My work is tricky to define.  The easy part: I am co-director/founder of the Digital Arts Minor and Research Associate Professor in the computer science department at Dartmouth College.  I am also the President, CEO and co-founder of TellEmotion, Inc., a company focusing on the behavioral aspects of energy efficiency and conservation.

The harder part: My work tries to make complex ideas meaningful by making them simple, dynamic, visually appealing and easy to understand. My interest is in the innovation and creativity that springs from the overlap between technology, computer science, art, animation, teaching and activism. I enjoy finding ways to nudge computer science research into interdisciplinary areas where content and technology are partnered to challenge current thinking. 

In the last few years, in addition to my research, I focused on interactive digital arts including a real-time energy metering project which uses animated sequences to encourage people to change behaviors around energy use, an interactive video directory, an interactive display on choices around lawns for the Notebaert Science Museum in Chicago, a real-time motion capture and dance project with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and a 3D Virtual Dartmouth project. I’m having a grand ol’ time. 

Even though I’m not a computer scientist in the classic sense, I feel fortunate to have been welcomed into this realm.  My computer graphics research is centered in interactivity, motion studies and cartoon capture.  In 1997 I began working at Interval Research--a think tank in Palo Alto, California, that brought computer scientists, artists and business people together to research, design and invent. I was on a team led by Tom Ngo on one of the first efforts to develop real-time interactive 2D animation.  Our work resulted in a Siggraph paper and patent.

I was invited to join the computer science department at Stanford University as a Senior Research Scientist where I was a principal member of the Stanford Movement Group led by Chris Bregler.  Our research focused on the area of expressive motion.  We developed (and patented) a process called Cartoon Capture and Retargetting that captures the motion of classic 2-dimensional animations and applies it to drawings, photographs, video and 3D models.   

After moving east to follow a dream of living a more sustainable lifestyle at an eco-village and farm called Cobb Hill, I landed in the computer science department at Dartmouth College where I co-founded the Digital Arts minor with Fabio Pellacini. I continue my research with work in motion manifolds (with Professor Hany Farid), real-time information visualization and new collaborative work with Professor Thalia Wheatley on how the brain responds to motion and graphical information display. 

I have over 25 years experience teaching on the university level, working as an animator and using the computer as one of the tools of my trade. My undergraduate work (at NYU) was in film and animation and my graduate work (Hunter College) was in fine arts. Films I worked on have won numerous awards and been screened internationally.  Screenings include the Museum of Modern Art NY, the Sundance Film Festival, the NY Film Festival, the London Film Festival and the Whitney Biennial.  Awards include two Emmy awards (one National and one Local) and the Cine Golden Eagle Award. I was a faculty member in the film departments at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and the Rhode Island School of Design. 

I was invited to travel through Asia as an “art and cultural specialist” by the US Information Agency in 1990, presenting work and teaching workshops in the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, India and Pakistan.  While on this trip I worked with students, artists, independent filmmakers and large production studios, interviewed feminists and social activists and had the extraordinary opportunity to meet privately with Mother Theresa and Satyajit Ray.  This experience has continued to influence my work and shape my world view.

After years of teaching film and animation production and working on independently produced films and commercials, I decided to focus on computer science research and technology in order to make the computer tools I was using more powerful for my particular interests.  I wanted to become a bit of an inventor. 

Some of the projects:

The Real-time Energy Display Project aimed at lowering energy use at Dartmouth through information and compelling real-time feed-back.

The Dartmouth 3D Campus project which created a virtual 3D Dartmouth using SketchUp software and Google Earth (now a permanent layer on Google Earth).

Motion Capture in Action, a collaboration with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company using a model based on a drawing by Merce Cunningham to create a real-time dance and motion capture demonstation performed live at the Hopkins Center for the Performing Arts,

The Interactive Video Portrait Directory, an interactive video directory for the computer science department.

Just for fun

An animated holiday logo I did for Google

in October, 2000.


My work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Sony, Intel, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the William H. Neukom Institute for Computational Science, the Sudikoff Family Fund.

If my work life is full, it is only as meaningful as the qualities and passions I bring to my endeavors and share with my students and others.


Lorie Loeb