ECE Graduate Students Place in Digital Media Contest

Sponsored by LSU's Communication Across the Curriculum, Digital Media Fest was held in April to celebrate LSU students involved in producing intellectual and creative work using digital media, both in and out of the classroom. Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) graduate students John Harvey and Raghavendra Kongari participated in this year's event, placing second in the Technical and Scientific Category. Voted on by academic and industry experts, they were also presented with the College of Engineering Dean's Excellence Award and a cash stipend of $300.

The team's project entitled, "Escher Illusion," is an animation based upon Waterfall, a lithograph by Dutch artist M.C. Escher. The lithograph shows a waterwheel-powered mill. Water drops off the wheel onto a viaduct which snakes backward along a level course until reaching a position that appears to be over the waterwheel; there the water drops back onto the wheel, completing a perpetual motion machine.

According to Harvey, "the project involves an animation with a semi-circular track where rolling balls navigate the track, fall off the end and then teleport back. It's an illusion because you don't notice the teleportation." The animation is driven by a simulation of balls and surfaces which, except for the teleportation, is physically accurate.

Upon encouragement from ECE associate professor David Koppelman, these ECE students entered the competition using the programming skills in C++ and OpenGL learned in Koppelman's "GPU Microarchitecture" class.

Harvey, a first year ECE graduate student, is from St. Francisville, while Kongari, from India, is in his second year of graduate school at LSU.

For more information on the Digital Media Festival, visit

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Article by Tammy V. Abshire, Associate Director of Development & Communications, LSU College of Engineering, ECE Department, 225-578-5478,