ACM SIGGRAPH Annual Report for FY 2006
Organization wide activities
We formed the ACM SIGGRAPH Advisory Board (ASAB) this past year. This group of about twenty senior people in the field represents our different communities. The purpose of the ASAB is to provide feedback and advice about different proposed initiatives and ideas. This was used by different members of the Executive Committee (EC) and the Conference Advisory Group (CAG).
Digital Arts Committee
We formed the Digital Arts Committee (DAC) composed of Masa Inakage (Chair), Hiroko Uchiyama, Jacki Morie, Kathryn Saunders, Cynthia Rubin, and Rick Barry. The objective of the DAC is to facilitate the development of the ACM SIGGRAPH Digital Arts Portal, support the genesis of symposia and workshops on Digital Arts, and to generally coordinate and support Digital Arts in ACM SIGGRAPH. The Arts portal (arts.siggraph.org) went live at the beginning of SIGGRAPH 2006.
This past year both the EC and the CAG spent a considerable amount of time on strategic issues. There was an initial three day meeting in January that included both the EC, the CAG, members of ASAB, and other invited guests. Much of the March and June EC meetings was spent refining the ideas initiated at the January meeting. The three primary areas of discussion include a restructuring of the EC to move it from an operations focused group to have more of a strategic focus, issues involving membership, and issues involving the annual SIGGRAPH Conference. We will be further refining these ideas in the Fall of 2006 and will present the results as a set of documents and proposed bylaws changes in the next election.
The SIGGRAPH 2005 Conference
SIGGRAPH 2005, the 32st conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques, brought 29,122 professionals from nearly 90 countries to Los Angeles for the annual conference and exhibition 31 July - 4 August 2005. Over 250 exhibiting companies exhibited in over 70,000 net square feet of space.
SIGGRAPH 2005 exceeded expectations with an overall 4 percent increase in attendance over the previous year and close to a three percent increase in technical program attendance. One of the most striking aspects of this year's conference was the incredible diversity of uses for the technical advances in computer graphics and interactive techniques. In addition, the energy on the exhibit floor was vibrant and exhibitors reported solid interest in the computer graphics hardware and software tools on display.
George Lucas Keynotes the SIGGRAPH Conference
World-renowned director, producer, and screenwriter George Lucas presented the keynote at SIGGRAPH 2005. His talk was presented to over 5,000 attendees.
ACM SIGGRAPH presented three awards at the conference to recognize individuals who have made a significant contribution to the computer graphics community. Tomoyuki Nishita, University of Tokyo, was the 2005 Steven A. Coons award winner for his work in the rendering of natural phenomena. The 2005 Computer Graphics Achievement Award recipient was Jos Stam, a Senior Research Scientist at Alais. for his work on subdivision surfaces and on fast algorithms for the simulation of natural phenomena, especially fire, fluids, and gases. Ron Fedkiw, of Stanford University, received the 2005 Significant New Researcher Award for his excellent work in advancing the use of fluid dynamics in computer graphics.
Computer Animation Festival Awards
The Computer Animation Festival jury selected "9" produced by Shane Thacker, U.S.A., for the Best of Show award. "Fallen Art" by Tomek Baginski, Poland and "La Migration Bigoudenn", Eric Castaing, Alexandre Heboyan, Fafah Togora, France, both won (Jury Honors). the attendees gave the People's Choice Award to Cubic Tragedy, by Ming-Yuan Chuan, Taiwan.
Conference content DVD set
This year we continued the Conference content DVD that we had initiated for the SIGGRAPH 2003 conference and expanded on for SIGGRAPH 2004. SOMA Media was awarded the contract to create a 5 DVD set covering the content from all of the venues that had formal presentations. The speakers were taped and their slides were captured to create a rich interactive multimedia record of the event. This was then offered for sale after the conference as a 5 DVD set. We also posted the content as streaming media in the ACM Digital Library. This content was made available to all ACM SIGGRAPH members free of charge as an additional member benefit.
Small Conferences and External Relations (Vice - President - Alyn Rockwood)
ACM SIGGRAPH sponsored or co-sponsored twelve small conference and/or workshops in FY 2006. In addition we were in cooperation with many more.
