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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
20 June, 2001

For further information:
Sheila Hoffmeyer/Ann Kilhoffer-Reichert
+1.312.644.6610 x5811
+1.312.245.1083 fax
media-s2001@siggraph.org

LANCE WILLIAMS TO RECEIVE STEVEN A. COONS AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING CREATIVE CONTRIBUTIONS TO COMPUTER GRAPHICS FROM ACM SIGGRAPH

ACM SIGGRAPH is presenting Lance Williams with the Steven A. Coons Award for Outstanding Creative Contributions to Computer Graphics. Williams will receive his award this summer at SIGGRAPH 2001, 12 - 17 August 2001, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Williams is being recognized for his fundamental and far reaching technical ideas, his pioneering artistic contributions to the field, and his generous and unflagging mentorship to many of the leading lights in computer graphics research today.

"Through his ideas, his artistry, and his humanity, Lance Williams has made a lasting impact on computer graphics, both as a discipline and as a community," said Ed Catmull, ACM SIGGRAPH Awards Chair. "We hope that by awarding him the highest honor ACM SIGGRAPH can bestow, William's song will finally be sung."

Like many pioneers, Williams began his career in computer graphics at the University of Utah in the early 70s. Unlike many others, he joined the graduate computer science program there holding a degree in English from Kansas University. Even so, he quickly established himself at Utah as one of the leading thinkers. Many would seek out Williams to discuss new ideas, as he would never fail to be stimulating and creative. After working on 2D and 3D animation systems, Williams left Utah to join the New York Institute of Technology in 1974. During that time many of his fundamental technical contributions appeared: mip mapping, shadow buffers, facial animation by image warping, and new techniques for antialiasing.

His artistic contributions at NYIT have a central place in the history of computer graphics. He contributed to "Sunstone," and he created "the Works," two of the most important and memorable computer graphics films ever made. In 1987, Williams joined Apple ATG's research group. His influence in this group is legendary, and his accomplishments include work with Eric Chen that marks the beginning of image-based rendering, as well as fundamental contributions to motion capture and animation systems. In 1997 Williams joined Dreamworks, and today works at Walt Disney Animation Studios.

William's career has found him at many important centers of computer graphics. In each, he has acted as an unforgettable creative force to help catapult the institution to prominence. His technical accomplishments are always marked by fresh thinking and extreme creativity. However, his contribution to these institutions goes much deeper. Everyone who has been privileged to work with Williams (and there are many) remarks on how he has touched them. Williams is famous not only for his vision, but also for his teaching, and for his inspiration and generosity to others. For many, Williams is one of the unsung heroes of our field.

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SIGGRAPH 2001 will bring over 40,000 computer graphics and interactive technology professionals from six continents to Los Angeles for the week-long conference. A comprehensive technical program and special events focusing on research, art, animation, and interactive technologies are planned. SIGGRAPH 2001 includes a three-day exhibition of products and services for the computer graphics and interactive marketplace from 14-16 August 2001. ACM SIGGRAPH, the leading professional society for computer graphics and interactive techniques, sponsors SIGGRAPH 2001. Information on ACM SIGGRAPH membership and other conferences and activities can be found at www.siggraph.org.


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