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 Maxine Brown is the Director of the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) and the Software Technologies Research Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Her research interests include computer graphics, scientific visualization, collaboration, human-computer interfaces, high-performance computing, and international network infrastructure. Brown is principal investigator of the US National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for “COMPaaS” (award in process), which will be an advanced computer system for deep learning and visualization for researchers in the UIC College of Engineering. She is co-principal investigator of the NSF "Scalable Amplified Group Environment (SAGE2)” award, a software framework that provides users with the ability to share digital content with local and remote collaborators on scalable tiled display walls. Brown is co-principal investigator of the NSF-funded "StarLight Software Defined Networking Exchange (SDX)" initiative, and was previously co-principal investigator of several global network infrastructure initiatives. She was co-principal investigator of EVL’s "CAVE2 virtual-reality environment," introduced in 2012.

Brown is the UIC representative and Past President of the Board of Directors of the Great Lakes Consortium for Petascale Computing, organized by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. She is a founding member of the Pacific Rim Applications and Grid Middleware Assembly (PRAGMA) and the Global Lambda Integrated Facility (GLIF), and serves on the Advisory Board of the Collaborations to Enable Transnational Cyberinfrastructure Applications (CENTRA). Most recently, she is a member of the Distributed Collaboration Environments Working Group organized by the University of Illinois System’s Discovery Partners Institute. Brown has been active in the ACM SIGGRAPH organization and in SIGGRAPH and ACM/IEEE Supercomputing conferences. In recognition of her services to UIC and the community at large, Brown is a recipient of the 1990 UIC Chancellor’s Academic Professional Excellence (CAPE) award; the 2001 UIC Merit Award; and the 1998 ACM SIGGRAPH Outstanding Service Award. In 2009, Chicago’s award-winning multimedia public affairs series “Chicago Matters: Beyond Burnham” designated Brown as one of 15 Global Visionaries for her role in co-developing the StarLight exchange, located in Chicago. She is a featured contributor in New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts (2018) published by the University of Illinois Press.


Colleen Bushell is the interface designer of the first visual browser, Mosaic, a technology that led to the popularization of Internet browsing in the early ’90s. She pioneered digital visualization techniques as one of the first designers at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) Visualization Group. As a Chicago native daughter, the Midwest influenced her visual approach to the design of information. Bushell began her undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois in graphic design and additionally included fine arts courses. She was cofounder and director of product development at RiverGlass Inc., a spin-off company from the University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and now holds a senior research scientist position at UIUC’s Applied Research Institute developing visual analytics for biomedical research and health care. She leads the visualization research effort for the National Institutes of Health’s Center of Excellence in Big Data at UIUC’s Institute of Genomic Biology.

Bushell collaborates with doctors and researchers at the Mayo Clinic, Northwestern University, and UIUC, discovering biomarkers and integrating genomic and microbiome data into clinical practice. She was a tenured professor at UIUC in graphic design and continues her interest in teaching by working with students through NCSA’s student innovation program. She and her husband, Peter, and their two sons and daughter live in Mahomet, Illinois. She is a featured contributor in New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts (2018) published by the University of Illinois Press.


Donna J. Cox, MFA, PhD, is the first Michael Aiken Chair, professor in the School of Art and Design, Director of the Advanced Visualization Laboratory (AVL), Director for Research & Education, and Culture & Society at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Cox is an internationally acclaimed computer artist, designer, writer, and recognized groundbreaker in scientific and data visualization. She coined the term “Renaissance Teams” to describe interdisciplinary teams who address grand challenges through the visualization of large-scale data and computational science. AVL develops advanced technologies including virtual reality for design, insight, discovery, and to captivate the broad public with the stories of natural phenomenon. She and her collaborators have thrilled millions around the world with stunning cinematic presentations of data for giant-screen productions, digital museum shows, IMAX movies, and HD/4K and stereo documentaries.

