Nina McCurdy


last updated 11/2/2016.
PhD in Computer Science: Graphics & Visualization Track
University of Utah. Salt Lake City, Utah
B.S. in Applied Physics
University Honors, cum Laude
Highest Honors in the major
University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship 2015
UTA Fellowship 2015
The Ronald H. Ruby Memorial Scholarship for “promising young physicists.” UCSC 2008
Related Experience  
Teaching Assistant
School of Computing
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Jan. – May 2016
Graduate Student Research Assistant
Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Aug. 2013 – Present
Public Outreach & Science Visualizations/ Webmaster
The University of California High-Performance AstroComputing Center (UC-HiPACC)
Santa Cruz, CA
Jan. 2010-July 2013
Scientific Illustrator & Assistant
Abrams and Primack, Inc., Santa Cruz, CA
Dec. 2009-May 2012
Graphic Designer
UC Santa Cruz Astronomy Department, Santa Cruz, CA
Sept.-Nov. 2009
Scientific Animator
UC Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics (SCIPP), Santa Cruz, CA
July-Nov. 2009
Junior Specialist
UC Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics (SCIPP), Santa Cruz, CA
May-Dec. 2009
Teaching Assistant/Reader
UC Santa Cruz Physics Department, Santa Cruz, CA
Jan.-March 2009
Scientific Illustrator
UC Santa Cruz Physic Department, Santa Cruz, CA
Feb.-Sept. 2008
Lab Assistant
Applied Optics Lab
UC Santa Cruz Physics Department, Santa Cruz, CA
UC Santa Cruz Physics/Astrophysics Department,Santa Cruz, CA
Sept.-June 2005-2008
Camp Counselor/Math & Science Teacher
AIM HIGH Summer Program, San Francisco, CA
June-Aug. 2001, 2002
Student Intern
Visualization Lab, Adler Planetarium, Chicago, IL
Aug. 2008
Summer Intern
McKinsey & Company, San Francisco, CA
June-Aug. 2005
Intern/Teaching Assistant
Tree Frog Treks, San Francisco, CA
Feb.-June 2004
Circuit Bending Workshop co-leader
The GREAT Camps. University of Utah School of Computing. SLC, Utah.
June 2016
Workshop co-leader
Mind Riot. The Leonardo Museum. SLC, Utah.
June 2014, 2015
SF Food Not Bombs, San Francisco, CA
Aug. 2011–2013
Tesla Coil Demonstrator
SCIPP outreach/Maker Faire, San Mateo, CA
May 2010
Physics Outreach Demonstrator
Alianza Elementary School, Watsonville, CA
May 2008
Tutor 00'-04', Co-President in 04'
Aim High Tutoring Program, San Francisco, CA
Aug.-June 2000-2004
  • Gonnering Lein, J., Nina McCurdy, and Amanda Hurtado. “Deep in Poetry: Visualizing Texts’ Sonic Depths in 3D.” Leonardo Journal. in Press.
  • Brunvand, Erik, Nina McCurdy. “Making Noise: Using Sound-Art to Explore Technological Fluency” To appear in the proceedings of SIGCSE 2017.
  • McCurdy, Nina, et al. "Poemage: Visualizing the Sonic Topology of a Poem." IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (Proceedings of InfoVis 2015), pages 439-448, January 2016.
  • McCurdy, Nina, Jason Dykes, and Miriah Meyer. “Action Design Research and Visualization Design.” To appear in the proceedings of BELIV 2016.
  • McCurdy, Nina, Vivek Srikumar, and Miriah Meyer. "Rhymedesign: A tool for analyzing sonic devices in poetry." Proceedings of Computational Linguistics for Literature (2015).
    Published Visualizations/Illustrations
  • Data visualization: Kay, Laura, Bradford Smith, George Blumenthal, Stacy Palen. 21st Century Astronomy 4e. New York: W W Norton & Co Inc,. 2013. Print.
  • Data visualization: Primack, Joel R. “The Cosmological Supercomputer: How the Bolshoi simulation evolves the universe all over again.” IEEE Spectrum October 2012. Print.
  • Data visualization: “Horizon: How Big is the Universe?”  BBC Horizon BBC 2, Season 51 episode 5. 27 August 2012. Television.
  • Data visualization: Primack, Joel R. and Trudy E. Bell. “Universe in a Box: Supercomputer modeling is transforming cosmology from a purely observational science into an experimental science.” Sky & Telescope July 2012: 28-35. Print.
