Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Scott Owen - Chair

Second Advisor

Raj Sunderraman

Third Advisor

Irene Weber

Fourth Advisor

Yangqing Zhang

Fifth Advisor

Ying Zhu


Since the introduction of programmable Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) and procedural shaders, hardware vendors have each developed their own individual real-time shading language standard. None of these shading languages is fully platform independent. Although this real-time programmable shader technology could be developed into 3D application on a single system, this platform dependent limitation keeps the shader technology away from 3D Internet applications. The primary purpose of this dissertation is to design a framework for translating different shader formats to platform independent shaders and embed them into the eXtensible 3D (X3D) scene for 3D web applications. This framework includes a back-end core shader converter, which translates shaders among different shading languages with a middle XML layer. Also included is a shader library containing a basic set of shaders that developers can load and add shaders to. This framework will then be applied to some applications in Biomolecular Visualization.