Cox was art director of scientific visualization for the Academy Award nominated IMAX film, Cosmic Voyage, 1997.  AVL contributed major scenes to the IMAX film, Hubble 3D which was honored with three giant screen awards for best picture, choreography, and life-long learning, 2010.  AVL’s latest popular productions include the Solar Superstorms fulldome documentary narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, 2015, and A Beautiful Planet IMAX 3D movie, 2016, narrated by Jennifer Lawrence. The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry selected Cox as one of 40 modern-day Leonardo DaVinci’s. In February 2017, the IMERSA international organization awarded Cox with a lifetime achievement award for lasting and positive contributions to the digital dome and big screen community. In March 2018, she received the Economic Development Corporation Innovation Transfer Award—University of Illinois in recognition of her work with the potential for significant societal impact. She is a co-editor and contributor of New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts (2018) published by the University of Illinois Press.


Carolina Cruz-Neira is known as the co-inventor of the CAVE and the original developer of the CAVELibs. She spearheaded the open-source virtual reality (VR) application program interface (API) movement with the development of VR Juggler and has been an advocate of best practices on how to build and run VR facilities and applications. She is also known for conceiving, developing, and operating large-scale virtual reality research centers, such as the Virtual Reality Applications Center (VRAC) at Iowa State University and the Emerging Analytics Center at the University of Arkansas–Little Rock, as well as for implementing innovative graduate degree programs aligned with the centers’ activities. She has chaired several international conferences, given over one hundred keynote addresses, served on a number of review boards for national and international funding agencies, and participated in technology advisory task forces in countries around the world, defining the research directions of her field. Many of her former students are now doing leading work in VR at places such as Unity Labs, Intel, Microsoft Research, Google, DreamWorks, EA, Deere & Company, Boeing, Sony Pictures Imageworks, and Argonne National Laboratory.

Beyond her academic career, Dr. Cruz is a business entrepreneur. She cofounded Glass House Studio and Infiscape Corporation. She serves on several industry advisory boards and has performed corporate consulting for companies around the world due to her expertise and visionary take on virtual reality. She has also designed and produced stage performances and public exhibits in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Orlando, Madrid, Barcelona, Florence, Paris, and other places, combining technology, dance, theater, and art. Among her many achievements, Business Week magazine named Dr. Cruz a “rising research star” in the new generation of computer science pioneers. She received the Boeing A. D. Welliver Award in 2001, the Virtual Reality Technical Achievement Award from the IEEE Society in 2007, the Career Achievement Award from the International Digital Media and the Arts Association in 2009, and the Arkansas Research Alliance Scholar Award in 2014. She was inducted as Eminent Engineer by the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors Society in 2002 and inducted as a Computer Graphics Pioneer by the ACM SIG- GRAPH society in 2003. Dr. Cruz has a PhD in electrical engineering and computer science (EECS) from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) (1995) and a master’s degree in EECS at UIC (1991). She graduated cum laude in systems engineering at the Universidad Metropolitana at Caracas, Venezuela, in 1987. She is a featured contributor in New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts (2018) published by the University of Illinois Press.


Margaret Dolinsky is an Associate Professor of Digital Art at the School of Fine Arts, and Senior Research Scientist with the Pervasive Technology Institute. She is an associate member of the Cognitive Science Program Faculty and a Fellow with the Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities. She co-chairs the IS&T conference, The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality. Her research into digital art and interactive technologies for museums, VR theaters, operas and stage productions has been seen at ACM SIGGRAPH, Ars Electronica Center in Linz, Austria, NCC’s InterCommunication Center in Tokyo, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. She was commissioned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art to create “Cabinet of Dreams” a VR experience of Chinese antiquities. Work shown in China includes VR and "Emotable Portraits" which uses facial detection. She co-produced and designed stage sets for several productions with Timothy Nelson, Director of American Opera Theater.

Dolinsky’s research focuses on how digital imagery provokes shifts in perception and enhances sensory awareness through interactive experiences. Her work is published in such places as Leonardo, Intelligent Agent, US World & News and many conference proceedings. She has received several awards including the Techpoint’s Leading Light award for Outstanding Educator in Science, Technology or Engineering. She has served on the Board of Directors of the New Media Caucus and as an Associate Editor of Media-N Journal. She has an MFA from the Electronic Visualization Laboratory, University of Illinois at Chicago and a Ph.D. with the Center for Advanced Inquiry in the Integrative Arts at Plymouth University, U.K.‚Äč


