|Alma mater||University of Illinois, Chicago
|Known for||Inventing the CAVE Automatic Virtual Environment|
|Awards||IEEE Virtual Reality Technical Achievement Award
International Digital Media and the Arts Association Distinguished Career Award
Polygon Top 25 VR Innovators
|Institutions||University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Iowa State University
|Doctoral advisor||Thomas DeFanti|
Carolina Cruz-Neira is a Spanish-Venezuelan-American computer engineer, known for inventing the CAVE automatic virtual environment. She is director of the Emerging Analytics Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Carolina Cruz-Neira graduated cum laude with a degree in systems engineering from the Universidad Metropolitana in Caracas, Venezuela in 1987. She earned a master's degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of Illinois, Chicago in 1991, and her PhD in 1995, working under computer graphics researcher Thomas DeFanti. For her PhD dissertation, Cruz-Neira designed and developed the CAVE Automatic Virtual Environment, its specifications, and implementation. She also designed and implemented the CAVELib software API, now a commercial product. She was the architect of the Open Source API VR Juggler, an open source virtual reality applications development framework.
Cruz-Neira was the Stanley Chair professor in Interdisciplinary Engineering at Iowa State University. She later joined the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and in 2006, was the first CEO and Chief Scientist of LITE (Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise), a Louisiana State initiative to support economic development immersive technologies. From 2009 to 2014 she was the W. Hansen Hall and Mary Officer Hall/BORSF Endowed Super Chair in Telecommunications in Computer Engineering at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In 2014 she was named an Arkansas Research Scholar by the Arkansas Research Alliance and moved to Little Rock to lead the Emerging Analytics Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
In February 2018 Dr. Cruz-Neira was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.
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