Diane Gromala

Pioneer of VR for chronic pain. Founding Director, Chronic Pain Research Institute & Pain Research Lab. Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) computer scientist and designer.
My VR research has been recognized as one of Google’s Moonshot initiatives, and has been featured by the Discovery Channel, the BBC, the CBC, NHK, the New York Times, Cannes’ Health Lions, Wired, and Mondo 2000 (for those of you who can remember back that far) to name a few. I’m more proud that this work helps chronic pain patients, and that my collaborators are among the best pain doctors, neuroscientists, and health professionals.
First programming job: UMichigan undergrad RA, 1980. First real job: Apple Computer, 1980s.
First VR system I designed: 1991 @ Banff, then UW HITLab, then Georgia Tech.
As a designer at Apple Computer in the 1980s, I became professionally obsessed with the human sensorium & tech. via HyperCard, Apple’s first multimedia app. (way before the www).
The leap from HyperCard to VR was a small one; from design to computer science, an obvious one (Steve Jobs, RIP). The most complex leap was developing multidisciplinary tech. curricula @ UTexas, UW, Georgia Tech & Simon Fraser University — because experts from diverse domains in academia, like industry, don’t easily talk to each other. I translate across domains: computer science, clinical & health research, interactive media, interaction design, theorists & makers.

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