We made two significant policy changes to provide better support for small conferences. The first was to make all of them pay a uniform ACM allocation, rather than have it vary arbitrarily, and we dropped the rate by several percent. This effectively means that a small conference with an expense budget of $100,000 would pay about $6,000 less for ACM services than in the past. The second change was to create a Small Conference Reserve Fund. This means that if a conference makes a profit in one year then it can write a proposal to use up to %50 of its profit for a special conference enhancement the following year. Scott Lang was appointed as External Relations Coordinator to work with and help small conference organizers.
ACM SIGGRAPH Village
The ACM SIGGRAPH Village is a venue that we organize during each annual conference to regroup all of the organizational activities and promote membership. For SIGGRAPH 2005 we assigned an official ACM SIGGRAPH Village Manager, to co-ordinate all electrical, network, AV, shipping, signage, layout, storage, equipment rental, billing, and any other considerations that may arise for the ACM SIGGRAPH teams, and guests, and our many contractors, in the village area. For the 2005 Conference, that manager was Rob Gianino, who was the Members booth manager as well. The International Resource Committee and Center was moved from being a SIGGRAPH Conference Program to an ACM SIGGRAPH Program. Kirsten Cater was appointed to lead this effort. Part of her responsibility is to be in charge of the entire SIGGRAPH Village. She is assisted by Scott Lang. Both Kirsten and Scott serve under the Vice President, Alyn Rockwood.
We are working with members of the ACM SIGGRAPH, SIGGRAPH Conference, IGDA, Educational, and other gaming communities to form alliances. One result of this effort is Sandbox: an ACM SIGGRAPH Video Game Symposium which is co-located with SIGGRAPH 2006.
Developing relationships with peers
We are actively working with quality teams in related areas to form official alliances, share resources, and cross promote onea another. These include AWN.com, the Visual Effects Society, SIGCHI, IGDA, and Computer Graphics World Magazine. This is an ongoing effort to strengthen ACM SIGGRAPH's role within related communities.
Membership and Communications Activities (Director for Communications - Mk Haley)
This fiscal year has been a very active one for our Director for Communications, Mk Haley. Many new initiatives were engaged with respect to our member services, online services and our web presence. The responsibilities of the Director for Communications have now been split in two: membership activities and information services. A Director for Information Services. Thierry Frey, was appointed to the Executive Committee to ensure the oversight of the ACM SIGGRAPH information services.
Led by Director at Large Masa Inakage, we had a core team investigate the ACM SIGGRAPH brand, what it was, what it needed to be, and how we could promote ourselves. The initiative came out of our strategy meeting held in November 2004. This was a massive effort. Our most important finding is that we should perhaps hire a professional consultancy to develop a branding package for us. Out of this came a desire to more closely align the conference and the organizational programs and highlight each to the members of the other community. We chose an awareness campaign that runs across both the conference and the organization for the 2005 conference. We had several thousand rubber bracelets, each proclaiming an ACM SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH Conference ideal being distributed as a promotional item at our ACM SIGGRAPH member's booth on site, as well very specific bracelet being distributed to contributors in each venue on site. For example, the CREATE one is going to the art gallery contributors, INNOVATE to the papers, etc. etc. The final promotional items included: glow in the dark baby blue CREATE navy blue EDUCATE, grey INNOVATE orange INTERACT green VOLUNTEER red PASSION.
We developed a special ACM SIGGRAPH Members in long-standing award. This simple pin is the same as our silver pin with blue and red accents, however it is completely gold-toned with no colour. This is a subtle and classy way to honour our members of long-standing. We have culled our membership database to get figures and contact information for each member of 5, 10, etc years so that we can honour them. Each long standing member received a personal invitation to come to the ACM SIGGRAPH membership booth at the SIGGRAPH 2005 conference to receive their special pin.
Student Reporters Program
For the SIGGRAPH 2005 conference, we set up a crew of 5 reporters, plus one lead and one technical lead who provide reports from on site at the conference to our community. As the most often hit link for months after the conference off of siggraph.org last year, we would like to expand this program into a year round effort to provide an interesting perspective on our industry and people for us beyond just the conference. For the 2005 program we already have quite a few interviews of key people in our field online, and look forward to covering all the action as it happens on site.
Student Membership Award
Starting with the SIGGRAPH 2005 Conference, all accepted Student Volunteers were awarded a one year free membership to recognize the honor in being selected as a student volunteer. With the hard copy newsletter now no longer being printed, the cost for this per student is negligible. Hopefully we will breed enthusiastic student blood into the program, blood that will renew next year.
