May 5, 2003, Montreal Canada
Guest: Juan Pablo di Lelle.
The President called the meeting to order at 9:15 AM.
Motion (Brown Frey) To approve the March Executive Committee
conference call minutes.
Keeping our members better informed
There was a discussion on what we might do to keep our members
better informed about our activities and any changes within the
organization or the annual conference. There is quite a bit of
material online, but people don't necessarily know it exists or
where to find it. It was suggested that we try a periodic (monthly
or quarterly) brief email to members with updates on activities
throughout the organization.
Conference Management Model
A task force has reviewed the Conference Management Model and
updated it to make sure the document reflected current practice. The
model had been altered in discussion at the time it was approved by
the Executive Committee, but these changes had not been implemented
in writing at the time. The current Conference Management Model is
There was additional discussion about some of the changes within
the annual conference for this year and next year, including the
shorter, 5-day time, Sunday through Thursday. This will be evaluated
after SIGGRAPH 2003. It was further noted that the courses program,
while shorter than very recent years, is now equal to that of
SIGGRAPH 97. So, while the perception is that the content has been
decreased, the content level remains high.
EC Conference Activities
There was a discussion of the locations of the organizational
booth and of the societies with whom we have relations. We will not
have student volunteers at our booth this year, and all EC members
are expected to work at the booth at least four hours. There will
not be a Member Forum held during the conference week this year, and
the Executive Committee will meet all day on Friday, August 1, 2003.
Executive Committee meetings are open to all members.
Executive Committee Representative to Conference Advisory Group
There are two representatives from the Executive Committee (EC)
to the Conference Advisory Group (CAG) to provide advice and
guidance on the strategic directions of the organization and to help
determining the strategic direction of the annual conference. The
policy for this is online at
There were two candidates, Judy Brown and Gudrun Enger for a two
year term, beginning July 1, 2003. Gudrun, who is currently serving
in this position, was selected to serve a second term.
SIGGRAPH Proceedings as Issue of Transactions On Graphics
We have published the Proceedings from the annual conference as a
special issue of ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG) for two years,
and this has increased the visibility and status of papers for
tenure seeking professors. Stephen Spencer, Director for
Publications, brought forward a plan to continue this relationship
with TOG. Recent SIGGRAPH Papers Chairs and the current and past
Editor in Chief of TOG all support continuation of the arrangement.
The research community also supports the change. There is some
increased workload for contributors, with an additional review
cycle. The Proceedings will include a one-page advertisement for ACM
TOG to increase awareness of the publication for conference
attendees who may not be aware of it.
Motion (Spencer, Brown) To continue the relationship with ACM
TOG permanently to publish the Proceedings from the annual SIGGRAPH
Conference as an issue of TOG.
Approved (10,0, 0)
SIGGRAPH 2003 Budget
ACM Executive Committee asked for additional cuts from the
SIGGRAPH 2003 budget before they would approve it, and. the
conference came up with an additional $200,000 in cost reductions.
ACM will do accounting for routine services and will provide support
for the administration of Request for Proposal (RFP) process for
future contracts. The new budget will break even with $335,000
contingency, and it was approved by the ACM Executive Committee.
Exhibits look like they will meet projections. Exhibits are budgeted
for 65,000 square feet, and at this time, 57,000 square feet have
Alain Chesnais was commended for an excellent job working with
the ACM Executive Committee. To get budgets approved in these
financially difficult times, it is important to work with ACM
Headquarters staff to present a realistic proposal. Alain thanked
the SIGGRAPH 2003 Conference Chair, Alyn Rockwood, and the SIGGRAPH
2003 Conference Committee for making the difficult decisions
required to reduce their budget to a level lower than any SIGGRAPH
Conference since 1994. The SIGGRAPH 2004 preliminary budget is on
the June agenda for the ACM Executive Committee meeting. After
actuals are available for SIGGRAPH 2003, the SIGGRAPH 2004 budget
will be revised if necessary.
There was a discussion of an underground web community of 20,000
members, 5K, founded by some web graphics professionals in Canada.
