Thomas Defanti

Thomas A. DeFanti, PhD, is a research scientist at the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) at the University of California, San Diego. He is principal investigator of the NSF International Research Network Connections Program TransLight/StarLight project that provides a persistent 10 Gigabit networking infrastructure between the USA and Europe, and he is principal investigator of the NSF GreenLight Instrument project and the KAUST Calit2 OptIPresence Project.DeFanti is an internationally recognized expert in computer graphics since the early 1970s. DeFanti has amassed a number of credits, including: use of his lab's hardware and software for the computer animation produced for the 1977 "Star Wars" movie; recipient of the 1988 ACM Outstanding Contribution Award; and appointed an ACM Fellow in 1994. He also shares recognition along with EVL director Daniel J. Sandin for conceiving the CAVE virtual reality theater in 1991.Striving for a more than a decade to connect high-resolution visualization and virtual reality devices over long distances, DeFanti has collaborated with Larry Smarr, Maxine Brown, Joe Mambretti, Tomonori Aoyama, and Kees Neggers to lead state, national and international teams to build the most advanced production-quality networks available to scientists, with major NSF funding. He is a founding member of GLIF, the Global Lambda Integrated Facility, a global group that manages international switched wavelength networks for research and education. In the USA, DeFanti established the 10 Gigabit Ethernet CAVEwave research network between EVL/StarLight, McLean, Virginia, the Seattle/Pacific Northwest GigaPop, and UCSD/Calit2 for CineGrid, OptIPlatform, and other national/international research uses; the CAVEwave is a model for future high-end science and engineering collaboration infrastructure. The new GreenLight Instrument project uses optical networks to connect scientists to more energy-efficient 'green' computer processing and storage systems.

University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, United States