Dr. James Marsh

Photograph of Dr. James Marsh. A post-doctoral researcher within the Advanced Interfaces Group in the School of Computer Science at The University of Manchester, my interests are predominantly in the areas of Human Computer Interaction, Software Architectures for Collaboration, and 3D Computer Graphics.


[Image of a volume rendered dataset.] [Image of a virtual prototyping application.] [Image of an avatar within PlaceWorld.] My research spans the fields of collaborative virtual reality, high performance computer graphics, scientific visualisation, distributed computation, and architectures and user interfaces for bioinformatics applications. Common to all these areas is the desire to provide better mechanisms to explore, understand, and explain vast quantities of complex data.

Successfully achieving this goal requires an understanding of how users conceptualise their data (which is often quite different to the structures and representations used within the computer), and the devising of a suitably rich interactive vocabulary that could best express the most pertinent content. The problem is further compounded when the goal of the investigation can not be defined in precise logical terms, and so mechanisms are required to effortlessly and freely explore information spaces and imbue some measure of trust or confidence.

Another aspect of this activity that is still poorly supported is that of collaborative interaction by multiple people within rich environments. My PhD involved developing a methodology and software architecture that better supports building such applications.


My PhD dissertation is available: view online or download a printable copy.

Journal Articles

S. R. Pettifer, D. Thorne, P. McDermott, J. Marsh, A. Villéger, D. B. Kell, and T. K. Attwood. Visualising biological data: a semantic approach to tool and database integration. BMC Bioinformatics, June 2009.

S. Pettifer, K. Wolstencroft, P. Alper, T. Attwood, A. Coletta, C. Goble, P. Li, P. McDermott, J. Marsh, T. Oinn, J. Sinnott, and D. Thorne. mygrid and UTOPIA: an integrated approach to enacting and visualising in silico experiments in the life sciences. Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics, June 2007.

J. M. Brooke, J. Marsh, S. Pettifer, and L. S. Sastry. The importance of locality in the visualization of large data sets. Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience, 19(2):195-205, February 2007.

J. Marsh, M. Glencross, S. Pettifer, and R. Hubbold. A network architecture supporting consistent rich behaviour in collaborative interactive applications. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 12(3):405-416, May 2006.

Books and Chapters

S. Pettifer, J. Cook, and J. Marsh. PlaceWorld, and the evolution of electronic landscapes. In D. Snowdon, S. Benford, E. Churchill, E. Frecon, and A. Munroe, editors, Inhabited Information Spaces: Living with your data, pages 25-50. Springer Verlag, December 2003. ISBN 1852337281.

Workshop and Conference Proceedings

J. Marsh, M. Glencross, S. Pettifer, R. J. Hubbold, J. Cook, and S. Daubrenet. Minimising latency and maintaining consistency in distributed virtual prototyping. In Proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH Conference on the Virtual Reality Continuum and its Applications in Industry (VRCAI04), pages 386-389, Singapore, June 2004.

J. Marsh, S. Pettifer, S. Pickles, J. McClaren, D. Hanlon, and M. Foster. GRENADE: A Grid Enabled Desktop Environment. In Proceedings of IEEE Workshop on Enabling Technology 2004, pages 343-344. IEEE Press, 2004.

M. Glencross, J. Marsh, J. Cook, S. Daubrenet, S. Pettifer, and R. Hubbold. Distributed interactive virtual prototyping. In SIGGRAPH 2002 Sketches and Applications Programme, July 2002. San Antonio, Texas.

D. Economou, B. Mitchell, S. Pettifer, J. Cook, and J. Marsh. User centered virtual actor technology development. In Proceedings of EG Virtual Reality, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage 2001, November 2001. 28th - 30th November, Glyfada, Greece.

S. Pettifer and J. Marsh. A collaborative access model for shared virtual environments. In Proceedings of IEEE WETICE 01, pages 257-272. IEEE Computer Society, June 2001. ISBN 0-7695-1271-2.

S. Pettifer, J. Cook, J. Marsh, and A. West. Deva3: Architecture for a large scale virtual reality system. In Proceedings of ACM Symposium in Virtual Reality Software and Technology 2000, pages 33-39. ACM Press, October 2000. ISBN 1-58103160-2.

J. Marsh, S. Pettifer, and A. West. A technique for maintaining continuity of perception in networked virtual environments. In Proceedings of UKVRSIG'99, September 1999. Salford, UK.


J. M. Brooke, J. Marsh, S. Pettifer, and L. Sastry. The importance of locality in the visual analysis of large datasets. In proceedings of 3rd All-Hands Meeting of the UK e-Science Programme, ISBN 1-904425-21-6, 840-846, August 2004.

S. Pickles, M. Foster, J. MacLaren, J. Marsh, and S. Pettifer. Grid Enabled Desktop Environments: The GRENADE Project. In proceedings of 2nd All-Hands Meeting of the UK e-Science Programme, September 2003. Nottingham, UK.

S.Pettifer, J. Marsh, M. Glencross, and J. M. Brooke. WEAVE: Interaction and visualization for grid enabled environments using commodity hardware. Proceedings of 1st All-Hands Meeting of the UK e-Science Programme, September 2002.

J. Marsh. A Software Architecture For Interactive Multiuser Visualisation. PhD thesis, The University of Manchester, 2002.


Room 2.92
School of Computer Science
The University of Manchester
Oxford Road
United Kingdom
M13 9PL

+44 (0)161 275 6148


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