This is essentially a competition to create the "coolest" website in
5 kilobytes of code. The founders do not have time to maintain this
anymore and want to give it away. There was discussion of whether
ACM SIGGRAPH should take it over to enhance the web graphics
program. It could be part of the web graphics program, and we could
host the competition on siggraph.org. There were some questions
about content issues. Rhonda Schauer will be our liaison to this
community and a subcommittee member of the SIGGRAPH 2004 web
graphics program. She will continue the discussion and come back to
the Executive Committee with a proposal for future directions.
Graphic Identity Task Force.
This task force was comprised of Gudrun Enger, Thierry Frey,
Scott Owen, Dena Slothower, Jamie Mohler and Sheila Hoffmeyer and
was charged with coming up with a new graphic identity to be used
both for the organization and for future conferences. It was felt
that this would eliminate the need to design a new logo each year
for the conference and better unify the conference and organization.
They reviewed the logos and treatments presented by Q, Inc. and
presented one design with a variety of color options and shaded vs.
flat treatment. A policy needs to be drawn up regarding options an
individual conference will have for treatment of the logo, such as
color, and texture. There will not be an option of text font or
omitting text. The Conference Advisory Group voted to accept this
logo for SIGGRAPH 2004.
Action Item: Gudrun Enger to work with Q and get the
requested colors and position with the ACM logo online for Executive
Committee to see.
Motion (Enger Hansmann) To accept this logo as the new ACM
SIGGRAPH organization logo, with color treatment options to be
Approved ( 9,0,1, Abstain Brown)
We would also need ACM approval. Any logo approved by the
Executive Committee would need to be forwarded to the ACM Office for
Policy and Administration for endorsement.
Gudrun Enger and the task force were thanked for their work on
Membership Fees discussion
There was a discussion of whether our member dues should be
raised. Dues are set at a rate to cover the cost of member benefits
plus approximately 25% of Executive Committee operating expenses,
with the remaining operating expenses coming from conference income.
Erica Johnson and Daren Ramdin sent out a Membership, Publications,
and Operations analysis.
Alain Chesnais pointed out that we also get income from the ACM
Digital Library now, and that this amount is based on the frequency
of downloads of the SIGGRAPH material in the Digital Library. Our
members have free access to this SIGGRAPH material, and we need to
encourage them to access it more often.
Most chapter members are not ACM or ACM SIGGRAPH members. A
chapters committee looked at membership models but could not come to
a consensus on a model that was acceptable to all. It was suggested
that chapters members be given an electronic membership that would
give them very limited access to the web site and allow them to see
what they could have if they were members.
Action Item: Alain Chesnais to appoint a task force to review
the current membership dues model. This task force should include
the newly elected Treasurer, the President and Director for
Action Item: Gudrun Enger to secure a proposal on cost for
development of a members only web site.
The idea of multi-year memberships was discussed because we have
poor retention after one year memberships and very good retention
after multiple year memberships. This needs further financial
analysis. ACM collateral does not support this type of program,
however, they will process it.
Action Item: The newly elected treasurer should look into
Electronic Support for Related Societies and Symposia
ANZGraph, in Australia and New Zealand, and Afrigraph, in
Southern Africa, have had very successful conferences and are
forming as regional organizations. They have asked for additional
support on siggraph.org. Because this would be an expense, we need
to define policies for what kind of support we can give to our
symposia and other societies. We are not in a position to offer this
level of services at this time, but we need to evaluate what level
of service we are able to provide. The systems group needs to define
the cost for various services.
SIGCHI has proposed closer collaboration between the
organizations, such as an exchange of panels, or membership
materials.. There is already a booth exchange at the conferences.
This is a liaison with another organization, and falls within the
responsibility of the Vice President. Barb Helfer will follow up on
The Coons Award winners will now receive a commissioned
mathematical sculpture rather than cash, and the design has been
finished. Seven pieces were ordered for 2002-2003, with former Coons
Awards winners having the opportunity to purchase one. The question
was raised as to whether we should buy additional sculptures at this
time and whether ACM SIGGRAPH owns the mold.
Action Item: Barb Helfer to investigate further and report
back to the Executive Committee. She and the President, Alain
Chesnais, can make the decision as to whether it is necessary and
affordable to order more at this time..
