Pierre Boulanger Ph.D., P.Eng


Professor and CISCO Chair in Healthcare


Director of the Advanced Man-Machine Interface


Department of Computing Science

University of Alberta


Athabasca Hall, Room 411

Edmonton, Alberta

T6G 2E8, Canada

Tel: (780) 492-3031
Fax: (780) 492-1071

Email: pierreb@ualberta.ca

Who am I?

Date of Birth: April 24, 1957


Hometown: Beautiful Quebec City

I am a man who loves life, music, fine food and most importantly, ideas


A Short CV


Dr. Boulanger cumulates more than 30 years of experience in 3D computer vision, rapid product development, and the applications of virtual reality systems to medicine and industrial manufacturing. Dr. Boulanger worked for 18 years at the National Research Council of Canada as a senior research officer where his primary research interest was in 3D computer vision, rapid product development, and virtualized reality systems. He now has a double appointment as a professor at the University of Alberta Department of Computing Science and at the Department of Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging. He is currently the Director of the Advanced Man Machine Interface Laboratory (AMMI) as well as the scientific Director of the SERVIER Virtual Cardiac Centre. In 2013, Dr. Boulanger was awarded the CISCO chair in healthcare solutions, a 10 years investment by CISCO systems in the development of new IT technologies for healthcare in Canada.


His main research topics are on the development of new techniques for tele-medicine, patient specific modeling using sensor fusion, and the application of tele-presence technologies to medical training, simulation, and collaborative diagnostics. His work has contributed to gain an international recognition in this field, publishing more than 300 scientific papers and collaborating with more than 20 universities, research labs, and industrial companies across the world. He is on the editorial board of two major academic journals. Dr. Boulanger is also on many international committees and frequently gives lectures on computational medicine and augmented reality systems. Dr. Boulanger is also the president of PROTEUS Consulting Inc. a Canadian-based consulting firm specialized in visual simulation applications.

Full CV


University Education

PhD in Electrical Engineering (1994), University of Montreal (Ecole Polytechnique), Department of Electrical Engineering, Montreal, Canada.

Advising Professor: P. Cohen

Dissertation: Multi-Scale Extraction of Geometric Elements

MSc in Physics (1982), Laval University, Department of Physics Quebec City, Canada.

Advising Professor: M. Baril

Dissertation: Multi-Passage Mass Spectrometer

BSc in Engineering Physics (1980), Laval University, Department of Engineering Physics, Quebec City, Canada.

Dissertation: Design and Construction of a Multi-Channel Analyzer for an Electron Spectrometer

Research Interests

3D Computer Vision

Virtualized Reality Systems

Collaborative Virtual Environments


Medical Imaging

Physical Modeling

Sensor-Based Geometric Modeling


Sensor Fusion


Current and Past Projects


See AMMI Laboratory WebSite



Publication List

The most recent publication list can be found at: Publications


Recent Committee Work


Director of the Advanced Man-Machine Interface Laboratory

Scientific Director of the SERVIER Virtual Heart Center

Member of the Steering Committee of Smart Graphics Conference

Review Editor of Frontier in ICT Computer Image Analysis

Member of the Department of Computing Science hiring committee

Member of the CIHR-CHRP Selection Committee

Member of the Killam Prize Selection Committee

Member of the FQRNT Selection Committee

Alberta Innovates Graduate Student Scholarship Review Committee

Chair of Smart Graphics 2010

Program Committee of MVA and ICPR 2013-15

Program Committee of 3DIMPVT 2013-15


Current Grants


CISCO Chair in Healthcare Solution

Royal Alexandra Hospital (CAMIS) Grant

SERVIER University Collaboration Grants

NSERC Discovery Grant

NSERC Equipment Grant


CIHR eHealth Grant



I am currently teaching Introduction to Human Computer Interface HCI2015. The other courses I teach are:

Introduction to Computer Graphics

This course is an introduction to computer graphics concentrating on two- and three-dimensional graphics and interactive techniques. Course topics include fundamental concepts of raster graphics, simple output primitives, windowing, clipping and 2D transformations, 3D transformations, modeling and viewing, hidden-line and hidden-surface removal, illumination and shading models, morphing and warping, texture mapping, ray-tracing, radiosity, and introduction to animation.

