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Lighting Design Innovator Tapped for ACM SIGGRAPH Award

Ward Developed Radiance Programs That Use Computer Graphics Rendering Tools

Virginia Gold

The Association for Computing Machinery



Ward Developed Radiance Programs That Use Computer Graphics Rendering Tools

SAN DIEGO, August 6, 2007 - ACM SIGGRAPH will award its 2007 Computer Graphics Achievement Award to Greg Ward for his innovative contributions to image synthesis algorithms, and for the development of the Radiance Synthetic Imaging System, which promotes computer graphics to analyze and visualize lighting in design. The application of Radiance has raised the perception of graphically realistic rendering as a serious tool in many disciplines, including aerospace and forensics. It is also used by architects and engineers to predict illumination, visual quality and appearance of innovative design spaces, and by researchers to evaluate new lighting and delighting technologies. Ward was cited for the clean, flexible design of his software in the Radiance program, which has contributed to its continuing popularity and accessibility by a large community of users.

The SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award is given each year for outstanding achievement in computer graphics and interactive techniques. Ward, an independent consultant in Albany, CA, since 2002, will receive the award at SIGGRAPH 2007, August 5-9, at the San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA.

Distributed without cost since 1989, Radiance is now in its 19th release, has proven its reliability, quality, and efficiency. It anticipated the World Wide Web and the Open Source movement, and has been used as a tool in many disciplines as well as software tested in computer graphics research.

Radiance has also served as the vehicle of distribution for many of Ward's rendering innovations including his anisotropic reflectance model, which enhances the appearance of materials such as wood and brushed aluminum, where the surface follows a particular direction. This empirical model is simple to compute and physically plausible, providing a valuable combination for computer graphics rendering.

Ward also invented an imaging gonioreflectometer, a multidimensional device that measures the reflectance of architectural materials using imaging technology to capture the entire hemisphere of reflected directions simultaneously. Ward has continued his practice of making his software freely available by releasing Photosphere, a package for browsing and building high dynamic range (HDR) images.

Before 2002, Ward was Managing Scientist at Exponent-Failure Analysis Associates, and Member of Technical Staff for as well as Silicon Graphics, Inc. From 1989 - 1997, he was a staff scientist for Lawrence Berkeley National laboratory, heading the Computer Imaging Project. He received an M.S. in computer science from San Francisco State University, and a B.A. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley.

About ACM
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is an educational and scientific society uniting the world's computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the profession's collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

The ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques ( is an interdisciplinary community interested in research, technology, and applications in computer graphics and interactive techniques. Members include researchers, developers and users from the technical, academic, business, and art communities. SIGGRAPH provides information to the computer graphics community through its annual conference, publications and the SIGGRAPH Video Review.

ACM/Press Release. Last updated August 6, 2007 by Steven Geringer