UH Hires Another Researcher to Advance ‘Innovation Initiative’


Another expert has been hired as part of the University of Hawaii’s efforts to build a $1 billion annual research industry in the state through a campaign known as the Innovation Initiative.

Jason Leigh, whose work with data visualization has garnered the attention of national media ranging from NOVA to the New York Times, is joining UH Manoa’s Information and Computer Science department next semester. 

He’s currently a computer science professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he also directs the university’s Electronic Visualization Lab and Software Technologies Research Center.

UH Interim President David Lassner in a press release said big data visualization is going to be a key focus of the Innovation Initiative and other research endeavors within the university. In announcing the initiative, the university said it aimed to build a team of 50 world-class researchers total to attract and double outside funding, increasing it from the current $500 million a year to $1 billion a year. 

(Another researcher, biological engineering expert Edward DeLong, was the first hire.)

Leigh is best known for developing software known as SAGE that is said to be the standard for supporting ultra-high resolution display walls around the world. 

He also recently invented a new generation of a immersive virtual reality technology known as CAVE2.

Leigh is an Institute for Health Research and Policy fellow. 

Photo: An exhibit displaying Leigh’s SAGE technology. (Courtesy of the University of Chicago.)

— Alia Wong

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