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[ Introduction ]
[ SIGGRAPH98 Activities ]
[ ACM/Policy98 Wrap-up ]
Traditionally, the November column has provided a summary of public policy activities at
the past SIGGRAPH conference. We have two formal activities: our annual committee
meeting held on Tuesday and a Birds of a Feather (BOF) session held on Thursday.
The committee meeting provides the only chance each year for the committee to meet in
person. The 1998 meeting was attended by committee members Judy Brown, Bob Ellis,
Oscar Garcia, Mike McGrath, David Nelson and Laurie Reinhart. Steve Cunningham,
SIGGRAPH Chair also attended.
Because the committee does not have sufficient human resources to organize a
conference (plus the difficulty of getting policy makers to such a meeting) we have
concentrated on participating in other conferences. I summarized our participation in
Visualization 97, Computers, Freedom and Privacy (CFP) 98 and ACM/Policy98 (see
previous columns). I described some ideas I have suggested to the organizers of CFP99
which will be held in Washington DC in April 1999. These include panels on policy issues in
graphics and fine arts, high speed Internet access and television/computer convergence.
There was some interest in holding another workshop on PC visualization at Visualization
99, but no organizer stepped forward.
We have been working on a proposal to SIGGRAPH Special Projects for SIGGRAPH to
partially sponsor a National Research Council (NRC) study on computer graphics
research. A preliminary proposal has been developed and the NRC is very interested, but
there are some issues which need to be resolved before the SIGGRAPH Executive
Committee is comfortable with the project.
The idea of doing reader surveys on policy issues via our expanded Web page was
discussed. Concurrently with investigating the technical feasibility, I'm going to work on
some questions. These would be "unscientific" surveys because, among other things, the
respondents would be self selected.
We discussed the possibility of having more of a presence at the SIGGRAPH conference,
particularly at the BOF. To date we have used the BOF primarily as a meeting place for
people interested in public policy because of the difficulty of publicizing a formal BOF
program and the significant competition provided by the rest of the conference. We
decided to try a short program for our BOF at SIGGRAPH99 in Los Angeles.
I suggested that it was time to develop another white paper like the one we did on the
Internet and public policy last year. Two topics occur to me: universal access and public
data visualization. In the universal access paper we could concentrate on the use of
graphical user interfaces to support universal access. Public data visualization is my
description of the use of visualization tools by the public to view data, particularly data
which is publicly available. I plan to put together synopses of both papers and solicit
We discussed two topics under "new ideas". First, several committee members suggested
that there were a number of potential policy issues associated with the Internet 2
activities currently underway. Then Judy Brown described the "forward looking" activities
associated with the 30th anniversary of SIGGRAPH the organization which will be
celebrated next year. Several suggestions were made including an interim report on the
NRC study (if available), new white papers on the future and reader surveys on the future
conducted on our Web page.
A number of activities have been suggested above. If any of you have ideas or would like
to contribute to them, please contact me at