2017 ACM SIGGRAPH Election
Candidate Biographies and Statements
Candidates for President
Candidates for Vice-President
Candidates for Director-at-Large
Candidate for President
As an elected Director-at-Large for the past five years, I have actively participated in the vision and strategy sessions held by the Executive Committee and Conference Advisory Board. We have made significant strides in developing a strategy for the organization and the conference going forward. However, much more needs to be done as we remake the organization to better match the changes and disruptions occurring in computer graphics and interactive techniques.
As President, I hope to lead the Executive Committee in implementing a number of initiatives that will allow us to better support our members and play a stronger role in advocacy for the graphics community. I expect that could take many forms: copyright and IP protection practices, research funding from the government and industry, and facilitating stronger engagement between industry and academia.
Jessica Hodgins is a Professor in the Robotics Institute and Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University. From 2008 - 2016, she founded and ran research labs for Disney, rising to VP of Research and leading the labs in Pittsburgh and Los Angeles. From 2005 - 2015, she was Associate Director for Faculty in the Robotics Institute, running the promotion and tenure process and creating a mentoring program for pre-tenure faculty. Prior to moving to Carnegie Mellon in 2000, she was an Associate Professor and Assistant Dean in the College of Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1989. Her research focuses on computer graphics, animation, and robotics with an emphasis on generating and analyzing human motion. She has received a NSF Young Investigator Award, a Packard Fellowship, and a Sloan Fellowship. She was editor-in-chief of ACM Transactions on Graphics from 2000 - 2002, ACM SIGGRAPH Papers Chair in 2003, and in 2002 she co-founded the ACM SIGGRAPH/Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation. She has been an elected director at large on the ACM SIGGRAPH Executive Committee since 2009. In 2010, she was awarded the ACM SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award and in 2017 she was awarded the ACM SIGGRAPH Steven A. Coons Award.
Candidate for President
I received last year’s Outstanding Contribution Award after having been an active SIGGRAPH volunteer for over 30 years, including a term as President from 2002 through 2005. Most recently I have been focusing on our international growth by working on SIGGRAPH Asia. I am a French citizen living in Canada. As such, I understand first hand how SIGGRAPH is perceived by people living outside of the US. Our greatest potential for growth is as a truly international organization.
I believe that the major strength of this organization is its diverse, international membership base coming from a wide range of disciplines related to computer graphics and interactive techniques. It is an organization where scientists, developers, creative professionals, and educators can, and do, interact on regular basis. I want to reinforce that multi-disciplinary approach that has helped us grow. My ideal would be to make that available to our whole community throughout the year in a geographically widespread approach. We already a strong chapters program that we have built up over the years that I would want to see us reinforce.
I also want to make sure that we channel the enthusiasm that we see in our amazing student volunteers, who come from all regions of the world, in order to help them be active volunteers as they transition into professional life. Building on the existing SVR program to help guide graduating student volunteers to find positions in committees that they could serve on will help us build a much stronger and more vibrant organization!
Alain Chesnais is Chief Scientist at TrendSpottr. Before that he was VP Technology at JanusVR, developing collaborative virtual reality software for the web. He has held equivalent positions in several companies over the past few decades, including TrendSpottr, SceneCaster, Tucows, ATI and TrueSpectra. Previously he served as director of engineering at Alias|Wavefront where he led the development team that received an Oscar in 2003 for creating the Maya 3D software package.
Chesnais studied at l’Ecole Normale Supérieure de l’Enseignement Technique and l’Université de Paris VII and XI, and where he earned a Maîtrise de Mathématiques, a Maîtrise de Structure Mathématique de l’Informatique, and a Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies in Computer Science.
He is a long time volunteer who served as ACM President from 2010 through 2012. He was Vice President from 2008 through 2010 as well as Secretary-Treasurer from 2006 through 2008. He served as ACM SIGGRAPH president from 2002 through 2005 and as ACM SIG Governing Board Chair from 2000 through 2002. He currently is a member of the SIGGRAPH Asia Conference Advisory Committee.
He is a French citizen currently residing in Canada and has more than 30 years of senior management experience in the software industry.
Candidate for Vice-President
As an industry, we are reaching our formative years as the demand for, and capabilities of, computer graphics continues to grow at an astounding rate. In parallel with a maturing industry, we also find SIGGRAPH is itself going through a challenging transition. The impact of AR, VR, machine vision, and machine learning crystallizes the important work yet to be done to ensure SIGGRAPH remains in the forefront of the minds and the imagination of all who work with, and benefit from, the ground-breaking work done by our entire community. With these opportunities and challenges, our researchers, practitioners, educators and students need SIGGRAPH to be a thriving, diverse community.
