As of September 2016, Maria is an Assistant Professor in Interactive Systems (i.e. Human-Computer Interaction, Virtual Reality, Computer Games) at the Department of Informatics & Telecommunications, University of Athens. Before founding makebelieve, she established and directed (for four+ years, 1998-2002) the Virtual Reality Department at the Foundation of the Hellenic World, a cultural heritage institution based in Athens, Greece, where she was responsible for the virtual reality infrastructure, programs, research, and design of the overall visitor experience. During her extensive work with the CAVE® at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory in Chicago, she focused on the design, application, and evaluation of virtual and digital media environments for education and the representation of cultural information.
She has collaborated with many museums, including contemporary art museums such as the Walker Art Center, to design and create interactive art education material for the Internet. Her projects and collaborations have been featured internationally, she has been a regular member of the program and organizing committees of numerous exhibitions and conferences, has lectured extensively, and has served as Expert Evaluator to the European Commission FP5, FP6, FP7, and H2020 ICT Programmes.
Maria has been teaching: the ‘Museums and New Technologies’ graduate course of the Museum Studies program at the University of Athens (since 2004); the 4th year undergraduate course in Human-Computer Interaction in Computer Science (since 2008); graduate level Web Design and Development and User-Centred Design for the Digital Communication and Social Media Master of Arts program at the American College of Greece (since 2013-2016).
Maria holds a PhD in Computer Science (with a research focus on Virtual Reality and Human-Computer Interaction) from the University of London (UCL), a Master in Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Electronic Visualization, an M.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a B.Sc. in Applied Informatics from the Athens University of Economics and Business. She is an active member of a number of professional organizations since the mid ‘90s, such as ACM (Senior Member since 2020, Greek ACM SIGCHI Professional Chapter Chair 2011-2019 and Vice Chair since 2020, Greek ACM-W Chapter Vice Chair since 2018), IEEE, and ICOM. Maria is the recipient of the 2013 Tartessos Award for her contribution in Digital Heritage and Virtual Archaeology.
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