Rebecca Allen is an internationally recognized artist and pioneering researcher working in the areas of virtual and augmented reality, 3D computer animation, human motion simulation, wearable computing, interactive experience design and large-scale performance. 


Rebecca moves fluidly between artist studio and research lab. She is professor and was founding Chair of the UCLA Department of Design Media Art. Her current interest in virtual reality and neuroscience involves collaborations with Neuroscience research labs at UCLA and UCSF. This follows earlier work from the late 1990s when Allen and her interdisciplinary team developed a sophisticated VR system and created unique immersive experiences, including one that was used in early studies at USC on VR and Pediatric Pain. Allen is interested in the profound effect VR and AR can have in Health Sciences and the creative design challenges required to be effective.


Previous research positions include: Founding Director of two Nokia Research Labs where she and her teams designed and built prototypes of next generation mobile media experiences, wearable devices and innovative interfaces; Design Manager and co-inventor of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) award-winning XO laptop; Senior Research Scientist and founding Director of the Liminal Devices research group at MIT Media Lab Europe; founding Director of the Intel funded research group called Emergence; Creative Director and 3D visionary for video game company Virgin Interactive; Artist and Senior Researcher at the pioneering NYIT Computer Graphics Laboratory, and Researcher at MIT Architecture Machine Group (predecessor of MIT Media Lab). 


Allen’s artwork is exhibited internationally and is part of the permanent collection of Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Whitney Museum and Museum of Modern Art in New York. She’s listed in Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business”. Awards include an Emmy award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Design. Rebecca received degrees from Rhode Island School of Design and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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