Over these last three years, I have worked to bring my production experience and entrepreneurial spirit to the EC and our recent Governance and Strategy working groups. My intent has been to help the EC as a group, reflect on where we have been, and make sure that as the premier organization for computer graphics and interactions, we are well positioned to choose where we want to go in the next 10+ years. I am inspired and energized by the work we have done to chart a direction and a strategic plan for this next chapter of the SIGGRAPH organization. At the 2017 Conference we will start sharing this with all of you and I look forward to hearing your feedback. It is my sincerest hope that I will have the opportunity to continue serving you as we prepare the organization to support and propel forward the next generation of computer graphics visionaries and professionals.
Evan Hirsch, Managing Partner of Engine Co. 4, is a creative executive with 25 years experience working with industry leaders throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia.
In 2011, Hirsch founded Engine Co. 4 to provide strategic consulting services on developing immersive multi-platform user experiences, creative development, and providing tactical firefighting advice for large design and creative projects. Clients include; Ubisoft, PopCap Games, The American Medical Association, The Walt Disney Company, The US Naval Post Graduate School and the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technology.
Prior to starting, Engine Co. 4, as the Creative Director at Microsoft’s Live Labs and Surface teams, he played a lead role in defining the user experience for Surface, the first widely manufactured and distributed multi-touch computer.
Hirsch has held roles in the Visual Effects and Feature Animation industries in London and worked at Electronic Arts for six years in a variety of roles culminating as Head of Visual Development for EA Worldwide Studios. Hirsch’s roots are as an Industrial Designer, beginning his career designing consumer products and corporate identities, including his patented Centrum Vitamin packages that have been in production since 1994.
In 2008 Hirsch proposed and eventually led the creation of the Real Time Live Program for SIGGRAPH which he chaired in 2009 and 2010. After serving on the Business Symposium program committee for 2011 and 2012, he chaired that program in 2013. He is a Visiting Scholar at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (Pittsburgh, PA), a Lecturer at Otis College of Art and Design (Los Angeles, CA), and a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts as well as The Design Management Institute.
Candidate for Vice-President
I have played an active role in ACM SIGGRAPH, both as a contributor and volunteer. I have worked with my EC colleagues to move towards a more strategic role. Future projects include:
- Embracing new communities including virtual and augmented reality and help them grow and feel part of the larger SIGGRAPH family.
- As the society representing computer graphics professionals, we should become a voice recognized by industry, academia and governments, for expertise and future trends.
- Planning the future of the SIGGRAPH Asia conference and moving it towards sustainability with the new Asia Graphics association.
- Helping the South American computer graphics community, already in Brazil and now growing in Columbia and with a plan to include other emerging communities.
- Working with award chairs to ensure our awards are the most prestigious in computer graphics. Last year we established the new PhD dissertation award. A vital part of helping people in their professional life.
- SIGGRAPH has a special relationship with Eurographics. I continue to serve as liaison person as well as an elected member of the Eurographics executive.
- I support the promotion of women and minorities in our industry, and the role SIGGRAPH can play in helping computer graphics professionals in their careers. Our organization is dedicated to help advancing the careers of our members.
- SIGGRAPH must not lose sight of the importance of the two main conferences, as well as promoting the specialized conferences.
I have been involved in the Computer Graphics community for 40 years. Before coming to academia I worked in industry including on the first Hollywood movie to include computer graphics – Alien. I have been a computer graphics professor since 1981, in Canada and the UK.
My involvement with ACM SIGGRAPH started as a contributor to papers, the Computer Animation Festival and courses, and then as the standing chair with responsibility for our specialized conferences, and currently as vice-president. As an academic I continue to contribute towards the research and education communities, but recognize that SIGGRAPH includes artists, researchers, industry based professionals, and students.
- 2007-2013 Canada Research Chair
- ACM SIGGRAPH Vice-President 2014-2017
- ACM SIGGRAPH Specialized Conferences Chair 2009-2014 – developed small (specialized) conferences handbook.
- Served on the Eurographics Executive committee since 2005 and SIGGRAPH liaison person.
