Virtual Heritage

Are you interested in bringing the past to life?

The virtual heritage track allows you to study how information technology can be applied to the traditional goals of cultural heritage professionals: discovery, recording, restoration, analysis, interpretation, and transmission of 3D human creations.

In this track, you’ll receive practical training in the use of 3D tools for analysis of cultural heritage objects and hone your ability to conceptualize and demonstrate how to use these tools to develop new and compelling solutions to important problems faced in fields such as:

  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Conservation
  • Exhibition design
  • Egyptology
  • Art and architectural history

You’ll focus on digitization of 3D objects, including digitally restoring objects to their original condition by using best practices of the profession and time-tested principles of art and architectural restoration. You’ll learn how to publish your 3D models on web pages, print them on a 3D printer, and visualize them interactively in a virtual reality environment to make the items more available to researchers.

Visit the Virtual World Heritage Laboratory

Track Guide

Track faculty


Profile picture of Gabriele Guidi

: Track Director

From 1999 Gabriele Guidi began to do research on 3D imaging technologies applied to Cultural Heritage, leading the digitization of important artworks from Donatello and Leonardo da Vinci. He developed methods for integrating active and passive 3D devices, for 3D equipment characterization and for large-scale 3D digitization in museums.He is now involved in the application of 3D Digitization to cultural heritage, industrial design, mechanical engineering, and art.

Profile picture of Bernie Frischer

Theory and practice of Virtual Heritage, use of game engines for historical simulation, virtual archaeoastronomy, application of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in museums and on cultural heritage sites, digital reconstruction of the monuments of ancient Rome and other sites of the classical world.

Affiliated Track Faculty


A student must successfully complete ninety (90) credit hours of graduate-level coursework. The specific track requirements are listed below.

Required Courses

All required courses provided by faculty in Virtual Heritage are open to students from other tracks and programs.

  • Informatics Core Requirements (6 cr.)
    • INFO I501 Introduction to Informatics (3 cr.)
    • INFO I502 Human-Centered Research (3 cr.)
  • Virtual Heritage Core Requirements (9 cr.)
    • INFO I587 Introduction to Virtual Heritage (3 cr.)
    • INFO I588 Advanced Topics in Virtual Heritage (3 cr.)
    • INFO I698 Research in Informatics: Virtual Heritage Laboratories (3 cr.)
  • Seminar Requirements (6 cr.)
    • INFO I609 Seminar I in Informatics (3 cr.)
    • INFO I709 Seminar II in Informatics (3 cr.)

NOTE: A student must take I609 and/or I709.

  • Research Rotation Requirement (6 cr.)
    • INFO I790 Informatics Research Rotation (3cr.)

NOTE: A student must complete two rotations of I790. A third rotation will not count for course credit.

  • Theory and Methodology Requirement (12 cr.)

NOTE: These courses must be appropriate for a Ph.D. in Informatics.

  • Minor (6-15 cr.)

NOTE: Typical minors include Archaeology, Art History, Anthropology, Egyptology.

  • Thesis Reading and Research (minimum of 21 cr. and a maximum of 30 cr.)
    • INFO I890 Thesis Readings and Research

Optional Courses

In addition to required courses, students are encouraged to take the following courses:

  • INFO I590  Topics in Informatics Virtual World Design
  • CSCI B657 Computer Vision