Introduction to Virtual Reality

This graduate course introduces students to Virtual Reality from a new viewpoint called Virtualized Reality. We discuss the nuts and bolts of this rapidly growing field from display systems, software tools (VRML, Performer, and Java 3D), haptic rendering, sensor based model creation, and telepresence. This course is addressed to students with a background in graphics and computer vision.

Introduction to Multimedia Technology

This course is an introductory to basic principles and algorithms used in current technologies of multimedia systems. One of the goals of this course is to give the student hands-on experience in issues relating to multimedia data representation, compression, processing, and retrieval. In addition, the course address issues relating to sound transmission, music streaming, 2-D and 3-D graphics, image and video. It also explores human perceptual issues associated to multimedia technologies.

Introduction to Scientific Visualization

Among the greatest scientific challenges of the 21st century, will be to effectively understand and make use of the vast amount of information being produced. By its very nature, visualization addresses the challenges created by such excess: too many data points, too many variables, too many time steps, and too many potential explanations. Thus, as we work to tame the accelerating information explosion and employ it to advance scientific, biomedical, and engineering research, visualization will be among our most important tools. This course aims at introducing scientists, engineers, as well as practitioners in medicine the basic fundamentals of data visualization.

Haptics Systems

This graduate-level course is an introduction to the field of haptics focusing on tele-operated and virtual environments that are displayed through the sense of touch. Topics covered include human haptic sensing and control, design of haptic interfaces (tactile and force), haptics for teleoperation, haptic rendering and modeling of virtual environments, control and stability issues, and medical applications such as tele-surgery and surgical simulation. This course is addressed to students with interests in robotics, virtual reality, or computer-integrated surgical systems.

Real-Time Graphics Architectures and Algorithms

The computing performance of a PCs graphics chip (GPU) is now greater than that of the CPU.  This course covers recent developments in graphics architectures and programming systems, and explores related topics from general-purpose parallel computation on GPU.  The course also examines the connection between the algorithms used for real-time graphics, and the architectures that are chosen to support them.

Point Based Graphics


This course presents the latest research results in point-based computer graphics. After an overview of the key research issues, 3D scanning devices are discussed, and novel concepts for mathematical representation of point-sampled shapes are presented. The course describes methods for high-performance and high-quality rendering of point models, including advanced shading, anti-aliasing, and transparency. It also presents efficient data structures for hierarchical rendering on modern graphics processors and summarizes methods for geometric processing, filtering, re-sampling of point models, and physical modeling.


Sensor Based Modeling

In recent years, sensors and algorithms for three-dimensional (3D) imaging and modeling of real objects have received significant attention, not only in the computer vision and graphics research communities, but are also increasingly being used as tools for a variety of applications in medicine, manufacturing, archeology, and any field requiring 3D modeling of real environments. The main goal of this course is to present a general overview of digital 3D imaging technology from photogrammetry to tomographic systems and the various modeling techniques necessary to create 3D models of large and small structures that are compatible with various manufacturing and medical applications.

Programming Multi-Core Architectures

This course is intended to give students an understanding of multi-core architectures and parallel programming models. Student will get an appreciation of the problems and solutions researchers have identified in the field of multi-cores. Also, students will get experience in writing critical paper reviews and in presenting research. Finally, students will get a thorough understanding of how to write parallel programs for current multi-core architectures.

Human Computer Interaction

Being a complementary course to software engineering, we aim at educating the students to acquire a user-centered approach to software design. This implies that students must first know how humans interact with physical and information environments, and how to design software with human's information needs and their cognitive capacities in mind. In this course, we will first study some basic principles on how humans interact with computers, and then we will focus on the user-centered design cycle: user task analysis, task models, graphical interface design, prototyping, and evaluation. In addition, this course introduces several evaluation methods which help software designers discover usability problems in interface design.


