Peter Coppin


Peter Coppin is a PhD student in the Faculty of information/Knowledge Media Design Institute at the University of Toronto where he is researching the cognitive affordances of illustrations (i.e. how people mentally process ideas that they experience through visuals), especially relative to text. This research focus adds a social scientific layer to his background that began in visual art and design, evolved to engineering, virtual presence applied to education and science visualization, business, and now the social sciences here at U of T.  Previously Coppin developed “remote experiences” for the public by creating systems that delivered data from remote rovers operating in extreme environments. Coppin developed this work as Director of the NASA funded EventScope Project within the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University [CMU]. At CMU Coppin also directed the BigSignal Project, one of the first telescience interfaces for educational audiences.  Prior to BigSignal, Coppin was a nationally and internationally exhibiting electronic media artist and designer, operating under the group alias “Centre for Metahuman Exploration,” that he was a founding member of in the late 90s. In this capacity, Coppin developed telerobotic works and interactive television shows for venues such as the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria; MIR: Art in Space in Bolzono, Italy; the SIGGRAPH Touchware Exhibition in Orlando, Florida and others.  Coppin also directed research and development projects for EventScope’s commercial spin-off, developing and patenting remote experience technologies to solve problems for various NASA and university customers.  Occasionally Coppin taught human centered art and technology project classes such as “Telepresence Art and Applications,” listed within departments at Carnegie Mellon such as the Human-Computer Interaction Institute, the School of Art, the Entertainment Technology Center and the Robotics Institute.