The Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) is a cross-disciplinary research lab at the University of Illinois at Chicago. It brings together faculty and students from the Art and Computer Science departments of UIC. The primary areas of research are in computer graphics, high-performance computer networking, and technological art.
EVL represents one of the oldest art and engineering collaborations in the United States. It was founded in 1973 by Tom DeFanti (then of the UIC Chemistry Department, later Computer Science) and Dan Sandin (of the Art Department). The lab was originally known as the Circle Graphics Habitat, in reference to the then-name of UIC, the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle. DeFanti and Sandin have served as Co-Directors of the lab since its founding. Later in 1987, they were joined by Maxine D. Brown as Associate Director.
Work at EVL over the years has included:
Highlights of the electronic art work done at EVL include:
The members of EVL have been involved with the SIGGRAPH organization and conference ever since its inception. DeFanti has served as Secretary (1977-1981) and Chair (1981-1985) of the organization, and 1979 conference chair. Brown has served as Vice Chair for Operations (1985-1987) and Secretary (1981-1985), and chaired the 1992 conference. According to Jim Blinn, the popular Electronic Theatre "started out as a bunch of people crowding into Dan Sandin’s dorm room to watch videotapes."  In 1979, DeFanti established the SIGGRAPH Video Review, which EVL has continued to supervise. At SIGGRAPH '92, EVL organized the "Showcase" event, where researchers demonstrated 35 projects in state-of-the-art computational science and scientific visualization. At SIGGRAPH '94, EVL organized the VROOM event, demonstrations of the state of virtual reality technology.
In 1998, Brown received the first ever SIGGRAPH Outstanding Service Award for her contributions to the organization. In 2000, DeFanti and EVL alumna Copper Giloth also received the Outstanding Service Award.
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