A Degree in Electrical Engineering

About two months have passed since I graduated from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the University of Ljubljana.

Even though I’ve had plenty of time to reflect, I occasionally still have to proverbially pinch myself as I find it hard to believe that I’ve actually done it. Now I don’t think that getting a degree is actually all that special, but I’m proud that I was able to overcome all of the difficulties in the often-tumultuous years of my schooling.

I’ve always had a roof over my head, food on my table, a warm bed to sleep on and a supportive family, so I fully admit that most of the responsibility for my school-related hardships falls on my shoulders. But I do believe that our education system — all the way through primary and high school — has failed me in a lot of ways. In turn, I almost failed school entirely.

As reading material on the subject matter, I recommend Salman Khan’s wonderful book The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined.

Anyway, I will only say that — with stubborn determination and some luck — I managed to stay the course and was accepted into the faculty. And that’s when I finally found my footing. This new environment demanded a lot of responsibility in terms of scheduling my obligations and free time. It was a great learning experience in more ways than one and I hope to believe that I came out of it a better person.

In any case, this is just an update, so don’t worry, I’ll still write about athletics :). And a happy new year to all of the readers!

By the way, the subject of my thesis is virtual reality and simulator sickness. The translated title is Virtual reality systems interaction and simulator sickness; available to download here. It’s not written in English, but the abstract is:

Virtual reality is a technology that simulates the physical presence of the user in an imaginary environment and provides an upgraded way of experiencing the artificial world. Recent technology advances make it one of the most exciting modern areas that open up unimaginable possibilities.

However, the user experience is still plagued by some problems, the most common of which is probably the so-called simulator sickness. The primary feelings of discomfort associated with simulator sickness most often occur when visual information from a simulated environment signals self-motion in the absence of any actual movement. In such a case there is a conflict between the visual, vestibular and proprioceptive senses.

In the thesis we described a brief history of virtual reality and the main causes of simulator sickness. The main part describes the creation of a mobile application for virtual reality. The application consists of a maze and three different ways of navigating through it in first person view. Human participants tested the application and gave feedback about their experience via a standardized simulator sickness evaluation questionnaire. Thus we were able to collect new data on how we can improve the user experience for the virtual reality applications in the future.

Žiga P. Škraba

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