Janine Fron is a new media artist, educator and independent game designer. Fron is a member of the Chicago-based (art)n collective, whose works have been exhibited internationally and are in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, International Center of Photography, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Commissioned installations include the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, Smithsonian Institution, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, State of Illinois Art-in-Architecture Program, and the City of Chicago Public Art Program.  Fron is the managing director of the Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Collection and a visiting scholar of culture and society, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  She also contributed to experimental, interactive media arts initiatives at Columbia College Chicago and the University of Southern California.  Fron cofounded and contributed to the Ludica game art collective in Los Angeles with an inclusive message of “Play Belongs to Everyone” to encourage women to be part of the creative process of making games and to support alternative forms of play.  She co-presented workshops and papers with Ludica at the Digital Arts Community, Digital Games Research Association, SIGGRAPH, and the International Society of Experimental Artists.

Fron additionally explored alternative methods of education as they relate to cultural enrichment and play.  She has instructed game design courses/lessons, game workshops, playful activities, and guest lectured at Columbia College Chicago, Northwestern University, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, University of Wisconsin-Madison, St. Mary’s College, Cranbrook Schools, Chicago Public Schools, and the Chicago Park District.   Co-authored publications that emphasize collaboration as a creative process include Feminist Media StudiesGames and Culture, The MIT Press, and the University of Chicago Cultural Policy Center.   She is a co-editor and contributor of New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts (2018) published by the University of Illinois Press. 


Copper Frances Giloth is currently Professor of Art at the University of Massachusetts Amherst having joined the faculty in 1985; she currently teaches courses in Digital Media, Information Design, Mobile Apps and Drawing. Previously, she spent many years as Director of Academic Computing in the Office of Information Technologies while continuing to teach part-time.

Giloth’s projects take the form of drawings, books, animations, videos, websites and installations. Her work has been exhibited in the U.S., Japan, Canada, and across Europe. In July 2014, she released “Labyrinth-of-Fables,” a 3D virtual reality mobile app that allows users to experience the Labyrinth of Versailles—which was constructed starting in 1665 and destroyed in 1775—either remotely or at the original site (http://www.labyrinth-of-fables.com/en/). An HTC Vive VR version was released in June 2018 improving upon an earlier Oculus Rift version from 2015. Her series of laser cut prints, “Alphabet Gestures,” was at Odetta Gallery, New York, in April–-May 2018 during Creative Tech Week and a solo exhibition of her artist book/daily practice piece “The Sudoku Diaries: Gaining or Seeding Control” was on view at Herter Gallery at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in Sep–-Oct 2015. Her research papers can be found at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Copper_Giloth2

In 1980, she was the first graduate of the MFA program in Electronic Visualization at the University of Illinois Chicago. Much of her earliest work was among the pioneering efforts in the then nascent field of computer art and computer graphics.  She organized the first two international ACM Siggraph Art Show competitions in 1982 and 1983. The latter travelled to 30 locations in the U.S., Canada, France, and Japan. Her website documenting the1982 exhibition is located at: http://people.umass.edu/sig82art/.  She is featured in New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts (2018) published by the University of Illinois Press.


Brenda Laurel has worked in interactive media since 1976 as a designer, researcher, writer and teacher. She worked in the computer game industry from Atari to Activision. She also worked in research labs at Atari, Interval Research, and Sun Labs where she was a Distinguished Engineer. She co-founded Telepresence Research, a VR research and production company, in 1989.

Based on her research in gender and technology at Interval Research (1992-1996), she co-founded Purple Moon in 1996 to create interactive media for girls. She designed and chaired the Graduate Media Design Program at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena (2001-2006) and the Graduate Design Program at California College of the Arts (2006-2012). Most recently she served as an adjunct professor in Computational Media and research associate in the Digital Arts and New Media programs at U. C. Santa Cruz. As founder of Neogaian Interactive, her current work focuses on design research to help design and game companies that promote inclusivity and social justice in their work. In 2015 she received the Trailblazer Award from Indiecade for her distinguished accomplishment over a career of game creation. In 2018, she was honored by the Virtual World Society with the Nextant Prize. She also serves on the Board of Directors of IxDA Global and the Virtual World Society.

