Dioselín González

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Gonzalez, Dioselin is a Lead Principal Engineer ​ at Unity Labs. She architected, led and delivered the prototype of Carte Blanche ​ (consumer VR authoring tool).  She now heads the mixed reality research ​ group at Unity Labs. [1] ​ Dioselin was born and raised in Venezuela ​. [4]

Education

Dioselin attended the Mater Dei School ​ in São Paulo ​ in 1979-1993, and gained the Science High School diploma ​. [5]

In 1993, she enrolled ​ Simón Bolívar University ​, where she pursued her Bachelor's degree ​ in 1999 in Computer Engineering ​. [5] ​ Her singularity of purpose — computer graphics ​, above all!—was such that she secured special permission to replace a required database ​ course with a computer graphics ​ course. [6]

“I wrote a letter to the head of the department,” says Dio. “And I explained—like a soap opera ​—‘Let me tell you about my life and my dreams!’” [6]

From Venezuela ​, Gonzalez went to The United States of America ​, to continue her studies at Purdue University ​. Laura Arns, who would become Dioselin’s academic adviser, had been recently hired to establish a virtual reality Research lab at Purdue ​, the Envision Center for Data Perceptualization. [6]

Arns had been a student of Dioselin’s compatriot, the Venezuelan VR pioneer Carolina Cruz-Neira ​. “It was great timing for me,” says Gonzalez, who, despite an interest in VR stemming ​ in part from her admiration of Cruz-Neira ​.​—had been unaware of Purdue's new program. [8]

With Arns as her adviser Dioselin secured a Master's Degree ​ in Computer graphics ​ in 2005. [8]

Career

In sixth grade of school, Dioselin Gonzalez took a course in computer programming ​. “Converting mathematical formulas ​ into a picture ​ on the screen ​” fascinated her. [9]

“Ever since then, I thought, ‘That’s what I’m going to do,” Dioselin says. “‘I’m going to be a programmer ​.’” [10]

When Dioselin Gonzalez graduated from Purdue ​, VR research ​ was limited to the ivory tower ​. [10] ​ For the next few years, then, she taught games programming ​ in Singapore ​ and worked as a VR researcher ​ in Louisiana ​. [10] ​ In 2009, she moved to California ​, where she spent several years in the animation ​ industry, mostly at DreamWorks ​. Dioselin cried when she first saw her name in the credits of Rise of the Guardians ​. [10]

“That’s a big deal, right?” She says. “I just went back to my cubicle and sent an email to my boss Bill [Ballew]: ‘Bill, I’m crying; I just saw my [name]…’” [10]

At DreamWorks ​, Gonzalez was part of a team that developed new animation software ​ for the widely acclaimed How to Train Your Dragon 2 ​. [8]

“I have the poster [for How to Train Your Dragon 2 ​] mounted in my bedroom next to my bed,” Dioselin says. “I’m very proud of what we did for the movie.” [7]

Dioselin has been with Unity Technologies ​ since October 2015. At Unity, she focuses her energies on her primary passion, “interactive immersive technologies ​: VR and beyond.” [10] ​ Though, in the popular imagination, virtual reality ​ tends to be associated with gaming ​, Dioselin is more interested in its other applications—in education

( Parametric ​ surfaces and volumes—that was one math ​ class that was very difficult for everybody in college ​ because the professor had to explain a surface or a volume on a blackboard…that’s a perfect scenario for virtual reality ​” )

and in therapy ( VR has been used to treat PTSD ​). [10]

If Dioselin Gonzalez’s passion and volubility gainsay stereotypes of programmers ​, so, too, does her identity as Latina. [10]

Silicon Valley ​—my goodness!—has a diversity problem,” Dioselin observes. [11]

Gonzales is, she notes, a “double minority.” She’s directing her tremendous energy and considerable talents toward addressing these inequalities—she and several other women (including another Behind the Tech interviewee Sargun Kaur ​) have a tech diversity project in the works. [11]

Personal Interests

Dioselin is obsessed with road cycling and engineering. [15] ​ She calls herself a diversity advocate on her twitter account. [15]

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