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Astronomy Colloquium - "Astral Projections of Big Data for Public Outreach"

Event Type
Department of Astronomy
NCSA 1030 and 1005
Jan 27, 2015   3:45 pm  
Donna Cox, PhD, MFA Director of the Advanced Visualization Laboratory National Center for Supercomputing Applications Professor School of Art and Design, FAA, University of Illinois Director of the eDream Institute at the NCSA lead for the NCSA’s Culture and Society Theme
Rebecca Bare
Originating Calendar
Astronomy Colloquium Speaker Calendar

Dr. Donna Cox will describe projects and lessons learned in the collaborative process of creating astrophysical scientific visualizations for IMAX movies, fulldome digital museum shows, and television documentaries.  This information will include the challenges and software for creating smooth camera paths for high-resolution, large venue projection systems and rendering large data including Blue Waters. Cox will discuss some of the art and science of outreach including the artistry required to produce visualizations used in public outreach programs. This colloquium will include 3D stereo time-evolving movies in NCSA’s 4K3D theater where audiences will see excerpts from productions that include “Hubble3D” IMAX movie, California Academy of Science’s “Life a Cosmic Story”, “Space Junk” IMAX movie, visualizations with Denver Museum of Science and Industry, Adler Planetarium, and recent tests from “Solar Superstorms”.  As Director of eDream and lead for the new Culture and Society Theme, Cox will explore with the audience new opportunities for collaboration with NCSA.  Coffee and cookies will be served before the colloquia and throughout the 4K3D showings.


Donna J. Cox, MFA, PhD, is Director of the Advanced Visualization Laboratory at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, Director of Illinois eDream Institute, and Professor in Art and Design, University of Illinois. Cox received the international Coler-Maxwell Award for Excellence granted by the Leonardo International Society in Arts Science and Technology and has over 30 years experience collaborating with interdisciplinary scientific teams to solve visualization challenges.  She and AVL colleagues create cinematic presentations of data-driven computational science.  Cox is a recognized international speaker. Her collaborative work has been cited or published in hundred’s of publications including TIME and Wall Street Journal.

Since 1994, she and her collaborators have thrilled millions of people through compelling virtual tours in IMAX movies, digital fulldome productions, interactive exhibitions, and high-definition television broadcasts. She was Director for Scientific Visualization on the Academy Award nominated “Cosmic Voyage” IMAX movie and honored by the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry as one of 40 the “modern-day Leonardos” and exhibited her digital collaborative works in the Leonardo da Vinci:  Man, Inventor, Genius exhibition. In 2008 she was awarded the University of Illinois Michael Aiken Chair and Director of the Illinois eDream Institute. In 2013 she was appointed Culture and Society Theme lead at NCSA.

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