CHICAGO — Z. Nagin Cox, Spacecraft Operations Engineer with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA JPL), will be the SIGGRAPH 2016 keynote speaker.
For her keynote, Cox will share stories of NASA missions, including the Mars Rovers, which cut through earthly political and cultural issues, and redefine persistence in engineering and technology. She is known for making listeners rethink their place in the universe and reminding them that robotic explorations of the solar system (and beyond) symbolize all that humankind can do.
“We are thrilled that an engineer of Nagin’s caliber will be joining us as our keynote speaker! Since the beginning of time, people have looked up at the night sky and wondered at the frontiers of our knowledge. While there are examples of solitary human exploration, most endeavors that push boundaries involve teams of people working together for a common goal. Robotic space missions are no different — they are defined by the passion of the people who build, launch, and send them out into the dark void to make great discoveries. Nagin will certainly fascinate, inform, and entertain our attendees this year,” said SIGGRAPH 2016 Conference Chair Mona Kasra.
Cox adds, “I am truly excited to be part of SIGGRAPH 2016. No missions of space exploration would be possible without the technologies of computer graphics and the human/robotic interactions they enable. I am very much looking forward to sharing stories of discovery with an audience whose innovations will drive missions of the future.”
A graduate of Cornell University, Cox also attended the Air Force Institute of Technology, where she received a master's degree in Space Operations Systems Engineering. After leaving the Air Force to pursue more civilian space applications, she joined NASA/JPL in 1993. Nagin has held leadership and system engineering positions on multiple NASA/JPL interplanetary robotic missions, including the Galileo mission to Jupiter, the Mars Exploration Rovers, the Kepler exoplanet hunter, InSight, and the Mars Curiosity Rover (MSL).
Cox has spoken to audiences around the U.S., Europe, South America, South Asia, and in the Middle East on the stories of the people behind these missions.