DARIA TSOUPIKOVA
VIRTUAL REALITY ART / RESEARCH

Research

The role of art and design in virtual reality applications.

Curriculum Vitae
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Tsoupikova’s creative practice examines the technological revolution in the field of design, focusing on Virtual Reality (VR) as the ultimate form of advanced technology for artistic expression. Since 2002 she has been creating VR applications and networked multi-user environments for VR projection systems, such as Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE and CAVE2). These works investigate computational creativity to design real life applications that advance healthcare, education and social change. Prior to joining academia, she worked for several design companies including global Siegel+Gale and the New York-based Firstborn designing and developing interactive web applications for Citigroup, General Electric, New York Racing Association (NYRA), Miradiant Global Network, NETGEAR, Redken, and other clients.

She is an Associate Professor in the School of Design and the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she is responsible for the integration of advanced technologies such as Virtual Reality, Visualization, Game Design, Mobile Design and Creative Coding into curricular and professional practice. She has been an active leader and advocate for the development of cross-disciplinary collaborations, courses, and professional applications.

Her students have been successful in NASA, Google, Morningstar, SapientRazorfish, Weta Digital, Industrial Light and Magic, Scholastic, Argonne National Laboratory, Art Institute Chicago, Getty Research Institute, American University, University of Southern California, Calit2, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and many others. They have created award-winning work that has been exhibited internationally, including ACM SIGGRAPH, ISEA, IEEE VR, VIS, Art-Science Museum in Singapore, Smithsonian American Art Museum, FILE, Serious Games, Computer Art Congress, Games for Change, among other venues.

Over the past ten years she has collaborated with Hand Rehabilitation Laboratory in the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (SRAL, former Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago) where she has produced creative works that investigate how artistic VR and visualization may be used as an advanced therapy in stroke recovery. She led art, design and implementation of two generations of virtual environments for hand rehabilitation as a part of MARS2 (2007-2012) and MARS3: Machines Assisting Recovery from Stroke and Spinal Cord Injury for Reintegration into Society (2012-2018), the interdisciplinary institutional projects at the SRAL, funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). Her work has been informed by numerous scientific and theoretical texts and deeply reliant on clinical advances in healthcare. It has been tested with many stroke survivors who reported improvements in their daily lives, regained trust in their hands, boosted self-confidence and increased motivation for undertaking future therapy.

Working within the context of scientific research, she contributed to the advancement of K-12 education merging her experience developing interactive virtual reality environments and serious games. As a co-PI and an art director on an NSF grant, The Cryptoclub: Cryptography and Mathematics Afterschool and Online (2009-2017) she developed interactive web applications and scholastic games in collaboration with mathematicians, teachers and psychologists. Cryptoclub introduces middle school students, teachers and educators across the country to the online curriculum for teaching mathematics through the use of cryptography. This project increases awareness of cryptography as a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields and improves children’s understanding of cryptography, mathematics, and science.

Tsoupikova’s work has been exhibited and published by Springer, Leonardo, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, National Museum of Health and Medicine, ACM SIGGRAPH (‘02, ’06, ‘07, ‘09, ‘13, ‘15, ‘16) IEEE VR (’04, 07, ’15), IEEE VIS, ISEA (’08, ’12, ’15, ’16), SPIE (’05, ’06, ’07, ‘13), IGRID 2005 among many others. Her work received several awards including Best Creative Work Award from the Electronic Literature Organization and Fulbright Scholar Award to work at ParisTech in France. Her research projects have received federal funding from the NSF, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) and the Department of Education. In 2015 she has co-chaired the IEEE VIS Arts Program (VISAP) and exhibition in Chicago, and has contributed as juror, reviewer, chair and organizer for ACM SIGGRAPH since 2008. She is currently a Design Member on the U. S. Fulbright Scholar Committee.