Prusinkiewicz Receives 1997 SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award

For Immediate Release
30 June 1997

For further information:
Sheila Hoffmeyer
+1.312.644.6610 x3220
+1.312.245.1083 fax

(30 June 1997) - ACM SIGGRAPH announced today that Dr. Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz has been awarded the 1997 SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award for his cutting-edge work pertaining to modeling and visualizing biological structures.

The Computer Graphics Achievement Award is presented annually to recognize a major accomplishment in the state of the art of computer graphics that is significant and apparent.

SIGGRAPH recognizes Dr. Prusinkiewicz for making complex natural environments a visible part of computer graphics. As a result of his research, plants can be modeled with unprecedented visual and behavioral fidelity to nature. The impact of Dr. Prusinkiewicz's work will continue to increase as these environments become richer and more realistic.

Dr. Prusinkiewicz will receive his award at SIGGRAPH 97, the 24th International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, in Los Angeles, 3-8 August 1997. The 15th presentation of this award will be made by Bertram Herzog, SIGGRAPH Awards Chair.

Currently, Dr. Prusinkiewicz is a professor of computer science at the University of Calgary, an appointment he received in 1991. He began his work on plant modeling as a faculty member at the University of Regina. Dr. Prusinkiewicz has held visiting professorships at Yale University and l'Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne. He was also a visiting researcher at the University of Bremen and the Center for Tropical Pest Management in Brisbane.

Dr. Prusinkiewicz's work stands out for its scholarly approach and his collaboration with biologists, horticulturists, theoretical computer scientists, and mathematicians. Based on Dr. Prusinkiewicz's efforts, biologists have initiated international research programs, including a study on the growth of crop plants, the modeling of interactions between plants and insects for crop pest control, and a study of the relationships between plant genetics and the development of plant architecture.

After beginning his computer graphics career in the late 1970's, Dr. Prusinkiewicz had introduced a method for visualizing the structure and growth of plants on L-systems by 1986. With the help of his students and collaborators, Professor Prusinkiewicz transformed L-systems, a mathematical theory of development of multicellular organisms, into a powerful programming language for expressing plant models. In addition, these efforts extended the range of phenomena that can be simulated. The significance of this development is illustrated by the wide range of biological structures already modeled. This ranges from algae to wild flowers to gardens and stands of trees competing for light.

Dr. Prusinkiewicz received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science in 1974 and 1978 from the Technical University of Warsaw, where his initial research interests included digital design, fault-tolerant computing, computer arithmetic, and computer music.