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Contact: Christine Payton March 14, 2007
(337) 482-6397, payton@louisiana.edu
Dr. Carolina Cruz-Neira Receives VR Achievement Award in Recognition for her Extraordinary Achievements in Developing the CAVE Automatic Virtual Environment
Dr. Carolina CruzThe IEEE Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee (VGTC) will present their esteemed Virtual Reality Technical Achievement Award to Carolina Cruz-Neira, Thomas A. DeFanti and Daniel J. Sandin in recognition of their invention of the CAVE® Automatic Virtual Environment (better known by the recursive acronym CAVE) an immersive virtual reality environment where projectors are directed to four, five or six of the walls of a room-sized cube. Introduction of the CAVE was a highly influential event in the history of virtual reality, computer graphics, and visualization. It has had a profound impact on the development of both the theory and application of virtual environments. Cruz will be presented the esteemed award today at IEEE’s Virtual Reality 2007 Conference held in Charlotte, North Carolina. The conference is the annual gathering of the brightest minds, the most innovative research, the leading companies, and the most stimulating discussions in the fields of virtual environments, augmented reality, and 3D user interfaces.

The invention of the CAVE began with Cruz’s Ph.D. dissertation on the design of the CAVE Virtual Reality Environment, the CAVE Library software specifications and implementation, and preliminary research on CAVE supercomputing integration. “As a doctoral student it was a unique opportunity to be placed in the position of creating something completely revolutionary in the field of virtual reality” states Cruz. “Even though I was working on it every day, when I got the first fully functional CAVE visuals up and running I was completely mesmerized. In some ways, I am still mesmerized today when I see what the rest of the world has done with this technology”.

Cruz’s subsequent research was driven by providing applicability and simplicity to VR technology focusing on software engineering for VR, applications of VR technology and usability studies of virtual environments. She spearheaded the open-source VR API movement with the development of VR Juggler. In a span of twelve years, Cruz has participated in the development of over three hundred different CAVE applications ranging from engineering, medical, oil & gas, performance arts, virtual heritage, and bioinformatics. Many of these applications have been shown in prestigious technology events throughout the world.

In March of 2006, Cruz was appointed executive director and chief scientist of Louisiana’s newest technology initiative, Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE). The center, conceived as a magnet for economic development, is a leading-edge 3D immersive visualization facility powered by supercomputers. Cruz’ portfolio of virtual reality achievements and demonstrated technology leadership plays a key role in the growth and success of the newly established facility which opened in late September of 2006.

“ CAVE technology opened new frontiers for advanced visualization and immersive environments” states Cruz. “The ability to have a group of professionals collaboratively share the virtual space is the most powerful attribute of the CAVE. At LITE, we provide this technology to industry, government and research institutions which enables the LITE center to grow economic development for the State of Louisiana and the nation.”
LITE offers a number of advanced immersion environments, including one of the world’s few six-sided fully immersive rooms, and is powered by a massive high performance computing (HPC) platform with 4.1 Terabytes of memory and high-speed networking. In all, over 1,000 processors are online, and any of LITE’s visualization venues can access the supercomputers’ processing power.


LITE (Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise) is one of the world’s leading 3D visualization and supercomputing resource centers serving clients in commercial industry, government, and university sectors. LITE’s leading-edge facility features a comprehensive set of advanced visualization systems including the world’s largest 3D immersive visualization theater and one of the world’s first six-sided digital 3D total immersive space (TIS). As one of the most tightly integrated installations ever assembled, LITE features a massive supercomputer with 4.1 Terabytes of memory and high-speed networking. The center’s multiple data visualization environments afford organizations – both public and private – access to essential decision-making tools that transforms their process of innovation and accelerates their time to discovery.

LITE is a Louisiana state entity (commission) governed by a Board of Commissioners. LITE was conceived with the mission of economic development by providing access to leading-edge VR design and essential decision-making technologies which represent powerful business and research tools for industry, government, and university sectors. For further information, please visit www.lite3d.com.


The IEEE, a non-profit organization, is the world's leading professional association for the advancement of technology. The full name of the IEEE is the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. The IEEE promotes the engineering process of creating, developing, integrating, sharing, and applying knowledge about electro and information technologies and sciences for the benefit of humanity and the profession. Its purpose is to advance global prosperity by fostering technological innovation, enabling members' careers and promoting community worldwide.

Document last revised Wednesday, March 14, 2007 3:42 PM

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