Abstract for Cox’s talk, entitled, “Beyond Computing: The Search for Creativity”:

“Modern computing arose from the interplay of science, engineering and defense needs, and hardware and software technology advances. Computational science began, like most science, as a small and localized group activity. These islands of research are increasingly connected – the truly grand challenges require the skills of multidisciplinary groups, often internationally distributed, working collaboratively as global renaissance teams. Transformative collaborative, networked technologies, coupled with high-end computing and large-scale data archives, enable success through enhanced human interaction, community building, collective problem solving and innovation.

“Recent studies on human innovation span the sciences and humanities, and they point to a paradigm shift in the way that we think about creativity, they demonstrate the power of understanding one knowledge domain in terms of another, and they reveal the contingencies of our perspectives. Fresh perspectives result from cross-domain interactions through common themes.

“These common technological themes across the sciences and humanities include high-performance data collection, retrieval and integration, text and image data mining, software fusion, visualization, collaborative tools and human-computer interfaces. Enlarging the scope of high-performance computing to include a broad range of disciplines will enrich discovery and expand the applications of computing technology.

“Both creativity and courage will be necessary to address the really big questions: understanding the matter and structure of our universe; modeling life and its complex processes; and enriching the human condition. From mapping the cosmos to mapping the brain; from interactive sensor databases to real-time severe weather prediction; from bioinformatics to situational awareness, “Thinking out of the Box” requires interdisciplinary, diverse and global interactions. How we enable these creative practices will shape the future of our HPC community.”

Biography for Keynote Speaker Donna Cox
Donna Cox, the keynote speaker for SC203, is an international pioneer in scientific visualization and computer art. She is associate director for Experimental Technologies at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and a professor in the School of Art and Design at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Cox has authored many papers and monographs on scientific visualization, computer graphics, information design, education and critical theory. Cox received the Coler-Maxwell Award for Excellence 1989 from the Leonardo International Society in Arts Science and Technology for her seminal paper coining “Renaissance Teams.” This term describes interdisciplinary groups of experts collaborating to solve problems in supercomputer visualizations.

She is a widely sought international speaker and has been a Distinguished Lecturer at the T.J. Watson Research Center in New York and a Distinguished Visiting Technologist at Indiana University. Her collaborative work has been reviewed or published in Newsweek, Time, National Geographic, the Wall Street Journal, Science News, the New York Times, The Scientist, The Chronicle of Higher Education, EDUCOM, Cinescape, IEEE Communications magazine, Computer Graphics World, and Discover magazine.

Cox has exhibited computer art in international exhibitions, including a one-woman show at the Arts in the Academy, a program of the National Academy of Sciences, in Washington D.C. Professor Cox has appeared in numerous television programs including "Good Morning America," and PBS seven-part educational series “Life by Numbers.” She was featured in the National Library of Medicine’s 2001 exhibit, "The Once and Future Web."

Her most famous collaborative works include the first visualization of the NSFnet, “A Visualization Study of Network Growth & Traffic From 1986 to 1992,” which has become an icon of the early Internet. She was also associate producer for Scientific Visualization and art director for the Pixar/NCSA segment of the IMAX science education movie, “Cosmic Voyage,” nominated for an Academy Award in 1997. "Cosmic Voyage" was the first IMAX film to use data-driven supercomputer simulations instead of special effects to demonstrate scientific concepts. In 2000, Cox and two co-creators received a U.S. patent for a “Virtual Reality 3D Interface System for Data Creation, Viewing and Editing” as a result of new technology developed during the making of “Cosmic Voyage.”

Recent projects include supercomputer visualizations for the Hayden Planetarium digital space shows, the American Museum of Natural History in New York City: “Passport to the Universe” premiering during new year’s millennium and "Search for Life" in 2002. This sequence involves the visualization of 'never seen before' simulation data of the distribution of galaxies and the large-scale structure of our universe from supercomputer simulations. In June 2002, the Discovery Channel program, "Unfolding Universe," premiered nearly 20 scenes of scientific visualizations produced by Cox and her collaborators. Her team developed data-driven scientific visualizations for the HDTV NOVA/WGBH show, "Runaway Universe," and it received the 2002 Golden Camera, International Film and Video Festival award.

At the SC2002 conference, Cox help lead the NCSA Experimental Technology team to develop an integrated system to track technical program volunteers at the Baltimore Convention Center, provide services, and visualize their results. IntelliBadge™ was funded by IEEE, SC02, ACM, NCSA, and JVC.

Cox has been involved in several National Research Council commissions and policy making committees including the National Research Council Committee on Modeling and Simulation: Opportunities for Collaboration Between the Defense and Entertainment, and the 2003 NRC report, “Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity,” National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. Cox was elected as a member of the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID) Strategic Council and currently serves on the editorial board for Leonardo (International Journal for Art, Technology and Science).

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