Russell Taylor is a Research Professor of Computer Science, Physics & Astronomy, and Applied Physical Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the co-director of the UNC NIH National Research Resource for Computer Integrated Systems for Microscopy and Manipulation (come visit!). His research interests include Scientific Visualization, Distributed Virtual Worlds, Haptic Display, and Interactive 3D Computer Graphics. All of these come together in his role as the director of the computer science team in the UNC Nanoscale Science Research Group, which is a team of Physicists, Chemists, Gene Therapists, Biologists, Library Scientists, Perceptual Psychologists, and Computer Scientists working together to develop improved interfaces for scanned-probe and other microscopes. These tools enable scientists to see, touch and manipulate nanometer-scale objects like viruses and carbon nanotubes, either from within the laboratory or across a computer network.
Russell teaches a course on Visualization in the Sciences each spring, aimed at both computer scientists and natural scientists. It is being offered as Comp 715, Physics 715, and Materials Science 715 in the spring of 2014 (also taught in the springs of 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007). It was cross-listed as Comp 215, Physics 215, and Materials Science 215 in the spring of 2006 (co-taught by David Borland as the cross-listed CSE 704 at NC A&T) and 2005. It was taught as Comp 290-069 in the fall semesters of 2003, 2002, and 2001.
He is the principal maintainer of the Virtual Reality Peripheral Network (VRPN) library. This public-domain software system provides local or networked access to various tracking, button, joystick, sound and other devices used in virtual-reality systems. Along with Amit Chourasia, Russell was co-chair for the 2008 IEEE Visualization Design Contest. and the 2006 IEEE Visualization Design Contest. He was the chair of the 2012IEEE Scientific Visualization Conference.
Russell is a co-founder of Rheomics Incorporated, a company that is developing blood clotting diagnostics. He is also a member of the board of directors for Pharaoh's Daughter, a nonprofit seeking to provide child card, training, and transitional housing for women who have children while in prison.