Carolina Cruz-Neira | Emerging Analytics Center, University of Arkansas at Little Rock | Executive Director
Career Evolution… Yes, I started very young, at 3 years old, to get a degree in classical ballet dancing and later I was also getting my engineering degree while continuing the dance degree. A broken knee force to evolve toward blending both interests vs keeping them separate. I have done virtual dance performances in New York; I have created art exhibits in art museums; I have created new technologies that enable others to bring those together. But I never saw myself as “just” an artist or “just” an engineer, I am something in between that is constantly evolving.
LOVE the Work… The fact that it constantly changes and that I get to work in projects that span the entire spectrum of human life and society. I focus on VR for Good, using my knowledge and my experience to create tools and solutions that improve our lives, help us to understand each other, and enable better ways do create new technologies.
Surprising but True… I think the main surprise may be the fact that they can do things that maybe they did not know were even possible. I am a clear case of this – I had no idea the computer graphics was a field on its own, much less that virtual reality was something I could do. There are many opportunities in STEAM that are not well known and most of us tend to perhaps not be interested because all we know are the traditional STEAM venues.
Advice… Explore – take opportunities that come your way. Be observant of the world around you. There is always something amazing happening around you that you can make even more amazing with your creativity, knowledge and persistence.
Photography by Lori Sparkman Photography