Computer Science Professor featured in PBS special "What Lies Beaneath the Great Lakes?"
A team of researchers in Michigan has discovered a site older than the pyramids. But it’s not buried beneath the earth. It’s submerged in a hundred feet of water in Lake Huron. Robert G. Reynolds, professor in Wayne State University’s Department of Computer Science, and his students are combining data and developing a video-game engine to create a hunter's eye view of the Alpena-Amberley ridge as it was 9,000 years ago. In order to do that, they developed a 3-D virtual world by using a standard game framework. They have also created digital caribou and programmed them with an artificial version of the knowledge that caribou would have in life. “And, we allowed those caribou to move along the land bridge in ways that would be consistent with how modern caribou would move in terms of their goals,” Reynolds said. “We then trace those paths and use that information to predict where ancient hunting sites would be located. Using this technology improves the efficiency of the archeological process substantially. When we first were involved in the project, basically, intuition played a major role in where to locate sites, and now with our technology, we've been able to make it more quantitative and make it more precise.” (WSU segment – cue to 3:36)