Her books include The Art of Human-Computer Interface Design (1990), Utopian Entrepreneur (2001), Design Research: Methods and Perspectives (2004), and Computers as Theatre, Second Edition (2014). She earned her BA (1972) from DePauw University and her MFA (1975) and PhD in Drama Theory and Criticism (1986) from the Ohio State University.  Among her favorite activities are snorkeling, underwater photography, abalone diving, and trekking in open country. She is a featured contributor in New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts (2018) published by the University of Illinois Press.


Dana Plepys began her interest in electronic art and technology in 1977 while pursuing a BFA (1981) at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  Her interest in Generative Systems and photomechanical serigraphy led her to experimental video and computer graphics research at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL), University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where she earned her MFA in 1984.  Her early work focused on live performance of real-time video capture and image processing layered with computer graphics.  Post-graduate school Plepys began mentoring technologists and artists through her teaching at UIC, Columbia College and Northeastern Illinois University.  Her professional career began as a videographer and editor of documentary programs and broadcast commercials.  Among her early successes was as a computer graphics designer for what was the world’s first interactive television and shopping experience with Telaction Corporation.  She continued her career developing interactive applications for industry with an emphasis on user interface design and human computer interaction before returning to UIC as an academic professional in 1991.

Plepys is now an associate director with EVL/UIC responsible for unit operations, research administration, business and financial affairs.  Her contribution to EVL also includes project management for technology transfer activities to industry and affiliated laboratories, oversight for the development of tools, techniques, and systems for advanced visualization applications, website development and media production documenting EVL’s research. Over the last decade, Dana Plepys has also been the director and curator of the CineGrid Exchange, a distributed digital media repository and archive supporting CineGrid member-driven testbeds for research and experimentation in digital media asset management, distribution and preservation applications. Since 1993, Plepys has been editor of the SIGGRAPH Video Review (SVR), one of the world’s most widely circulated and comprehensive video-based publications showcasing the latest concepts in computer graphics and interactive techniques.  She has produced over 190 issues of the SVR, and is actively involved in the preservation of the SIGGRAPH computer graphics historical archive. She is a featured contributor in New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts (2018) published by the University of Illinois Press.


Mary Rasmussen, professor emeritus at the University of Illinois, is a new media artist and bio-visualization specialist. As a graduate student, she was part of a team that developed soft-ware to aid in the location of missing children. In 1989, Rasmussen graduated with an MFA from the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and joined the faculty of the Biomedical Visualization Department at UIC. She developed and taught the department’s first computer classes for medical illustrators and sculptors. In 1997 she founded the Virtual Reality in Medicine Laboratory (VRMedLab) at UIC. She led collaborative teams of surgeons, medical specialists, computer scientists, and artists to create networked virtual reality applications for educational and clinical use, and she developed the grants that provided the VRMedLab’s public and private funding. She led teams that received the Dr. Frank Netter Award for Special Contributions to Medical Education in 1998 and 2007. She is a featured contributor in New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts (2018) published by the University of Illinois Press.


Ellen Sandor is a new media artist and founding director of the collaborative artists’ group, (art)n.  In 1975, she received an MFA in Sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her SAIC experiences inspired her passion for photography, sculpture, and video, while intrigued by the spiritual nature of Outsider Art.  In the early 1980s, Sandor had the vision to integrate these elements with other art forms including computer graphics that resulted in a new medium she called PHSColograms, which are 3D barrier-screen computer-generated photographs and sculptures. The works of (art)n have been exhibited internationally by the U.S. Department of State Art in Embassies Program, Galeria Arteconsult, Panama, DAM [Berlin], and Musée Carnavalet, Paris; and are in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, Victoria & Albert Museum, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, International Center of Photography, Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art–The University of Oklahoma, and others. Commissions include Museum of Jewish Heritage-A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, Smithsonian Institution, The City of Chicago Public Art Program, State of Illinois Art-in-Architecture Program, and SmithBucklin Corporation. The collaborative nature of PHSColograms led Sandor to work with scientists, technologists, and thinkers from distinguished institutions and universities including The Scripps Research Institute, NASA Ames, Langley and Lewis Research Centers, University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Illinois.  She collaborated with artists who share her enthusiasm for pushing conceptual and technical boundaries, including Ed Paschke, Martyl, Karl Wirsum, Christopher Landreth and Claudia Hart.

