Throughout her time at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), Donna Cox has led the Center's Advanced Visualization Lab (AVL), which works to bridge the gap between science and the arts as they take massive data sets and transform them into digestible and stunning visual representations. This has included visualizations for feature films, exhibits for museums, IMAX clips and visual models of some of the most complex data collected by humans, both terrestrial and cosmic.
"This award is very important to NCSA's Advanced Visualization Lab because it recognizes the broad impact that our outreach visualizations are having around the world", stated Donna Cox. "We digitally design numerical data into compelling imagery with science teams and then work with external directors to educate the public on socially relevant research."
Dr. Cox's endeavours at NCSA are two-fold - she and her AVL team are responsible for both creating these intricate visualizations and identifying the most impactful avenue to disseminate the information. AVL's latest work, " Seeing the Beginning of Time " - available to stream on Amazon, is a collaboration between the AVL team and the Dark Energy Survey, an international collaboration focused on cosmic matter.
"In every step of our collaborations we focus on best practices to communicate and reach as many people as possible with compelling visualizations and stories", stated Donna Cox.
In addition to being the recipient of this award, Dr. Cox is also the Michael Aiken Chair and Director of NCSA's Research & Education division as well as the eDream Institute. In conjunction with her work at NCSA, Dr. Cox is also a professor in the School of Art & Design and researches the art of scientific data visualization. In 2006, The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry selected her as one of 40 "modern-day Leonardos" in their "Leonardo da Vinci: Man, Inventor, Genius" exhibit for her acumen in both science and art.