Basilica Ulpia AR (in the lab)

Basilica Ulpia AR + The Trajan Puzzle Project

Rome, Italy

December, 2017

Dig@Lab, Duke University 

The Museum of Imperial Fora and Trajan's Markets

Constructed sometime between the first and second centuries AD by the Roman emperor Trajan, the Basilica Ulpia was once the center of all political activity in Rome. Though not a religious structure, with a long central nave bookended by two semi-circular domed apses, the Basilica Ulpia served as a distinctive architectural model for many religious basilicas and public places of congregation that would follow in the years of Constantine (and beyond). 

Only some skeletal features of the basilica still stand today. An ongoing archaeological excavation, beginning in 1985, has lead to the discovery of over 40,000 fragments of treasures and ornamentation that once adorned the original structure, mostly commemorating Trajan's legendary conquest over the Dacians.

The Trajan Puzzle Project is a collaborative effort between Duke University, the Museum of Imperial Fora, and the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage in Rome. The goal of the project is to re-define archaeology in the 21st-century through digital means for historical/cultural visualization and access to rare artifacts. 

The Museum of Imperial Fora and Trajan's Markets now houses a series of interactive installations featuring 3D-reconstructed artifacts and theoretical models of the original appearance of the Basilica Ulpia that I made with the Dig@Lab at Duke. Among these installations is Basilica Ulpia AR, a table-sized augmented reality exhibit that invites visitors to explore the facade and interior of a highly detailed reconstruction.  The app, which I developed, is available on the iOS App Store. 

Read more about the Trajan Puzzle Project here:

Check out some of the 3D reconstructed artifacts at their temporary home on Sketchfab

My contributions: AR app development, 3D modeling + optimization, exhibit/installation design, photogrammetry

Collaborators: Nevio Danelon, Maurizio Forte


Sunset from Cerro Pachón (18s)

Sunset from Cerro Pachón (18s)
Sunset from Cerro Pachón (18s)
Play Video

Sunset from Cerro Pachón (18s)

Vijay Rajkumar
Opening The Dome (SOAR Telescope)
Play Video

Opening The Dome (SOAR Telescope)

Vijay Rajkumar
SOAR Telescope 360 Demo Reel
Play Video

SOAR Telescope 360 Demo Reel

Vijay Rajkumar

Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope (SOAR)

Cerro Pachón, Chile 

October, 2016

National Optical Astronomy Observatory 

UNC Chapel Hill

In October 2016, I travelled on-assignment to the remote Cerro Pachón, located in the Chilean foothills of the Andes mountains, to help produce a multi-media feature on the Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope (SOAR). I filmed 360˚ virtual reality footage to accompany video, photo and written content produced by my journalist colleagues. 

My contributions: 360˚ filming, stitching + editing, drone operation, project planning + production

Collaborators: Jaclyn Lee, Aly Moser, Delaney McGuire, Alexa Phillips 



"Following two nights of protests, marchers gathered outside the Omni Hotel where a man had been shot the previous night. They took to the streets of Charlotte and also gathered at the police station asking for the tapes to be released. Most of the evening was peaceful as the group protested through the Uptown area and past Bank of America stadium. As the recently instituted curfew drew near, protesters made their way to I-277 where they finally clashed with police. Even though traffic had already been stopped, officers in riot gear moved the protestors off the highway."

Protests on the streets of Charlotte

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

September 22, 2016

The Washington Post

UNC Chapel Hill

On-assignment for the Washington Post and UNC.


Coverage, in 360˚ video, of the third consecutive night of protests, which had turned violent, after Keith Scott was fatally shot by a police officer in Charlotte, NC

As this was a breaking news story, the project required quick thinking while in a volatile environment and a fast turn-around to be published in the Washington Post's live coverage of the events. 


This was one of the first ever breaking news stories captured in virtual reality to be published by a major media outlet. 


My contributions: 360˚ filming, stitching + editing

Collaborators: Adam Lau, Steven King


FirstLook UNC

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA



UNC Chapel Hill

A collaboration between UNC Chapel Hill and the federal initiative "Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs" (GEAR UP)

Through a series of 360˚ videos, the FirstLook UNC app provides middle schoolers with the opportunity to walk in the shoes of a college student and experience what life could be like on a university campus. 

Read more about the GEAR UP program here:

My contributions: 360˚ filming, stitching + editing

Collaborators: Steven King