Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Helen-Nicole Kostis

(DATA VISUALIZATION DEVELOPER)

 helen-nicole.kostis-1@nasa.gov

 301.286.2674

Org Code: 606.4

NASA/GSFC
Mail Code: 606.4
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Employer: SCIENCE SYSTEMS AND APPLICATIONS INC

Brief Bio


Helen-Nicole (Eleni) Kostis is a science visualizer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Based at NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio (SVS) Eleni serves Earth Science missions and programs by developing data-driven animations to communicate complex research findings to the scientific communities and the public. These data-driven media are freely and openly accessible from the Scientific Visualization Studio and take a life of their own upon release, as they support NASA’s press releases and are also used by educators, news media, museums, and tv/streaming networks. Eleni is the recipient of NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Award for Outreach, has been active in the broader visualization community and is a co-author of the Foundations of Data Visualization (Springer). She holds a degree in Mathematics from the University of Ioannina (Greece), a Master’s in Computer Science and a Master’s in Fine Arts in Electronic Visualization from the University of Illinois at Chicago. During her graduate years at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL), Eleni found herself immersed in a creative playground that nurtured research, fostered collaboration, and spearheaded experimentations in art, science, and technology. Under the mentorship of Daniel Sandin, Eleni researched and developed tele-immersive experiences and artworks in state-of-the-art Virtual Reality (VR) systems that were exhibited internationally at conferences, festivals, and museums. It is also at EVL where Eleni learned about the importance of volunteering. Eleni has been an active volunteer at ACM SIGGRAPH since 2006, is a founding board member of CapXLab – an education non-profit in DC – and a girl scout troop leader.

Awards


2021 USRA Spot Award for supporting USRA's Visualization Team

2020 USRA Spot Award for supporting USRA's Earth from Space Institute Inaugural Symposium

2017  NASA STMD/Technology Transfer Program Award from the Office of the General Counsel

2015  NASA Robert H. Goddard Exceptional Achievement Award for Outreach

2015  National Science Foundation (NSF) Vizzies People’s Choice Award for Games & Apps

2013  USRA/GESTAR Mission Achievement Award for Excellence

2012  USRA/GESTAR Recognition Award

2010  NASA/GSFC Inclusive Innovation (I2) Award

2009  NASA Robert H. Goddard Exceptional Achievement Team Award for Outreach

2008  Individual Artist Award and Grant for Excellence in Computer Arts, Maryland State Arts Council

2002  Teaching Assistantship Awards, School of Art and Design, UIC, Chicago, IL, USA, Spring & Fall Semesters

1995  Scholarship from the National Scholarship Foundation Greece for outstanding performance in mathematics

1994  Scholarship from the National Scholarship Foundation Greece for outstanding performance in mathematics

Education


  • MFA in Electronic Visualization, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 2007 (terminal degree)
  • M.Sc. in Computer Science, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2002
  • B.Sc. in Mathematics, University of Ioannina, Greece, 1998

Professional Service


Professional Service to NASA:

NASA Information Sciences & Technology (IS&T) Colloquium Committee, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (2008-present)  

Under this role, Helen-Nicole invites and hosts researchers and practitioners from the fields of computer graphics and visualization. Speakers include: Johnny Lee, Microsoft (2008); Jeff Han, Perspective Pixel (2009); Donna Cox, NCSA (2010); Zeynep Tufecki, UMBC (2010); Robert Kooima, LSU (2010); Ariel Shamir, Interdisciplinary Center (2011, 2014); Jeffrey Heer, Stanford University (2011); Neema Mostafavi, SVS (2011); Horace Mitchell, SVS (2011); Ben Fry, Fathom (2011); Tamara Munzner, UBC (2016); Chu Tang, Pixar (2017); Evan Hirsch, Engine Co.4 (2017); Mark Elendt & Jeff Lait, SideFX (2018); Andrew Johnson, EVL/UIC (2019); Mark SubbaRao, NASA/SVS (2021); Anders Ynnerman, Linkoping University (2021); Laura Trouille, Adler Planetarium (2021) .

Professional Service to Non-Profits:

Founding Board Member, CapXLabs (2019-present)  

Board of Advisors, KV265 Communicating Science Through Art (2010-present)

Professional Service to the fields of Computer Graphics, Visualization & Art:

