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Buckeye Virtual Reality

Primary Investigator:

Chris Orban, Ph.D- Assistant Professor

College of Arts and Sciences- Physics

STEAM Collaborators: 

Jon Brown, Ph.D- Research Assistant, Lecturer

College of Engineering- Chemical & Biomedical

Jim Fowler, Ph.D- Assistant Professor

College of Arts and Sciences- Mathematics

Bart Snapp, Ph.D- Auxiliary Assistant Professor

College of Arts and Sciences- Mathematics


Develop virtual reality visualizations of STEM concepts that be used with Google Cardboard glasses. This should help bridge the gap between the instructor's mental picture and the student's.


Like few other disciplines, physics and mathematics have a reputation among students for being particularly impenetrable.

In 2014, Google revealed and disseminated the plans for “Google Cardboard”, which allows the viewer to see 3D visualizations with stereoscopic depth perception, similar to a 3D movie at a movie theater, for about $5. There is a huge potential for this device to revolutionize STEM education if VR 

Buckeye Virtual Reality Goggles

During fall 2015 and spring 2016, Prof. Chris Orban worked with Ohio State Marion Savva Madar to develop smartphone-based VR visualizations for undergraduate electromagnetism classes. Dr. Jon Brown, was also involved at an early stage allowing a collaboration which produced a demo for Android phones that illustrates electric fields from different distributions of charge. This demo of “BuckeyeVR” has been shown to the public at STEAM factory events. The immersive nature of the VR experience creates a kind of encounter with the mathematical reality of nature that no chalkboard or computer screen can truly replicate. 

Check out the BuckeyeVR website to download the apps for the IOS store and Android as well as a new "math app."

Noteable Achievements: 

  • Implementation of BuckeyeVR into Ohio State physics classes, on both Android and iOS platforms
  • Implementation of BuckeyeVR into Ohio State Calculus III classes conducted by Dr. Bart Snapp