technical Expertise

  • Multimodal human-technology interaction using gaze, gestures, digital pen, multitouch, spatial interaction
  • Designing and developing novel mobile and immersive data visualization and exploration approaches
  • Implementation of multidisplay solutions (from mini-displays over smartphones, tablets and tabletops up to ultra-large displays)
  • Frameworks and technologies for augmented and virtual reality, motion tracking, multimodal interaction, multidisplay environments, immersive as well as web-based visualization
  • User experience and interaction design including user studies and evaluation methods


since 2015
Director of the Institute of Software and Multimedia Technology at the Faculty of Computer Science, TU Dresden

since April 2012
Full Professor of Computer Science and head of the Interactive Media Lab Dresden (Professorship of Multimedia Technology) at the Faculty of Computer Science, TU Dresden

Assistant and Associate Professor for User Interface & Software Engineering at University of Magdeburg

October 2004
PhD from Technische Universität Dresden

Selected Publications

Langner R, Kister U, and Dachselt R
Multiple Coordinated Views at Large Displays for Multiple Users: Empirical Findings on User Behavior, Movements, and Distances.
IEEE Trans. Vis. Comput. Graph. 25(1):608–618 (2018)

Tominski C, Gladisch S, Kister U, Dachselt R, and Schumann H
Interactive lenses for visualization: An extended survey.
Comput. Graph. Forum:173–200 (2016)

Stellmach S and Dachselt R
Still looking: Investigating seamless gaze-supported selection, positioning, and manipulation of distant targets.
Proc. of the SIGCHI Conf. on Human Factors in Computing Systems:285–294 (2013)

Spindler M, Büschel W, and Dachselt R
Use your head: Tangible windows for 3D information spaces in a tabletop environment.
Proc. of the ACM Conf. on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces:245–254 (2012)

Spindler M, Tominski C, Schumann H, and Dachselt R
Tangible views for information visualization.
Proc. of the ACM International Conf. on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces:157–166 (2010)


Technische Universität Dresden
Department of Computer Science
Interactive Media Lab Dresden
01062 Dresden