National Research Council
ACM SIGGRAPH previously allocated $50,000 as seed funding to have
a National Research Council (NRC) study on computer graphics
research. The goal was to have a formal NRC panel report supporting
the importance of computer graphics research that could help
influence organizations like National Science Foundations and policy
makers to allocate future funding to support his type of research.
This is to be an international effort, despite the title of NRC. It
was expected that NRC would raise the additional funds necessary, up
to $300,000. They were not successful in raising the additional
funds because the attention and funding in Washington has been
focused on other areas, and ACM SIGGRAPH had suggested that the
funds be returned in July if there has been no activity.
NRC is now proposing that they use the $50,000 from SIGGRAPH to
support a planning workshop in Utah to produce such a paper. Here is
The Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National
Research Council proposes to hold a planning workshop on research
challenges in computer graphics. Sponsored by SIGGRAPH, the workshop
will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, on DATE (late summer/early
fall). The workshop will be chaired by Dr. Elaine Cohen, a noted
expert in computer graphics, who is also a member of our Board.
The purpose of the workshop is to identify compelling research
needs in computer graphics, highlighting those that promise
significant returns due to the scope, scale, or breadth of their
potential applications. The workshop will examine research needs in
both core areas of computer graphics (such as modeling and
rendering) and in application areas such as defense, entertainment,
medicine, manufacturing, and scientific visualization to identify
those research areas that can be leveraged broadly. The workshop
participants will consider such questions as:
(1) what is computer graphics?
(2) what technical advances and research are required to enable
computer graphics to serve a growing range of needs?
(3) what unsolved problems remain within the field of computer
graphics and are they being adequately addressed? (4) what new
capabilities do advanced computing and communications provide that
may drive computer graphics applications?
(5) how can the most promising research issues be best addressed?
(6) what are the complementary roles of industry, government, and
universities in meeting future challenges?
(7) what are the benefits of research in different areas of
To encourage participation by all attendees, we are limiting
attendance to approximately 25(?) experts from the federal
government, academia, and industry. Most sessions will begin with
one expert who will provide a brief survey of some of the relevant
key issues, with the large majority of time reserved for all
participants to contribute to the discussion. We ask each
participant to bring a few transparencies or handouts that address
one or two of the most critical issues from your perspective.
The output of the workshop will be a non-reviewed white paper of
approximately 10 pages that will summarize the discussions. This
paper will be used to frame the key issues to be addressed by a full
study and to generate interest among federal agencies and other
potential study sponsors.
There were some questions about the selection criteria for
participation and dissemination. The item was tabled until the June
Conference Call to get the information to the Executive Committee.
Action Item: Alain Chesnais to send out the original proposal
for the study to Executive Committee
Support for authors to attend small conferences
There was a discussion of whether we could support authors who
have a paper accepted but cannot afford to attend the conference.
Some of the other SIGs have a program to support authors of accepted
works, when needed. We would need to have policies and a review
committee in place. Erica Johnson sent out the list of ACM
membership rates for economically developing countries (http://www.acm.org/membership/L2-3/)
to help guide us in how various countries rank in their Gross
Action Item: Barb Helfer to come up with a policy and plan
for this kind of support.
Gudrun Enger sent out the following web policies for comment by
the Executive Committee:
1. Unless there is some unusual and compelling reason all
projects should ultimately reside on siggraph.org.
2. All siggraph.org sites should be W3C compliant. This means
adhering to the W3C standards for functionality and accessibility.
3. There should be a simple and graceful way to handle obsolete
browsers, e.g. Netscape 4 and below, without allowing support of
these browsers to compromise policy #2.
There was a question as to who decides the "compelling reason"
for exemption referred to in the first policy. The consensus was
that the Executive Committee is the deciding body. On the handling
of support of obsolete browsers, discussion will continue via
Next conference call
The next conference call will be Wednesday, June 4th
at 9:00AM Eastern Daylight Time. The next face to face meeting will
be after the annual conference on Friday, August 1.
Thank you to Montreal Chapter
Juan Pablo di Lelle and the Montreal Chapter were thanked for
being our host at Discreet Logic Friday afternoon.
Meeting adjourned by acclamation