We have provided a service of resume and demo reel review, and general career counseling where asked. Our Director for Communications, Mk Haley, has volunteered to speak on behalf of ACM SIGGRAPH on the topic, particularly at local chapter meetings. We organize sessions on site at the conference each year for the Student Volunteers to get career advice, and then provide one on one mentoring and reviews.
CreativeHeads Job Board
We partnered with CreativeHeads.net as the official job board of ACM SIGGRAPH, and developed the weekly HeadsUp! Career Newsletter that goes out to our members.
ACM SIGGRAPH Web Site (Director for Information Services - Thierry Frey)
This year we spent a major effort in creating our new ACM SIGGRAPH web site. It has moved from static html to Plone, which is an Open Source Content Management System. The site was redesigned, with the assistance of our webmaster, Viveka Weiley, and the entire sysmgrs team. Much old content was updated and new content added. this coming year we plan to continue improving the site.
Education Committee Activities (Director for Education - Colleen Case)
The SIGGRAPH Education Committee sponsors many different projects and activities that involve volunteers from around the world. Fiscal year 2006 brought in the 22nd year of the committee. We have had three general focus areas: Curriculum Knowledge Base led by Tony Alley (Oklahoma Christian University), Community Building led by Professor Joaquim Jorge (INESC-ID Lisboa, Portugal) and Conference Activities led by Michael Mehall (Schoolcraft College). These focus areas facilitate our work groups based on the goals and objectives of the Education Committee.
Curriculum Knowledge Base
The Curriculum Knowledge Base group activities include workshops and projects that focus on the definition of a knowledge base for the computer graphics discipline. The aim is to provide a curriculum framework and similar materials that will aid instructors and institutions working to develop or enhance academic programs in computer graphics. This year, we continue with the work of past forums and workshops led by Gary Bertoline, Cary Laxer, and Frank Brattain. A working group of nine participants with diverse educational backgrounds and experiences will endeavor to add detail to the broad framework generated over the last two years. Support also continues for Gitta Domik's important work on the development of guidelines and materials for curricula and courses in the area of computer-generated visualizations.
CGEMS, the Computer Graphics Educational Materials Source, aims at supporting a worldwide community of Computer Graphics educators. Our goal in developing the service is to provide a means for educators work to be appraised and disseminated to other members of the community through an online server for refereed educational content. SIGGRAPH Academic Information Index Introduced to the graphics community at the SIGGRAPH 2004 conference, the SIGGRAPH Academic Information Index (AII) fulfills and extends the goals of the previous Education Directory. The AII is an online resource that provides information concerning curricula in computer graphics for SIGGRAPHs three primary audiences: students, educators and professionals.
SPACE-TIME Student Competition
The Poster/Print portion of the SIGGRAPH Student SPACE-TIME Competition for 2005 is a display of excellent design and technical proficiency. This years SIGGRAPH Education Committee sponsored competition was based on a theme of "Bring Your Brain". Submissions reflected a broad range of interpretations of this years theme. After premiering at SIGGRAPH 2005 the show was made available for viewing around the world. For more information, please visit our Education Committee Website.
Chapter Activities (Director for Chapters - Fran McAfee)
The major goal of the past year was to bring the chapters into the mainstream of the ACM and ACM SIGGRAPH community. This turned out to be a greater task than first anticipated. However, as of late ACM has added some benefits to chapters along with online accounts to help chapter leaders track membership and update chapter information. More coordinated efforts should lead to an improved membership model as well.
Growth was moderated while we upheld standards of conduct for the chapters in regard to activity, professionalism, and viability. We continued to charter new chapters while designating several unproductive chapters with "inactive" status. Of course, if there is some effort being made to revive these chapters we will support them as much as possible.
A complete listing of existing chapters can be found at http://chapters.siggraph.org/. This public portion of the site also lists the upcoming and past chapter events, indicates how one can start a chapter, and presents some general information about the PSCC. Chapter leaders have access to a private section that presents all the information needed to run their chapter effectively.
The chapters program continues to be a successful ACM SIGGRAPH endeavor. It continues to grow and improve. We have added the Traveling Art Show, continued to monitor chapter growth and activity, and learned a good deal about membership issues.
Professional and Student Chapters Committee (PSCC)
The members of the PSCC help the ACM SIGGRAPH Director for Chapters in his role as the liaison between the chapters and ACM SIGGRAPH. With more than seventy active chapters worldwide, a single person can no longer fulfill this role. The PSCC met in March in Fort Lauderdale. This meeting is a means to assess the situation of the chapters halfway through the program year. We focused on the chapters committee's role in support of chapters worldwide, creating better coordination of chapter members with the organization as well as the SIGGRAPH conference. We also planned conference activities and adjusted policy for regulating chapter's responsibilities.