2022 International Program Committee Member, EGPGV, Rome, Italy

2020 Juror, ACM SIGGRAPH Student Research Competition, Virtual Conference

2020 Reviewer, ACM SIGGRAPH Posters Program, Virtual Conference

2020 Reviewer, ACM SIGGRAPH Art Gallery, Virtual Conference

2020 Reviewer, ACM SIGGRAPH, Computer Animation Festival, Virtual Conference

2019 Juror, ACM SIGGRAPH, Computer Animation Festival, Los Angeles, CA 

2018 Reviewer, ACM SIGGRAPH, Posters Program, Vancouver, CA

2018 Reviewer, ACM SIGGRAPH Art Papers Program, Vancouver, CA

2018 Reviewer, ACM SIGGRAPH General Submissions Program, Vancouver, CA

2017 Juror, ACM SIGGRAPH Student Research Competition, Los Angeles, CA, USA

2017 Committee Member, Symposium on Education, ACM SIGGRAPH Asia, Bangok, Thailand

2017 Juror, Media & Technology MUSE Awards, Interpretive Installations category, American Association of Museums (AAM)

2017 International Program Committee, SciVis Technical Papers Program, Phoenix, AZ, USA

2016 Committee, Symposium on Education, SIGGRAPH Asia, Macao, Macao

2016 International Program Committee, SciVis Technical Papers Program, IEEE Vis 2016, Baltimore, MD, USA

2016 Chair, ACM SIGGRAPH 2016 Student Research Competition, Anaheim, CA, USA

2016 Presenter of Interpretive Installations Awards, MUSE Media & Technology Awards 2016 Ceremony, Washington DC, USA

2016 Reviewer, ACM Student Research Competition 2016

2016 Juror, Digital Arts Exhibition, “Science of the Unseen”, ACM SIGGRAPH 2016, Los Angeles, CA, USA

2016 Juror, Media & Technology MUSE Awards, Interpretive Installations category, American Association of Museums (AAM)

2015 Reviewer, Symposium on Education, SIGGRAPH Asia 2015, Kobe, Japan

2015 International Program Committee, SciVis Technical Papers Program, IEEE Vis 2015, Chicago, IL, USA

2015 Chair, ACM SIGGRAPH 2015 Student Research Competition, Los Angeles, CA, USA

2015 Reviewer, ACM Student Research Competition

2015 Session Chair, “Supernatural”, ACM SIGGRAPH 2015, Los Angeles, CA, USA

2015 Reviewer, Late-Breaking Program, ACM SIGGRAPH 2015, Los Angeles, CA, USA

2015 Juror, Media & Technology MUSE Awards, Interpretive Installations category, American Association of Museums (AAM)

2015 Juror, General Submissions, ACM SIGGRAPH 2015, Los Angeles, CA, USA

2014 Juror, Media & Technology MUSE Awards, Interpretive Installations category, American Association of Museums (AAM)

2014 Juror, General Submissions, ACM SIGGRAPH 2014, Los Angeles, CA, USA

2014 Reviewer, Papers program, International Journal of Arts in Society

2013 Juror, Media & Technology MUSE Awards, Animation category, American Association of Museums (AAM)

2013 Reviewer, NASA Small Business Initiative Review (SBIR), NASA/GSFC

2012 Juror, Media & Technology MUSE Awards, Animation category, American Association of Museums (AAM)

2012 Reviewer, IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications Journal

2011 Reviewer, NASA Office of Education K-12 Cooperative Agreement Notice/Grants

2010 Reviewer, IEEE Computing in Science & Engineering Journal

2009 Reviewer, NASA Office of Education K-12 Cooperative Agreement Notice/Grants

2009 Curator, Tomorrow’s Yesterday: Scientific and Biomedical Visualization.

Computer Animation Festival Panel, ACM SIGGRAPH 2009, New Orleans, LA, USA

2009 Curator, A Journey from Outer to Inner Space: Scientific and Biomedical Stereoscopic Visualization, Computer Animation Festival Panel, ACM SIGGRAPH 2009, New Orleans, LA, USA

2009 Conference Committee, ACM SIGGRAPH 2009, New Orleans, LA

2008 Reviewer, NASA Small Business Initiative Review (SBIR), NASA/GSFC

2008 Conference Committee, ACM SIGGRAPH 2008, Los Angeles, CA, USA

2008 Ex-Student Volunteer, ACM XSV SIGGRAPH 2008, Los Angeles, CA, USA

2007 Committee, SPIE Midwest Chicago Student Meeting, Northwestern University, IL, USA

2007 Session Chair, Is this for real?, ACM SIGGRAPH 2007, San Diego, CA, USA

2007 Ex-Student Volunteer, ACM SIGGRAPH 2007, San Diego, CA, USA

Publications


Refereed

Borkiewicz, K., A. Christensen, H.-N. Kostis, G. Shirah, and R. Wyatt. 2019. Cinematic scientific visualization: The Art of Communicating Science In ACM SIGGRAPH 2019 Courses (SIGGRAPH ’19). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA Article No 5 Pages: 1-273 [10.1145/3305366.3328056]

Kostis, H.-N., and D. R. Fowler. 2016. Collaborative computer graphics product development between academia and government: A dynamic model In SIGGRAPH ASIA 2016 Symposium on Education (SA ’16). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA Article 3 Pages 1–10. [10.1145/2993352.2993358]

Tsoupikova, D., H.-N. Kostis, and D. Sandin. 2013. A practical guide to art/science collaborations In ACM SIGGRAPH 2013 Courses (SIGGRAPH ’13). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Article 20 Pages 1–55. [10.1145/2504435.2504455]

