Daniel Keefe, Lead PI

Dan Keefe is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota. His research centers on scientific data visualization and interactive computer graphics. Keefe’s recent awards include the National Science Foundation CAREER award; the University of Minnesota Guillermo E. Borja Award for research and scholarly accomplishments; the University of Minnesota McKnight Land-Grant Professorship; and the 3M Non-tenured Faculty Award. He has received multiple best paper and best panel awards at top international conferences, such as IEEE VIS and ACM Interactive 3D Graphics. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative, and industry sponsors. In addition to his work in computer science, Keefe is also an accomplished artist and has published and exhibited work in top international venues for digital art. Before joining the University of Minnesota, Keefe did post-doctoral work at Brown University jointly with the departments of Computer Science and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and with the Rhode Island School of Design. He holds a PhD Brown University’s Department of Computer Science and a BS in Computer Engineering summa cum laude from Tufts University.

Francesca Samsel, Co-PI

Francesca Samsel is a practicing artist and a Research Associate in the Center for Agile Technology at the University of Texas at Austin as well as a Visiting Researcher in Data Science at Scale at Los Alamos National Labs (LANL). Her research identifies artistic principles and expertise that can assist scientists in extracting greater detail and clarity from their data, with recent applications to computational and climate science. She is a winner of the Best Scientific Visualization and Data Analytics Award at Supercomputing ’15 and is on the editorial board of IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications. She holds a BFA with High Distinction from the California College of Arts and an MFA from the University of Washington.

Greg Abram, Senior Personnel

Greg Abram is a Research Scientists in the Scalable Vis Technologies Group at Texas Advanced Computing Center. For Sculpting Visualization, he will provide expertise with system building, feature detection, data wrangling, and other technical tasks based upon 30+ years of experience building major, high-performance visualization software ranging from IBM’s Data Explorer to large-format displays and GPU-accelerated visualization of large-scale volume datasets. He holds a BA in Mathematics and BS in Computer Science from the University of Florida and a PhD in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Bridger Herman, Ph.D. Candidate

Bridger Herman is a  PhD student in the University of Minnesota Twin Cities’s Computer Science Department. He works with Professor Daniel Keefe to research interactive, with a focus on Augmented and Mixed Reality Research. He holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Minnesota.

Seth Johnson, Ph.D. Candidate

Seth Johnson is a fourth-year PhD student in the University of Minnesota Twin Cities’s Computer Science Department. He works with Professor Daniel Keefe to research interactive and immersive scientific data visualization. He is the principle software developer and research assistant on Sculpting Visualization. He holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Minnesota.

Annie Bares




Stephanie Zeller

Annie Bares is a PhD student in the Department of English Literature at the University of Texas at Austin. She studies American literature, film, and visual culture, with interests in the intersections between environmental humanities, critical disability theory, race, and gender. She assists in writing and qualitative research needs for Sculpting Visualization. She holds a BA in English Literature from Rhodes College.


Stephanie Zeller is a senior undergraduate student in the departments of Public Relations and Studio Art at the University of Texas at Austin. Her work in public affairs, journalism and the arts focuses primarily on the intersection of science, society, and visual communication. Stephanie’s prior experience includes NASA, StarDate, the UT Health Communication Department and the Texas Rocket Engineering Lab.  She is interested in pursuing interdisciplinary solutions to problems of science communication, and assists in writing, colormap development, multimedia creation and public relations efforts for Sculpting Vis and related projects.

Daniel Olson

Daniel Olson studies Computer Science at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. He focuses on Graphics and Visualization, specifically graphics programming for games and movies. For Sculpting Visualization, he works on increasing graphics rendering performance while maintaining high fidelity visuals.

Jane Huynh

Jane Huynh is a second year student at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities’ honors program who plans to major in computer engineering. She is a first generation immigrant and college student. She also works in UMN’s Makerspaces. On the Sculpting Visualizations project, she focuses on laser cutting techniques for physicalizing data and Augmented Reality tracking. She is originally from Witchita, Kansas. In high school, she was involved in Chinese lion dancing and the National Art Honor Society.