Donna J. Cox, MFA, PhD, is the first Michael Aiken Chair, professor in the School of Art and Design, Director of the Advanced Visualization Laboratory (AVL), Director for Research & Education, and Culture & Society at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Cox is an internationally acclaimed computer artist, designer, writer, and recognized groundbreaker in scientific and data visualization. She coined the term “Renaissance Teams” to describe interdisciplinary teams who address grand challenges through the visualization of large-scale data and computational science. AVL develops advanced technologies including virtual reality for design, insight, discovery, and to captivate the broad public with the stories of natural phenomenon. She and her collaborators have thrilled millions around the world with stunning cinematic presentations of data for giant-screen productions, digital museum shows, IMAX movies, and HD/4K and stereo documentaries.

Cox was art director of scientific visualization for the Academy Award nominated IMAX film, Cosmic Voyage, 1997. AVL contributed major scenes to the IMAX film, Hubble 3D which was honored with three giant screen awards for best picture, choreography, and life-long learning, 2010. AVL’s latest popular productions include the Solar Superstorms fulldome documentary narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, 2015, and A Beautiful Planet IMAX 3D movie, 2016, narrated by Jennifer Lawrence. The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry selected Cox as one of 40 modern-day Leonardo DaVinci’s. In February 2017, the IMERSA international organization awarded Cox with a lifetime achievement award for lasting and positive contributions to the digital dome and big screen community. In March 2018, she received the Economic Development Corporation Innovation Transfer Award—University of Illinois in recognition of her work with the potential for significant societal impact. She is a co-editor and contributor of New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts (2018) published by the University of Illinois Press.
Electronic Theater
Electronic Theater Retrospective Celebration
Not Livestreamed
Not Recorded