  • Text: McCurdy, Nina and Joel R. Primack. “(CLUES) – Constrained Local Universe Simulations.” 2012. Web.
  • Visualization partner: The Searcher. The Adler Planetarium, 2011. Planetarium Production.
  • Illustration: Klypin, Anatoly A., Sebastian Trujillo-Gomez, and Joel Primack. “Dark Matter Halos In The Standard Cosmological Model: Results From The Bolshoi Simulation.” The Astrophysical Journal 740.2 (2011): 102. Fig.1. Print.
  • Illustrations: Abrams, Nancy Ellen, and J. R. Primack. The New Universe and the Human Future: How a Shared Cosmology Could Transform the World. New Haven: Yale UP, 2011. Print.
  • Visualization partner: Life: A Cosmic Story. California Academy of Sciences, 2010. Planetarium Production.
  • Science visualization: Abrams, Nancy E., and Joel R. Primack. “Stardust Plus Time Equals Us.” Yale Terry Lectures. Yale University, New Haven. Oct. 2009. Lecture.
  • “Gamma Rays in Deep Space”: VERITAS Education and Public Outreach interactive on gamma ray astronomy for the Alder Planetarium in Chicago, IL. 2009.
  • Illustrations: Kuttner, Fred and Bruce Rosenblum. “Bell’s Theorem and Einstein’s ‘Spooky Actions’ from a Simple Thought Experiment.” The Physics Teacher, 48.2 (2010) .124. Print.
  • Illustrations: Brown, George. “UCSC Physics Classical Mechanics Lab Manual,” UC Santa Cruz, 2008. Print.
    Talks and Presentations
  • “Action Design Research and Visualization Design.” BELIV’16. Baltimore, MD. October, 2016.
  • “Exploring New Theoretical Approaches for Applied Visualization Design.” Rocky Mountain Celebration of Women in Computing (RMCWiC) 2016. Salt Lake City, UT. September, 2016.
  • “Making Poemage.” The Critical Visualization Event. GC, CUNY. New York, NY. June, 2016.
  • “The Poemage project: exploring the true value of computation to poetry scholarship.” DH U1: The First Utah Symposium on the Digital Humanities. Utah Valley University. Orem, UT. Feb. 2016
  • K. Coles and N. McCurdy. “Developing and Sustaining Collaborative Research in the Humanities.“ Panel Discussion. MLA2016. Austin, TX. Jan. 2016.
  • N. McCurdy, J. Gonnering Lein, A. Hurtado. “Deep in Poetry: Improvisations in Tech, in Text, in Time.” IEEE VISAP2-15. Chicago, IL. Oct. 2015.
  • "Poemage: Visualizing the Sonic Topology of a Poem." IEEE Vis 2015. Chicago, Ill. October 2015.
  • "RhymeDesign: A Tool for Analyzing Sonic Devices in Poetry." The Third Annual Computational Linguistics for Literature Workshop. Co-Located with the 2015 NAACL conference. Denver, CO. June 2015.
  • “Probing the Simulated Universe with zSpace.” zCon 2013. San Jose Computer History Museum. Mountain View, CA. April 22, 2013.
  • “Simulating Galaxies and the Universe.” NASA Exhibit. Supercomputing 2012 (SC12). Salt Lake City. Nov. 2012.
  • “Visualizing Simulations of Cosmology & Galaxy Formation.” VISIONS: Through Art to Science. Goethe-Institut, San Francisco. Oct. 20, 2012.
  • “Visualizing Simulations of Cosmology and Galaxy Formation.” NASA Exhibit. Supercomputing 2011 (SC11). Seattle. Nov. 2011.
  • “Visualizing the Evolution of the Large-Scale-Structure and the Multi-component Universe.” AstroViz 2011. UW, Seattle. June 4, 2011.
  • “Visualizing Eternal Inflation with Autodesk Maya.” The Future of AstroComputing Conference. SDSC, San Diego. Dec. 16, 2010.
  • “Visualizing Simulations of Cosmology and Galaxy Formation.” NASA Exhibit. Supercomputing 2010 (SC10). New Orleans. Nov. 2010.
  • “Astro-Computation, Visualization and Outreach.” Simulating and Visualizing the Universe Seminar. NASA Ames, Mountain View. Sept. 20, 2010.
  • “High-Resolution Simulations of Galaxy and Cosmological Structure Formation.” NASA Exhibit. Supercomputing 2009 (SC09). Portland. Nov. 2009.