You can tell a great deal about an organization from the people it chooses to honor. The presentation of awards to those a group considers exemplary both rewards those who make outstanding contributions to the field, and serves as a means of providing the rest of its membership some living examples of the values it promotes.
This week ACM SIGGRAPH, as part of its 2015 conference and exhibition, presented awards to five members in recognition of "exceptional achievements in computer graphics and interactive techniques."
The organization's 2015 Significant New Researcher Award was presented to Johannes Kopf of Microsoft Research, in recognition of pioneering contributions to the fields of digital imaging and video, particularly his work on gigapixel panorama viewing, hyperlapse generation, image completion, and image upsampling and downsampling. Kopf, who received the Eurographics Young Researcher Award in 2013, earned his B.Sc. and M.S. degrees from the University of Hamburg, before completing a Ph.D. at the University of Kostanz.
The 2015 Computer Graphics Achievement Award was presented to Steve Marschner, a professor of computer graphics at Cornell University, in recognition of his work on modeling the appearance of natural materials. Marschner's research was described as having produced the most realistic appearance models to date of many real-world materials, through the use of detailed models of the intricate structure of materials, physically-based simulation of how light interacts with structured materials, and measurement of materials to capture and validate their appearance. In 2004, Marschner shared a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for significant advances in the realism of computer graphics and animation.
The Steven Anson Coons Award for Outstanding Creative Contributions to Computer Graphics was presented to Henry Fuchs for his contributions in augmented and virtual reality, telepresence and graphics hardware, and his lifetime of contributions in leading and educating the leaders in the field of computer graphics. Many of the advances developed by Fuchs were motivated by applications in medicine, such as informative visualizations during surgery or exams, and telecollaboration. Fuchs, the Federico Gill Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, received the 1992 ACM SIGGRAPH Achievement Award, became an ACM Fellow in 1994, and in 2013 received the IEEE-VGTC Virtual Reality Career Award.
The 2015 Outstanding Service Award was presented to Mike Bailey in recognition of a career of outstanding service to ACM SIGGRAPH. Now a professor of computer science at Oregon State University, Bailey began his long association with the ACM SIGGRAPH Conference Courses program by participating on the conference Courses Committee in 1983, and was the conference Courses Chair for SIGGRAPH 1984 (and subsequently in 1985, 1987, 1988, and 1994). He has presented the Fundamentals Seminar for newcomers to computer graphics 18 times, and has been a course speaker at SIGGRAPH North America 24 times (and six times at SIGGRAPH Asia). Bailey also has served on the ACM SIGGRAPH Executive Committee (1986-1990) and served as the SIGGRAPH Conference Co-Chair in 1991. He was a member of its SIGGRAPH's Book Series Editorial Board from 1994 to 1998, and served as editor of the SIGGRAPH Technical Slide Set from 1998 to 2000.
Lillian Schwartz was named recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement in Digital Art. The organization said her "groundbreaking work…helped to establish computer art as a viable field of endeavor." Her work has contributed to scientific research areas such as visual and color perception and sound, and has been exhibited throughout the world. She has exhibited and won awards at the Venice Biennale, Zagreb, Cannes, The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and has received Emmy nominations and an award in the 1980s.
Please join me in congratulating these fine folks on their well-deserved recognition, and in continuing to aspire to achieve the best we can in our respective fields.
Larry Fisher is Senior Editor/News for Communications.