Graphical representations help us to understand complex relationships in many areas of everyday life. A familiar example is the weather chart where the temperature or air pressure is colour-coded to give an overview of the weather situation. However, visualization techniques are also becoming more and more important for an understanding of complex scientific phenomena in order to derive insights from collections of data. Irrespective of the specific application, for scientists and engineers to derive these insights it is especially important for them to be able to interact three-dimensionally with the representation of such data.

Scientists working in the JARA-HPC Cross-Sectional Group "Immersive Visualization" (CSG ImmVis) are experts in the immersive, interactive visualization of scientific data sets. Immersive means that observers are able to immerse themselves in the visualization or in the virtual world thus generated. Methods of virtual reality are used to give observers the most authentic spatial experience and provide them with natural interaction in this virtual world.

Cooperation with scientists from various disciplines benefits both users and also scientists in CSG ImmVis. In addition to the introduction and further development of visualization software for specific applications, for example neuroscientific investigations, scientists at CSG use the results of this collaboration for their own research in the field of visualization. This approach has proved very successful in recent years.


  • Methodological and software support in visualizing data sets from different scientific disciplines
  • Visualization of data sets using different visual output devices:
    • conventional desktop systems
    • semi-immersive systems (e.g. imFlip 150: mobile device in use at various institutes of RWTH Aachen University and Forschungszentrum Jülich)
    • large projection systems with one or more projection screens (e.g. aixCAVE at RWTH Aachen University: five projection screens, visualizations can be actively controlled and influenced)

In-House Services at RWTH Aachen University
In order to establish the topic of immersive and interactive visualization as a service outside the JARA institutes, the Immersive Visualization Services (IVS) has been set up at RWTH Aachen University's IT Center as part of the Virtual Reality Group.

Selected projects

Dr. Herwig Zilken
Institute for Advanced Simulation, Jülich Supercomputing Centre, Forschungszentrum Jülich

Steering Board
Dr. Norbert Attig
Jülich Supercomputing Centre, Forschungszentrum Jülich

Prof. Torsten Kuhlen
Virtual Reality Group, IT Center, RWTH Aachen University