• Platinum Pass Platinum Pass
  • Full Conference Pass Full Conference Pass
  • Full Conference One-Day Pass Full Conference One-Day Pass
  • Basic Conference Pass Basic Conference Pass
  • Student One-Day Pass Student One-Day Pass
  • Experience Pass Experience Pass
  • Exhibitor Pass Exhibitor Pass

Date: Monday, November 18th
Time: 1:00pm - 2:45pm
Venue: Great Hall 1&2

Speaker(s): Donna J. Cox, Advanced Visualization Laboratory, Research and Education at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, United States of America

Abstract:Throughout history, maps have served as cultural compasses for political perspectives and dominant worldviews. Rapidly-increasing surveillance satellites and survey science are revolutionizing digital mapping of space and time. Sensors collect while supercomputers process massive amounts of digital data that visually reveal an earth and universe in constant change and motion. Breathtaking, time-evolving visuals of our planet and the infinitely vast deep-sky are possible. Computer graphics and data visualization will play critical roles in these emergent fields. Production-quality data visualization movies can be informative and help convey vital documentary stories of the forces of nature, create empathy in audiences for our beautiful planet, and reveal humanities place in the vastness of intergalactic space. However, artistically-rendered numerical data is often indistinguishable from movie special effects. In a global market of alternative facts, will visualizing massive amounts of data bring greater understanding or obfuscate issues such as climate change? How inclusive or uncertain is data? How do data visualizations in science educational IMAX movies and other large-screen documentaries enable the general public to better understand complex processes? Cox will provide a visual feast in the art and science of data visualizations created within the context of storytelling for documentary films. She will demonstrate the power of story and digital maps of natural phenomenon developed through data science and computer graphics; and will transport the SIGGRAPH audience in a virtual tour through hurricanes, tornadoes, stars, galaxies, and beyond. The session includes the Opening & Awards Ceremony.

Speaker(s) Bio: First Michael Aiken Chair, Professor in the School of Art and Design at the College of Fine and Applied Arts, Director of the Advanced Visualization Laboratory (AVL), Associate Director for Research and Education at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Director of the Emerging Digital Research and Education in Arts Media (eDream) Institute at NCSA, United States of America. Professor Donna J. Cox, MFA, PhD, is a recognized ground-breaker in data visualization and the art of scientific visualization and an internationally acclaimed computer artist, designer, and writer. Cox’s work has been internationally pivotal in the history of convergence of digital art/science research. She’s best known for defining Renaissance Teams, “where specialists provide a broad spectrum of skills in the quest for discovery” and for her pioneering use of supercomputers. AVL develops advanced technologies including virtual reality for design, insight, discovery, and to captivate the broad public with the stories of natural phenomenon. She and her collaborators have thrilled millions around the world with stunning cinematic presentations of data for giant-screen productions, digital museum shows, IMAX movies, and HD/4K and stereo documentaries. Cox was art director of scientific visualization for the Academy Award nominated IMAX film, Cosmic Voyage, 1997. AVL contributed major scenes to the IMAX film, Hubble 3D which was honored with three giant screen awards for best picture, choreography, and life-long learning, 2010. AVL’s latest popular productions include the Solar Superstorms fulldome documentary narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, 2015, and A Beautiful Planet IMAX 3D movie, 2016, narrated by Jennifer Lawrence. AVL has co-produced The Birth of Planet Earth digital dome production, premiering in Berlin at the Zeiss Planetarium, April 2019. The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry selected Cox as one of 40 modern-day Leonardo DaVinci’s. In February 2017, the IMERSA (Immersive Media Entertainment Research in Science and Art) international organization awarded Cox with a lifetime achievement award for lasting and positive contributions to the digital dome and big screen community. In March 2018, she received the Illinois Innovation Transfer Award in recognition of potential work with significant societal impact. She serves as the theme lead for the Culture & Society Lead for the Discovery Partner’s Institute for the tri-campus University of Illinois system. She is the lead co-editor on art historical book New Media Futures: the rise of women in the digital arts, (UI Press, 2018), contributing to revisionist history in technology and women’s studies.