Kwan-Liu Ma, I. Liao, J. Frazier, H.-N. Kostis, and H. Hauser. 2012. Scientific Storytelling Using Visualization IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications 32 (1): 12-19 [10.1109/mcg.2012.24]

Kostis, H.-N. 2008. Loose Minds in a Box: Many Minds Working in Many Different Ways In College Arts Association Proceedings (CAA 2008). Dallas, TX, USA [audio recording]

Shirah, G. W., L. K. Perkins, H. G. Mitchell, et al. S. A. Snodgrass, B. A. Kekesi, J. W. Williams, M. Newcombe, W. T. Bridgman, C. L. Starr, H. G. Kostis, and S. A. Braun. 2007. Towers in the Tempest IEEE Visualization 2007 Scientific American Theater

Kostis, H.-N., R. Kooima, and J. Kannenberg. 2007. Skin: an interactive hyperstereoscopic electro installation SPIE 6490, Stereoscopic Displays and Virtual Reality Systems XIV 6490 10 [10.1117/12.703548]

Dolinsky, M., J. Anstey, D. Pape, et al. J. Aguilera, H.-N. Kostis, and D. Tsoupikova. 2005. Collaborative Virtual Environments Art Exhibition Proceedings of SPIE-IS&T Electronic Imaging, Stereoscopic Displays and Virtual Reality Systems XII 5664 641-652

Non-Refereed

Böttinger, M., H.-N. Kostis, M. Velez-Rojas, P. Rheingans, and A. Ynnerman. 2020. Reflections on Visualization for Broad Audiences Foundations of Data Visualization 297-305 [10.1007/978-3-030-34444-3_16]

Böttinger, M., H.-N. Kostis, and A. Ynnermann. 2020. Challenges and Open Issues in Visualization for Broad Audiences Foundations of Data Visualization 381-389 [10.1007/978-3-030-34444-3_21]

Rheingans, P., H.-N. Kostis, P. A. Oemig, G. B. Robbins, and A. Ynnerman. 2020. Reaching Broad Audiences in an Educational Setting Foundations of Data Visualization 365-380 [10.1007/978-3-030-34444-3_20]

Kostis, H.-N., M. O. Román, V. Kalb, et al. E. C. Stokes, R. M. Shrestha, Z. Wang, L. Schultz, Q. Sun, J. Bell, A. Molthan, R. Boller, and A. Anyamba. 2020. Reaching Broad Audiences from a Large Agency Setting Foundations of Data Visualization 319-340 [10.1007/978-3-030-34444-3_18]

Talks, Presentations and Posters


Invited

Panelist,Visualizing Science: Back to Basics, Columbia University

November 8, 2021

A two-hour Zoom workshop, open to Columbia faculty, staff, postdocs, and students, who are seeking guidance on how to create clear and effective science graphics.


Keynote Presentation, SyRePro 2021: Workshop on Systems to Support Renaturation Projects, Virtual

October 28, 2021

From space-borne sensors to the public eye: data as a visual message

Data are becoming increasingly complex and voluminous, a trend that will continue to grow as sensor technology, information storage, computational capability and scientific research evolve. However, unless we are up to the challenge of turning data into meaningful content that begets knowledge, we have not completed our quest for discovery. NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio aims to promote a greater understanding of NASA science through visualization. In our efforts to explain to the public how complex phenomena work and to convey NASA’s latest research results and engineering accomplishments, we need to present the relationships that permeate the observed data and translate technical concepts to accessible messages that have simultaneously scientific integrity and a high visual engagement factor.

Other

Teaching Experience


  • 2000-2003    Part-Time Lecturer, Computer Information Systems, Truman College, Chicago, IL, USA Taught courses: Introduction and Advanced C++ Programming, Object Oriented Programming
  • 2001-2002    Teaching Assistant, Electronic Visualization, School of Art and Design, UIC, Chicago, IL, USA
  • 1999-2000    Part-Time Instructor, Greek Language, St. Andrew Greek High School, Chicago, IL, USA
  • 1998-1999    Middle School Teacher of Informatics, Drosia Public School, Athens, Greece

Special Experience


Funding
2014 Secured funding for NASA Visualization Explorer app and website. Source: NASA
2013 Secured funding for NASA Visualization Explorer iOS universal app. Source: NASA
2012 Secured funding for NASA Visualization Explorer iOS universal app. Source: NASA 
2011 Secured funding for NASA Visualization Explorer iPhone app. Source: NASA
2010 NASA/GSFC Inclusive Innovation (I2) Award for NASA Visualization Explorer. Co-authored submission and awarded seed funding to launch the project.
2008 Individual Artist Award & Grant for Excellence in Computer Arts, Maryland State Arts Council
 

NASA New Technology Reporting (NTR)
2015 Innovator, NASA New Technology Report (NTR): NASA Viz Android Application
2012 Innovator, NASA New Technology Report (NTR): NASA Viz iPhone Application
2011 Innovator, NASA New Technology Report (NTR): NASA Viz iPad Application

Professional Societies


ACM SIGGRAPH

2006 - Present