Traveling Art Show
This year the Traveling Art Show (TAS) was moved under the Director for Chapters oversight. There were some significant issues involved with the shipping and crating company. As of June, Cooke's Crating has been replaced with Fine Art Shipping. The Chair of TAS, Lina Yamaguchi, should be commended for her hard effort in re-writing the artists agreement, negotiating with Fine Art Shipping, and maintaining a professional relationship with Cooke's Crating during the transition process. Her efforts assure that we can be more efficient in the future. Erica Johnson was also instrumental in financial and organizational issues. The coming year will present challenges in eliminating inventory that has built up over the past several years. Shipping artwork can be costly and there are several shows to be shipped back to contributing artists.
SIGGRAPH 2005 Conference Activities
The annual conference is the only occasion for a majority of local chapters to get together in the same place. Therefore it is a major event for our chapter leaders to make contacts and plan for their year-round activities. During the SIGGRAPH 2005 conference in LA, we gathered at the tenth Chapters Development Workshop. We had over seventy representatives from thirty-five different professional and student chapters. We were able to discuss many different topics, such as content management systems (Plone), CAWA, the future of ACM SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH as seen by the chapters. The workshop is also an opportunity for chapter leaders to meet informally with volunteers from the conference and the organization (EC, CAG, Conference Committee, etc.).
The other events of the week focus on outreach to conference attendees. The professional chapters start-up meeting, the student chapters start-up meeting were well attended, and the Chapters Booth saw many attendees come an inquire about our activities in general, and the existence of a chapter in their area in particular. The Chapters Party, held at the Mayan, the LA mainstay for many social gatherings, saw over 2,700 attendees. Lastly, we invited all of the student volunteers (SV) to come and learn about the chapters, the organization and the conference over lunch. Walt Disney's featured guest speaker was also a former SV. After having some issues with the LACC for this luncheon we've opted out for S2005, we plan to get involved again in Boston for S2006 as this helps in outreach activities to our future SIGGRAPH leaders. We have been a little more serious in talks to potential start-up chapters to ensure that they in turn are serious and responsible. Lots of time and energy goes into building these new SIGGRAPH communities and there must be a strong commitment in the early stages of chapter development
The Rest of the Year
During the 2005/2006 program year there were over 100 events organized by the chapters around the world. The range of activities is very wide: conferences, round tables, video screenings, art shows, site visits, promotion of the annual conference, and boot camps. More and more, chapters organize events with other organizations in their areas and communities. The screening of the Electronic Theater program remains the number one event, often attended by large audiences of 100 persons or more. Some chapters hosted small seminars, others shared meetings with other organizations such as software user groups and local chapters of other computer graphics related organizations (IGDA, etc).
CAWA and ACM Electronic Services
In 2003 Thierry Frey developed a web application to help chapter leaders in the day-to-day administrative tasks. CAWA, (Chapter Administration Web Application), allows chapter officers to maintain the chapter's contact information, as well as that of the officers and members, publicize their upcoming events, maintain a history of past events, and prepare their annual reports. Migrating CAWA to the information system of ACM has continued. This will develop a closer coordination of benefits and membership data between the chapters and ACM.
Nominations and Elections (Past President - Alain Chesnais)
The major responsibilities of the ACM SIGGRAPH Past President, Alain Chesnais, are to chair the Nominations Committee and manage the election process.
The other members of the Nominations Committee were Eugene Fiume, Scott Lang and Bonnie Mitchell. The committee held many candidate interviews during the week of the SIGGRAPH 2005 conference and continued for a few weeks afterwards talking to potential candidates by telephone and email. As is usually the case, there were more good potential candidates than we had positions to fill. This is good for ACM SIGGRAPH but difficult for the Nominating Committee. The following excellent slate of candidates was selected: Jeff Jortner and jamie Mohler for Treasurer, Gary Bertoline and Rick Barry for Director for Education, and Tom Appoloni, Jim Kilmer, and Sue Gollifer for Director at Large. The winning candidates were Jeff Jortner, Rick Barry and Jim Kilmer.
The Past President proposed, and the EC approved, several new Nominations Process polices to ensure a more open and public process.