It’s always fascinating to discover artistic beauty within the often rigid confines of science and engineering. Limited by formulas, scientific method, and the aesthetics of laboratories, one does not expect glamor and artistry to spring forth. Showing this thesis as incorrect on an annual basis, we’re happy to learn that this year’s winners of NSF’s Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge have been announced. Tied for first place is the image above, created by Kai-hung Fung, a radiologist at the Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital in Hong Kong, using CT scanner imagery of the sinuses of a patient.
A computed tomography (CT) scan from a 33-year-old Chinese woman being examined for thyroid disease provided the raw data for Fung’s rendering. He stacked together 182 thin CT “slices” to create a 3D image looking upward at the sinuses from underneath the head. Normally, CT renderings meld slices together into smooth surfaces, but, in what he terms the “Rainbow Technique,” Fung instead broke them apart, creating a topographical map of the airspaces described by the contour lines of individual slices, and colored according to the density of the tissues that border them.
Check out the rest of the Winning Entries…
Press release: 2007 Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge Winners Announced
Flashback: 2006 Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge Winners