FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
20 June, 2001
For further information:
Sheila Hoffmeyer/Ann Kilhoffer-Reichert
WITKIN TO RECEIVE 2001 COMPUTER GRAPHICS ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
FROM ACM SIGGRAPH
is recognizing Andrew Witkin with the 2001 Computer Graphics
Achievement Award for his pioneering work in bringing a physics-based
approach to computer graphics. Witkin will receive his award
this summer at SIGGRAPH 2001, 12 - 17 August 2001, at the
Los Angeles Convention Center.
Witkin's papers on active contours (snakes) and deformable
models, variational modeling, scale-space filtering, space
time constraints, and dynamic simulation are considered landmarks
that have been inspirational to others and have shaped the
field in such different areas as image analysis, surface modeling,
Witkin received his Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology in the psychology department. His thesis was about
the perception of surface orientation from texture statistics.
At Schlumberger Palo Alto Research, Witkin developed the technique
of "Scale-Space Filtering" which is a method for analyzing
signals based on the changes in their inflection points under
smoothing. The work has become a classic in the multi-resolution
signal analysis literature.
In the early 80s, the vision and graphics research communities
were largely disjoint. Witkin was one of the first to bridge
the divide in a series of papers that included his 1987 prize
winning paper "Constraints on Deformable Models: Recovering
3D Shape and Non-rigid Motion" and "Snakes: Active Contour
Models" both co-authored with Michael Kass and Demetri Terzopoulos.
These papers popularized the idea that computer vision techniques
could provide interactive "power assists" to a human operator
creating computer graphics models.
While still at Schlumberger, and subsequently as a professor
at Carnegie Mellon University, Witkin has done notable work
on the use of physically-based modeling techniques not only
for animating rigid or deformable objects, but also as an
interaction technique for a range of problems including constrained
geometric modeling and camera control (with Michael Gleicher)
and visualization of implicit surfaces (with Paul Heckbert).
In 1992, with Michael Kass, Witkin won a Golden Nica from
Ars Electronica for his use of physically based modeling of
reaction-diffusion equations to synthesize organic looking
textures. In 1988 Witkin, with Michael Kass, introduced the
idea of using control theory in computer graphics with their
"Spacetime Constraints" paper and showed that optimization
could be used to direct physically-based character animation.
Recently, Witkin has become interested in the very difficult
problem of clothing simulation. With David Baraff at Carnegie
Mellon University, Witkin developed the clothing simulator
which forms the basis of Maya Cloth, and which was used in
the production of "Stuart Little," among other films. With
David Baraff and Michael Kass at Pixar Animation Studios,
Witkin developed the clothing and hair simulator used in the
forthcoming Pixar/Disney film "Monsters, Inc."
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.