INTERVIEWS

Zoran Popovic Dr. Zoran Popovic, University of Washington, was awarded the "Significant New Researcher Award" at SIGGRAPH 2004. He received his M.S. in Computer Science in 1993 and a Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1999 from Carnegie Mellon University.

What first drew you to computer graphics?

As a freshman at Brown University I took an introductory computer science course from Andy van Dam that inspired me towards research in computer graphics.

Do you have any computer graphics mentors? I have many mentors... my advisor Andrew Witkin, and later on Jessica Hodgins, and Michael Cohen.
What was the first time you contributed to SIGGRAPH? I authored a paper in 1995 with Andrew Witkin called "Motion Warping."
What year/city was your first SIGGRAPH? Which was most intense? Why? My first SIGGRAPH was in LA. This year's conference has been the most intense because of the award. Suddenly everybody knows you.
What contribution to graphics are you most proud of?

Actually, we are currently working on a paper that will hopefully explain a bit more about the inner workings of human motion dynamics.

What was your favourite exhibit this year? The High Dynamic Range display, the tickle machine and the interactive floor.
Any near/intermediate developments in CG that you look forward to? A big quest for me is understanding natural motion, and using this knowledge to synthesize realistic motion.
What are your thoughts about the future course of CG? CG has borrowed heavily from physics and applied mathematics, biomechanics in the past. It is now pushing past those boundaries and the future results in graphics will eventually end up affecting physics, applied math, zoology.
What are your thoughts on Augmented Reality? A few years ago people were talking about VR (Virtual Reality). Now, we have the scaled down expectations in the form of AR. I can see many useful things coming out of it, but only time will tell.
Any advice for PhD students? Do it only if you feel passionate about discovery and innovation. Don't be afraid to pick a hard problem and
never give up.

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