Dr. Carolina Cruz - Neira , a member of the National Academy of Engineering, is a pioneer in the areas of virtual reality and interactive visualization, having created and deployed a variety of technologies that have become standard tools in industry, government and academia. She is known world - wide for being the creator of the C AVE virtual reality system, which was her PhD work, and for VR Juggler, an open source VR application development environment. Her work with advanced technologies is driven by simplicity, applicability, and providing value to a wide range of disciplines an d businesses. This drive makes her work highly multi - disciplinary and collaborative, having receiving multi - million - dollar awards from the National Science Foundation, the Army Research Lab, the Department of Energy, Deere and Company, and others. She has dedicated a part of her career to transfer research results into daily use by spearheading several Open Source initiatives to disseminate and grow VR technologies and by leading entrepreneurial initiatives to commercialize research results. She serves in m any international technology boards, government technology advisory committees, and outside the lab, she enjoys extrapolating her technology research with the arts and the humanities through forward - looking public performances and installations. She is als o recognized for having founded and led very successful virtual reality research centers, like the Virtual Reality Applications Center at Iowa State University, the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise and now the Emerging Analytics Center. She has been named one of the top innovators in virtual reality and one of the top three greatest women visionaries in this field . BusinessWeek magazine identified her as a “rising research star” in the next generati on of computer science pioneers; she has been i nducted as a member of the National Academy of Engineering, an ACM Computer Pioneer, received the IEEE Virtual Reality Technical Achievement Award and the Distinguished Career Award from the International Digital Media & Arts Society among other national and international recognitions. She had given numerous keynote addresses, including a TEDx talk and has been the guest of several governments to advise on how virtual reality technology can help to give industries a competitive edge leading to regional eco nomic growth . Currently, Dr. Cruz is the Donaghey Distinguished Professor , the Interim Chair of the Department of Computer Science, and the Executive Director of the Emerging Analytics Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and an Arkansas R esearch Scholar through the Arkansas Research Alliance.