Dr. Carolina Cruz is an Associate Professor in the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Department and the Associate Director of the Virtual Reality Applications Center at Iowa State University. In 1997 she was featured by Business Week magazine as a “rising research star” in the new generation of computer science pioneers. In March of 2000 Dr. Cruz received the Iowa State Foundation Award for Early Achievement in Research. In June 2001 she received the Boeing A.D. Welliver Award.
Her research as a computer engineer has been driven by providing applicability and simplicity. These two factors have defined her three current areas of work, all of them in the context of virtual reality:
Complex software systems that integrate a variety of hardware components to create advanced immersive environments. This includes the development of collaborative paradigms among geographically distributed virtual reality sites and resources.
Applications of VR technology in Science, Engineering, and Art.
Usability studies of working virtual environments.
Dr. Cruz completed her doctoral studies in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago in May 1995. Her Ph.D. dissertation included the design of the CAVE™ Virtual Reality Environment, the CAVE Library software specifications and implementation, and preliminary research on CAVE-Supercomputing integration. She shares the Record of Invention of the CAVE with Tom DeFanti and Dan Sandin.