IU School of Informatics
Keeping up with the award-winning work of Albert William requires an advanced sense of wonder, a fully functional imagination — and a pair of 3-D glasses doesn’t hurt.
As a research associate in the IUPUI-based IU School of Informatics’ new media program, William is an expert at making the unseen — the human blood system, the heart, human cells, even strands of DNA in the human genome — come alive in three dimensions, using technology to increase our understanding of the way the body works.
He also is well-versed in other aspects of animation projects, providing music as well as images for Informatics’ CLIOH project, creating virtual tours of the ancient Mexican ruins at Chichén Itzá and Uxmal, helping modern students “see” the environments in which ancient civilizations functioned.
William, who won a 2003 Silicon Graphics Inc. Award for excellence in computational sciences and visualization, often utilizes his skills in medical and health-care projects. It’s a natural fit for him, since he spent more than a decade working in the IU School of Medicine on the IUPUI campus.
The 3-D and animation expert has created presentations for audiences of all ages, from young children at the Ruth Lilly Health Education Center in downtown Indianapolis to genomic experts involved in the School of Medicine’s INGEN Initiative to lay people at the Indiana State Museum’s “Tomorrow’s Indiana,” always with an eye toward taking audiences where they’ve never gone before.
William may spend a big part of his professional life in a “virtual” world, but he’s an avid participant in reality, too. A guitarist since high school, he played in a band that released two independent albums, toured the country and played with such renowned rock-and-roll bands as Jefferson Starship and the Allman Brothers. He’s an avid hiker — he’s hiked the Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park and parts of the Appalachian Trail — and photographs his travels, too.