Carolina Cruz-Neira

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Carolina Cruz-Neira
Carolina Cruz on how virtual reality will shape the world of tomorrow.png
Alma mater University of Illinois, Chicago
Universidad Metropolitana
Known for Inventing the CAVE Automatic Virtual Environment
Awards IEEE Virtual Reality Technical Achievement Award[1]
International Digital Media and the Arts Association Distinguished Career Award
Polygon Top 25 VR Innovators[2]
Scientific career
Fields Computer engineering
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.[3]


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.[4][5][6]

Carolina Cruz on how virtual reality will shape the world of tomorrow

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.[4] 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.[7]

In February 2018 Dr. Cruz-Neira was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.[8]


  1. ^ "Colloquium Speaker: Dr. Carolina Cruz-Neira". Johns Hopkins University. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  2. ^ Crecente, Brian (26 October 2016). "VR's Long, Weird History". Polygon. Retrieved 6 April 2017. 
  3. ^ C, Lisa. "The emerging future in Arkansas of "life-size" aircraft visualization in High Definition 3D". Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Dr. Carolina Cruz-Neira". ICIQ 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "Engineer envisions sci-fi as reality". Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  6. ^ "Carolina Cruz-Neira Ph.D.: Executive Profile & Biography - Businessweek". Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  7. ^ "Computer Science Distinguished Lecture: Dr. Carolina Cruz-Neira". Iowa State University. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "National Academy of Engineering Elects 83 Members and 16 Foreign Members". NAE. Retrieved 8 February 2018. 
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