An inspiring human interest story about a UIC Computer Science (CS) undergraduate student, now a graduate student whose obsession with video games is turning into a successful career path.

KahlerWhile taking the CS Video Game Design & Development course, Ed Kahler’s talents came to the attention of his teacher, Jason Leigh, who subsequently hired him to work at the UIC Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) with NSF REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) funds. Kahler’s hardware talents made him one of the lead developers of TacTile, EVL’s successful touch table. That success encouraged him to continue his education at UIC, and Kahler is now completing a CS master’s degree. Meanwhile, TacTile came to the attention of collaborators at Argonne National Laboratory, whose UIC/EVL funding supported Kahler to first build them a TacTile table, and now supports him to develop scientific applications. This week, Kahler is attending the international Supercomputing 2010 conference in New Orleans and demonstrating his Cli-Mate application in Argonne’s research booth.

This story was written by Marcella McCarthy, a graduate student at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, who spent the week of October 25 at EVL doing a practicum for her science writing class. Several weeks ago she wrote another article that profiled the students behind EVL’s “20-foot canvas” paint program, developed for its Cyber-Commons’ large tiled display wall with its touch-screen interface.

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