FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
20 June, 2001
For further information:
Sheila Hoffmeyer/Ann Kilhoffer-Reichert
WILLIAMS TO RECEIVE STEVEN A. COONS AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING
CREATIVE CONTRIBUTIONS TO COMPUTER GRAPHICS FROM 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
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.
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.