Contact PRISM

Partnership for Research
in Spatial Modeling
Arizona State University
P.O. Box 878809
Tempe, AZ 85287-8809

(Attn: Gerald Farin)

Directions and Address:
699 S. Mill Ave, Suite 350
Tempe, AZ 85281
(Corner of 7th Street and Mill Ave.)
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To schedule a tour of our lab, please contact:

Gerald Farin




PRISM is the focal point at Arizona State University for interdisciplinary research in modeling and visualization to permit intelligent analysis and create spatial and dynamic knowledge.

Executive Summary

PRISM was established in 1996 to foster research and application of 3D modeling and visualization to interdisciplinary research at ASU. Funding from the Vice Provost for Research and Deans of Architecture and Environmental Design, arts, engineering and applied sciences, business and liberal arts combined to support PRISM and create a foundation for obtaining external funding and achieving national and international recognition. PRISM directly supports the Arizona Board of Regents research initiatives related to information science and information technology, and has significant potential to extend and assist research in biomedicine/biotechnology, materials research/nanotechnology, manufacturing technology, and technology transfer.

The Story of the Origin of PRISM:

The story goes like this. In 1993 Dan Collins, professor of sculpture, was experimenting with use of cyberware laser digitizer data sets. His quest for visualization, modeling and converting it to a tactile form (sculpture) led to Gerald Farin and Anshuman Razdan in the department of computer science. Around the same time Mark Henderson was experimenting with an emerging technology called rapid prototyping. Other researchers like Mary Marzke from anthropology were excited about the possibility of collaboration with computer scientists and incorporating visualization and modeling of bones. Over a breakfast meeting in the summer of 1995, the Vice-Provost for Research and the five deans approved the notion of an interdisciplinary lab at ASU. PRISM was formally established in February 1996. Since then many exciting events and projects have happened at PRISM.


Collins and Farin currently co-direct PRISM, with new projects continuing in 3D data archiving, 3D data query, 3D face recognition, 3D de-aging of a George Washington face bust, 3D telesculpture, brain imaging and visualization for urban planning. In addition, theoretical research on isosurfaces from marching cubes, voronoi diagrams, curve and surface design and real-time rendering in a computer graphics context are also being explored.


PRISM’s name (Partnership for Spatial Modeling) announces the value we place on interdisciplinary research. Our goal is to encourage horizontal connections across research disciplines, develop new approaches, techniques, and tools, and to share applications across disciplines. The intent is to refine and extend results, and to permit new analyses by discipline researchers. Participating in interdisciplinary research in turn pushes the fundamental research in modeling and visualization and other related computer science areas.

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