Nathaniel Salazar was born and raised on Maui. He graduated from Maui High in June 2007. He is currently wrapping up his freshman year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology seeking a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. He looks forward to having his share in developing the next generation of technological advancements. When he isn’t tooling on problem sets, he enjoys watching and making movies, learning new skills, and hanging out with friends.
Home Island: Maui
High School: Maui High School
Institution when accepted: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Akamai Project: 3D Computer Graphics Featuring Google and Java Software
Project Site: Maui High Performance Computing Center
Mentor: Thomas Meyer
The state-of-the-art of computer graphics today lives in the realm of three dimensions. Three-dimensional computer graphics have many applications, from immersive video gaming and film entertainment to educational training simulations and realistic business presentations. The goal of this internship project is to obtain an introduction to the world of creating 3D computer graphics using today’s up-and-coming application software and programming languages. This project consists of two parts: 1) 3D computer graphics modeling using Google software, and 2) 3D computer graphics programming using the Java3D programming language. The first part involves using Google SketchUp, which is 3D modeling software used to create 3D models of buildings that populate the growing virtual world of Google Earth. Using a foundation of 3D computer graphics knowledge gained from creating 3D models in SketchUp, I learned Java3D as an introduction to techniques for programming 3D computer graphics. Java3D is a programming interface that provides the means of generating and rendering a visual 3D environment within the popular Java programming language. 3D computer graphics visualizations are being used by organizations such as the Air Force Research Laboratory to visualize the critical airflow characteristics of aircraft simulations generated by computational fluid dynamics calculations.