- Elected Fellow of Eurographics 2012
- CHCCS (Canadian Human Computer Communications Society) Achievement Award 2011
- Built the SIGGRAPH Asia video trailer (2013-2016)
- Member of steering committees for Computational Aesthetics, NPAR and Sketch-based Interactive Modelling and animation. Helped move these conferences to the formation of Expressive.
- Member steering committee of Shape Modeling International
- Member steering committee Graphics Interface, Cyberworlds
- Regular reviewer for SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH, Asia and many other conferences.
Candidate for Director-at-Large
SIGGRAPH has been incredibly successful over the years. The technical papers program is the highest profile publication in computer graphics, the talks, courses, emerging technologies, and special sessions have representation from various disciplines and large industries like film and video games. There is also a rich history of supporting small conferences for sub-communities like animation (SCA), interactive rendering (I3D), and high performance graphics (HPG) that have been influential over my career.
I have attended SIGGRAPH every year starting in 1993, and SIGGRAPH Asia 5 times. I have interacted with SIGGRAPH in many capacities: as an impressionable young student, a paper author, courses co-chair (2007), SIGGRAPH Asia papers chair (2012), and on committees for many of the programs. Through these interactions, I have met many people outside of my usual circles (graphics researchers and later the game industry), and the intersection of disparate communities is something I have always really appreciated about SIGGRAPH.
SIGGRAPH has meant a lot to me during my career, and, if elected as Director-at Large, I would like to pay some of that forward. While many things are going well, there are also challenges: conference attendance is declining, we could better serve some of the communities like the game industry, and open access is an important issue. Also, the small conferences are struggling, and we could do more to encourage student participation.
I am a Technical Fellow at Activision, heading up a small team working on graphics technology. I was a graduate student at the University of Utah, but left in 1998 to work in the Graphics Research group at Microsoft. I later headed up a research group in the former games division of Disney and was a member of the graphics research group at NVIDIA. My research is primarily in rendering for games, but I have also worked on skinning, animation, and simulation. My research has been used extensively in the video game industry and a complete list of publications is at: http://www.ppsloan.org/publications/.
I have been courses co-chair (2007), SIGGRAPH Asia papers chair (2012), served on the technical papers committee multiple times, and the general jury and courses/sketches jury before that existed. I have also been a member of the Papers Advisory Board. I was an editorial board member for ACM Transactions on Graphics and the Journal of Graphics Tools. I was papers co-chair for both i3D and EGSR. I have had content in the papers, courses, sketches/talks, and the SIGGRAPH Asia technical briefs programs. I have also given presentations at the Game Developers Conference (GDC), GDC Europe, CDEC, Meltdown, and other conferences in the game industry.
Candidate for Director-at-Large
Change is a constant in the computer graphics industry, it’s what makes it exciting and it’s also what makes it challenging for an organization like ACM SIGGRAPH to update (at the same speed as technological developments) things like content for its members and outreach to new generations and growing international communities.
I love everything about ACM SIGGRAPH, which is why I find it perplexing that industry professionals from my generation are not attending the conferences as much and haven’t considered becoming members. Most of the time it is not about content but a matter of outreach and communication. We need to be in touch with new generations and international communities, understand them better in order to know how to talk to them.
We faced a similar challenge back in 2009 when we opened the Bogota ACM SIGGRAPH chapter in Colombia. Virtually nobody knew what ACM SIGGRAPH was. With a focus on outreach, combined with the quality of ACM SIGGRAPH content, we have been able to grow our community in Colombia from 800 attendees in 2010 to more than 8,000 attendees last year.
Since the excitement of my first SIGGRAPH conference in 2004, I’ve had the privilege of attending talks from my heros in the industry, make connections that have become great friendships and been able to give a boost to the animation industry in my home country. I owe all these extraordinary experiences to ACM SIGGRAPH, which is why I would be incredibly grateful for the opportunity to give back to the organization through the Director at Large office, and would be my inspiration behind the drive to take these wonderful experiences to new members across generations and borders.
Hernando Bahamon is the animation Director of Globizco Inc. a digital media studio with clients such as TED-Ed, Sesame Workshop and Moondrop Entertainment.
As Chair of the Bogota ACM SIGGRAPH chapter he has helped it become one of the largest Animation and VFX events in Latin America counting more than 8,000 registered attendees in 2016’s edition.
In 2010 Hernando graduated from the Bachelor of Applied Arts in Animation from Sheridan College.