Informatics Professor Cristina Lopes was honored as a main speaker at the 2016 OpenSimulator Community Conference (OSCC16) in December. The conference is an annual event dedicated to OpenSimulator software, which is an open-source multi-platform, multi-user 3-D application server that can be used to create virtual environments. The conference focused on the continued development of the software and user-community building. OSCC16 is organized as a joint production by core developers of OpenSimulator, such as Lopes herself and AvaCon Inc., which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the growth, enhancement and development of the metaverse, virtual worlds, augmented reality, and 3-D immersive and virtual spaces.
Lopes is a core OpenSimulator developer who created the Hypergrid, which is described as a “federation architecture and protocol for OpenSimulator virtual worlds that supports the seamless transfer of avatar user agents and assets between them.”
She participated as a speaker on several panel discussions, including the OpenSimulator Core Developer Panel; VIP: Keynote Q&A; Beyond the Viewer: The Future of World Interfacing; and Evaluating VR Platforms: OpenSimulator, Unity 3D, WebGI and Other Applications. Lopes also hosted her own talk on remote-controlling OpenSimulator.
Last year, Lopes was also the first woman to be awarded the $10,000 Pizzigati Prize for her work as a software developer who is helping to develop open source applications that aid activists and nonprofits involved in social change.