Professor Carolina Cruz-Neira

Professor Carolina Cruz-Neira

Dr. Carolina Cruz-Neira, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, is a pioneer in the areas of virtual reality and interactive visualization, having created and deployed a variety of technologies that have become standard tools in industry, government and academia.

She is known world-wide for being the creator of the CAVE virtual reality system.

She has dedicated a part of her career to transfer research results into daily use by spearheading several Open Source initiatives to disseminate and grow VR technologies and by leading entrepreneurial initiatives to commercialize research results. She has over 100 publications as scientific articles, book chapters, magazine editorials and others.

She has been awarded over $75 million in grants, contracts, and donations. She is also recognized for having founded and led very successful virtual reality research centers, like the Virtual Reality Applications Center at Iowa State University, the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise and now the Emerging Analytics Center.

She has been named one of the top innovators in virtual reality and one of the top three greatest women visionaries in this field.

BusinessWeek magazine identified her as a “rising research star” in the next generation of computer science pioneers; she has been inducted as a member of the National Academy of Engineering, an ACM Computer Pioneer, received the IEEE Virtual Reality Technical Achievement Award and the Distinguished Career Award from the International Digital Media & Arts Society among other national and international recognitions.

She had given numerous keynote addresses and has been the guest of several governments to advise on how virtual reality technology can help to give industries a competitive edge leading to regional economic growth.

She has appeared in numerous national and international TV shows and podcasts as an expert on her discipline and several documentaries have been produced about her life and career.

Open talks Chapter 1

Day 2 – Session 7 – October 29th


XR for Discovery, Training, and Innovation




Researchgate (120 publications)

Davidson College hosted a researcher widely hailed as one of the greatest virtual reality innovators today for the college’s annual Wearn Lecture. Carolina Cruz-Neira, Ph.D., is director of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s George W. Donaghey Emerging Analytics Center. The gaming website Polygon named Cruz-Neira as one of the top 25 virtual reality innovators for her work on the CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment), and “University Herald” named Cruz-Neira as one of the three greatest female innovators in virtual reality. Here, Cruz-Neira shares her insights on the future of virtual reality.

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