Advanced Signal Processing for Computer Scientists

This class addresses the representation, analysis, and design of discrete time signals and systems. The major concepts covered include: discrete-time processing of continuous-time signals; decimation, interpolation, and sampling rate conversion; flow-graph structures for DT systems; time-and frequency-domain design techniques for recursive (IIR) and non-recursive (FIR) filters; linear prediction; discrete Fourier transform, FFT algorithm; short-time Fourier analysis and filter banks; Wavelet Transform; Wiener and Kalman Filters, and various applications. This course qualifies as a breadth requirement in theory.


Real-time Digital Signal Processing Using GPU

This class addresses the representation, analysis, and design of discrete time signals and systems. The major concepts covered include: discrete-time processing of continuous-time signals; decimation, interpolation, and sampling rate conversion; flow-graph structures for DT systems; time-and frequency-domain design techniques for recursive (IIR) and non-recursive (FIR) filters; linear prediction; discrete Fourier transform, FFT algorithm; short-time Fourier analysis and filter banks; multivariate techniques; Wavelet Transform; Cepstral analysis, Wiener and Kalman Filters, and various applications. We also discuss and analyze the GPU implementations of many of these algorithms.


Fundamentals of Medical Imaging


The course will first review two dimensional signal processing theory after reviewing one dimensional signal processing and sampling. We will then study four general medical imaging modalities: projection radiography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and ultrasound. The goal will be to understand these modalities in terms familiar to engineers and physicists. Flexibility exists for the instructor to vary the depth and penetration of each topic area after determining the general background and experience of the students.


Computers and Society


The course deals with moral, legal and social issues of computer technology. Many ethical issues that did not exist before are now omnipresent. For example, one can get our news from many free, online sources but their existence is threatening the existence of the newspapers that employ the reporters who gather the news. Social media are a great way to interact but they can threaten personal privacy. This course explore these issues and more.



Current Graduate Students



Post-docs and Visiting Professors


Kevin Chan, Postdoc, Microwave Tomography, in collaboration of Prof. Rambabu Karumudi, ECE, UofA.



PhD Students


Rositsa Bogdanova, PhD, Three-Dimensional Eye Tracking in a Surgical Scenario, in collaboration with Dr. Zheng, Dept. Surgery, UofA.


Nathanial Maeda, PhD, Chiropractic Simulator, in collaboration with Prof. Jason Carey, Mechanical Engineering, UofA.


Amir Ali Sharifi, PhD, Enhancing Perception in Medical Direct Volume Rendering, in collaboration with Dr. Noga, Dept. Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging, UofA.


Master Students


Simon Byrns, MSc, Sensor-based Open Surgery Task Analysis, in collaboration with Dr. Zheng, Dept. Surgery, UofA.


Mike Feist, MSc, Multiview 3D Sensing


Nehan Khan, MSc, Multi-view Ultrasound Fusion, in collaboration with Dr. Punithakumar, SERVIER Virtual Cardiac Centre, UofA.


David Pinzon, MSc, Haptic Guidance in Surgical Training, in collaboration with Dr. Zheng, Dept. Surgery, UofA.


Ian Watts, MSc, Augmented Reality Using Direct Patient Projection


Ray Yang, MSc, CUDA-based Dose Calculations for Radiation Therapy Dosimetry, in collaboration with Dr. Fallone, Dept. Medical Physics, Cross Cancer Institute.





Current Collaborations



Creaform 3D inc.

InnovMteric Inc.


Cybera Inc.

Laval University Computer Vision Laboratory

Simon Frazer University IRMAC

National University of Columbia, Colombia

University of Los Andes, Colombia

UofA Department of Physics

UofA Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

UofA Mechanical Engineering Department

National Research Council, Institute for Information Technology

CNRS/LIMSI Laboratory, Orsay, France

INSA, Ampere Laboratory, Lyon, France

UofA Department of Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging

Centre for the Advancement of Minimally Invasive Surgery (CAMIS), an Alberta Health Services (AHS)

Institute for Reconstructive Sciences in Medicine (iRSM)

Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine

AHS Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital

Alberta Diabetes Institute - University of Alberta

Surgical Simulation Research Lab

Medical Physics Division, Dept. Oncology, Cross Cancer Institute


Last Update November 2015