The March 2024 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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Brain Beauty Contest

Computer modelers compete to show neurosurgeons the best path to the tumor

1 min read

The system shown here lets neurosurgeons view the brain’s neural tracts in stereoscopic 3-D. They can manipulate the image with a “3-D mouse,” such as a Nintendo Wii controller. The white spheres are the patient’s eyes.

Plotting the path to a brain tumor first requires a map. As part of next week’s VisWeek conference, the 2010 IEEE Visualization Contest pitted graphics teams from both industry and academia against one another to see who could best draw that map. Each team transformed the same sets of MRI data into unique, and sometimes bizarre, pictures of the safest paths through the brain. Neurosurgeons decided the winner.

Next year’s contest to model the turbulence from a fluid pump is already accepting submissions.

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