Dr. Carolina Cruz-Neira, director of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s George W. Donaghey Emerging Analytics Center, has been recognized as one of the greatest innovators in virtual reality by two publications.
The gaming website Polygon named Cruz-Neira as one of the top 25 virtual reality innovators in its October cover story for her work on the CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment), a virtual reality room that immerses users in the experience by projecting 3-D images onto walls.
Cruz-Neira designed the CAVE in 1992 as part of her Ph.D. thesis, and she also designed the CAVELib, the software used to develop applications in the CAVE.
In a second article, University Herald highlighted Cruz-Neira as one of the three greatest female innovators in virtual reality.
Cruz-Neira received a Ph.D. in 1995 and a master’s degree in 1991, both in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in systems engineering in 1987 from the Universidad Metropolitana.
Her work with advanced technologies, driven by simplicity and applicability, provides value to a wide range of disciplines and businesses. She has received multi-million dollar awards from the National Science Foundation, the Army Research Lab, the Department of Energy, and Deere and Company, among others.
Part of her career has been dedicated to transferring research results into daily use. Cruz spearheaded several open source initiatives to disseminate and grow practical technologies by leading initiatives to commercialize results. She serves in many international technology boards and government technology advisory committees.
At UALR, Cruz-Neira has built the Emerging Analytics Center into a strong base of multidisciplinary, applied research, where faculty, researchers, and students explore advanced applications of virtual reality, mixed reality, and visualization.