Sandor co-authored U.S. and international patents awarded to her for the PHSCologram process and co-authored published papers in Computers & Graphics, IEEE, and SPIE. She is an eDream Affiliate and Visiting Scholar of Culture & Society, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Affiliate Graduate Faculty, University of Arkansas at Little Rock; Secretary, Board of Eyebeam; and Advisory Board Chair, Gene Siskel Film Center, School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She serves on the Board of Governors, School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is a Life Trustee of the Art Institute of Chicago.  In 2012, Sandor received the Thomas R. Leavens Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts through Lawyers for the Creative Arts, and in 2013, received the Gene Siskel Film Center Outstanding Leadership Award.

Sandor is also cofounder of the Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Collection, and in 2014, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was awarded Fermilab's Artist in Residence for 2016. In 2017, she was honored by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for her longstanding commitment to integrating art and science. She is a co-editor and contributor of New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts (2018) published by the University of Illinois Press.


Barbara Sykes became one of Chicago’s pioneer New Media artists whose tapes, multi-media installations and interactive computer and dance performances have received international acclaim since 1974.  She created an international precedent for Chicago’s new media art, including Barbara’s 1988-1989 tour with her “Retrospective” and her curated exhibition, “Video and Computer Art: Chicago Style,” in Japan, Australia, Spain and as the first woman video artist to present in China. While a Columbia College Professor of Television, she created pivotal cross-institutional collaborations to showcase new media theorists and artists. Barbara’s earliest, groundbreaking work includes performances of “The Poem,” 1975, and “Circle 9 Sunrise,” 1976, with Tom DeFanti and Drew Browning during the first live computer performances of their kind, and “Electronic Masks,”1978, her solo piece which illustrated unprecedented skills in electronic image generation.

Barbara’s strength as a storyteller is grounded in an aesthetic sophistication of great emotional depth that depicts the underlying sacred nature of the people and events portrayed, blending startling beauty and true immediacy into mythic visual poetry.  Inspired by various stages of awareness and indigenous cultures’ female leaders, rituals, dance and music, her performance-based video poems and mythic stories evoked a primordial and futuristic sensibility using experimental and state-of-the-art technology with martial arts and dance. The recipient of numerous grants and artists residencies, Barbara traveled throughout Asia, the Mid-East and Africa in research and production of “In Celebration of Life… In Celebration of Death….,” her award winning

series of experimental ethnographic documentaries and “Amma, A Documentary of a Living Saint,” an exquisitely beautiful, extraordinarily powerful portrayal of a world-renown woman spiritual leader and global social activist.  She is a featured contributor in New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts (2018) published by the University of Illinois Press.


Joan Truckenbrod’s artwork mediates between digital technology and the resonance of nature.  Developing algorithms and creating FORTRAN programs to make marks that embodied invisible phenomena in the natural world, she created series of plotter drawings and digital textiles.  The Whitney Museum of American Art has acquired some of these drawings from 1975, and a textile from 1979 for their Digital Art Collection.  These artworks are included in the exhibition “Programmed: Rules, Codes and Choreographies, 1965 - 2018”.  This early artwork is also in the Textile Collection at The Art Institute of Chicago, the Block Museum of Art and the State of Illinois Museum.  Ms Truckenbrod’s artwork has been exhibited internationally, including the IBM Gallery in New York City, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., Museu de Arte Moderna in Rio de Janeiro, Musee d'Art Modern de la ville de Paris, Les Cite des Arts et des Nouvelles Technologies de Montreal, and the Villa Chianni in Lugano, Switzerland.   Her work has been shown in one person exhibits in Paris, London, Wiesbaden and Berlin, Chicago, and Kansas City.

Her book The Paradoxical Object: Video Film Sculpture, (2012) presents artists that have inspired her, with her recent video sculpture.  Telos published Portfolio Collection, Joan Truckenbrod (2005), about Ms. Truckenbrod’s textile art.  Prentice Hall published Creative Computer Imaging in 1987, a book she developed about early experimental artwork created with the Apple IIe. She has an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is Professor Emeritus at the Art and Technology Department at The School of the Art Institute for 25 years.  Oregon is now the home of her studio practice.  She is a featured contributor in New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts (2018) published by the University of Illinois Press.

October 11, 2018