SIGGRAPH has long been the primary conference for research in computer graphics and interactive techniques. The research cornerstone is the Technical Papers program (proceedings published as a special issue of ACM Transactions on Graphics) and its Fast Forward session. SIGGRAPH 2009 emphasizes art and design research in the same way, by introducing Art Papers (published as a special issue of Leonardo, the Journal of the International Society of the Arts, Sciences and Technology).
The conference also features Emerging Technologies, where attendees can experience the latest interactive technologies directly, in real time. For SIGGRAPH 2009, we're introducing the Information Aesthetics Showcase to highlight the increasingly prominent role that information visualization and data graphics are assuming in digital culture. The ACM SIGGRAPH Sandbox Symposium on video games, which in previous years was a co-located meeting that required an additional registration fee, is now integrated into the main SIGGRAPH conference, featuring Game Papers published in Sandbox 2009: ACM SIGGRAPH Video Game Proceedings. And, of course, SIGGRAPH 2009 includes Posters, Talks, Panels, SpeedLab, Birds of a Feather sessions, and the ACM Student Research Competition.
SIGGRAPH 2009 also introduces the first annual Research Challenge. A challenge problem was announced in October. Projects are evaluated at SIGGRAPH 2009 by a jury of distinguished judges.