Advanced Visualization Laboratory (AVL)

Advanced Visualization Laboratory (website), part of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, works closely with a wide range of scientists including atmospheric scientists, astrophysicists, oceanographers, hydrologists, cosmologists, networking engineers, and transportation modelers to create high-fidelity and high-resolution aesthetically beautiful visualizations that both further scientific understanding and enable the public to better understand and appreciate complex scientific concepts and processes.

The director of the AVL, Donna Cox, with a background in fine art, and has been a pioneer in developing what she has termed ‘Renaissance teams’ – groups of scientific experts and artistic and computer visualization specialists.  

The aim is to help both scientists and the public to visualize the implications of complex data, from the iconic map of the emergence of the Internet in the US to black holes, tornadoes, traffic patterns and detailed ecological processes.  Collaborators learn not only more about their respective areas of expertise, but also about the process of working together and the kinds of commitments necessary to create an inviting and inspiring space for innovation.