The Advanced Visualization Laboratory’s (AVL) mission is to communicate science, inspiring audiences to learn about scientific concepts through capturing the thrill of scientific discovery and wonder of complex systems. Working in close collaboration with domain scientists, AVL creates high-resolution, cinematic, data-driven scientific visualizations.

These visualizations provide insight into computational science—a key method of contemporary science–since they are based on supercomputer-generated models of scientific theories about natural phenomenon that are so advanced they could not be brought to the public in any other way. AVL shares its work with the world through shows featured in digital full-dome planetariums, IMAX theaters, and documentary television.

In order to perform this cyberoutreach, AVL develops and uses a unique cyberinfrastructure, which includes visualization pipelines built from customized software and hardware elements.  At AVL, we are continually advancing our capabilities through developing new cybertechnologies, advanced visualization tools, and software production methods.  The cyberinfrastructure we have developed and continues to grow is especially suited to the type of visualization in which we specialize: the cosmos and the climate.

Each member of the AVL team plays a unique role and contributes a variety of skills to the process, development, and production.  Our expertise includes advanced graphics and visualization techniques, artistic design, cinematic choreography, multimedia and video production, and data management and render wrangling.

The lab is part of the University of Illinois’s National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), which is dedicated to providing powerful computers and expert support to help thousands of scientists and engineers across the country improve our world.

AVL is also a technical research and creative production partner of eDream (the Emerging Digital Research and Education in Arts Media Institute).