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Collaboration Leads to Cover Feature of Industry Publication

August 13, 2014

The School of Informatics and Computing (SOIC) at IUPUI boasts about its location and ability to provide real-world experience through collaboration. Lecturer Albert William, in the Media Arts and Science (MAS) program, is helping to reinforce that message.

MAS Faculty Work on Chem Comm coverWilliam, a professor for 3D classes in the school, was recently involved in a project with chemists at the IU Bloomington campus, where he assisted with the visualization for the paper “Anion-Induced Dimerization of 5-fold Symmetric Cynostars in 3D Crystalline Solids and 2D Self-Assembled Crystals”. Written by Amar Flood, James F. Jackson, associate professor of chemistry, and Steven L. Tait, assistant professor of chemistry, the paper details their research in demonstrating the self-assembly of a five-sided, symmetrical molecule, called cynostar, that was developed by Flood’s IU research team.

William, who specializes in using advanced graphics and animation to convey complex scientific concepts, was able to create an image depicting the cynostar molecules moving in solution, ordering on the surface, and stacking by anion binding. He used software such as MeshLab and Autodesk Maya to convert the raw data and render the image.

“Creating images such as this was the reason I pursued Informatics and New Media from the beginning,” said William. “It has always been my desire to bridge the gap between the artist and the scientist and make images that are visually appealing while being scientifically relevant. To be able to depict molecular processes that cannot actually be seen is a very powerful educational tool.”

The paper was published online by Chemical Communications, a journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry and William’s artwork, as well as the article, is featured on the cover. The artwork is also visible on the National Science Foundation website at




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Joanne Lovrinic