The ACM SIGGRAPH Academy is an honorary group of individuals who have made substantial contributions to the field of computer graphics. These are principal leaders of the field, whose efforts have shaped the disciplines and/or industry, and led the research and/or innovation in computer graphics and interactive techniques. The inaugural class of 2018 was formed from past SIGGRAPH award winners.

Current Recipients

Ed Angel

For a series of textbooks and courses that introduced a top-down approach to teaching computer graphics that let students create three-dimensional applications early in the course with a standard API.
Distinguished Educator Award

Hans-Peter Seidel

For contributions to spline and mesh processing, and for the impact of his research and mentorship.

Íñigo Quílez

For the development of Shadertoy and other contributions to computer graphics.
Practitioner Award

Marc Alexa

For pioneering contributions in geometry processing, shape modeling, and digital fabrication.

Michiel van de Panne

For  his fundamental work in computer animation, particularly on the simulation and control of physics-based characters.
Computer Graphics Achievement Award

Paolo Cignoni

For contributions in geometry processing and computational fabrication, and for releasing important open-source tools.

Peter Shirley

For pioneering contributions in Monte Carlo rendering and real-time ray tracing, and for contributions to graphics education.

Pol Jeremias

For the development of Shadertoy and other contributions to computer graphics.
Practitioner Award

Vera Molnár

For her many pioneering computational art techniques engaging human sensitivity in the production of her abstract geometrical artworks.
Distinguished Artist Award

Previous Recipients

2021 ACM SIGGRAPH Academy Class

Barbara Mones

For the development of curricula in computer animation, and her long-term work in SIGGRAPH education initiatives.
Distinguished Educator Award

Brent Burley

For his contributions to rendering and production workflows everywhere.
Practitioner Award

Doug L. James

For his pioneering work in the simulation of deformable models and in sound rendering.
Computer Graphics Achievement

Karen Liu

For the development of simulation-and-control of tasks that require interaction between rigid-body dynamics and complex environments.

Mathieu Desbrun

For contributions to geometric processing and establishing the discrete differential geometry framework.

Norm Badler

For fundamental contributions to modeling virtual humans and to computer animation, and for educating multiple generations of diverse computer graphics students.

William Seaman

For his pioneering work ‘Recombinant Poetics / Recombinant Informatics / Neosentience’.
Distinguished Artist Award

2020 ACM SIGGRAPH Academy Class

Alla Sheffer

For contributions in geometry processing and interactive geometric modeling.

Elizabeth Baron

For her trailblazing work in bringing virtual environments and related interactive techniques to engineering and design processes in multiple industries.
Practitioner Award

Eugene Fiume

For development of physics-based fluid simulation, illumination simulation and character animation, and for advising and mentoring many leading researchers in academia and industry.

Hanspeter Pfister

For diverse contributions to visual computing including data visualization, point-based rendering, 3D scanning and physical fabrication.

Jeffrey Shaw

For his singular vision and pioneering efforts in the creation of interactive and immersive media art.
Distinguished Artist Award

Kavita Bala

For fundamental contributions to physically-based and scalable rendering, material modeling, perception for graphics, and visual recognition.
Computer Graphics Achievement Award

Ming Lin

For contributions in collision detection, physics simulation, natural phenomena, crowd animation, haptics, and sound rendering.

2019 ACM SIGGRAPH Academy Class

Denis Zorin

For fundamental contributions that have advanced the fields of geometry processing, multiresolution shape modeling, and geometric principles of physics-based simulation in graphics.
Computer Graphics Achievement Award

Dinesh Manocha

For contributions to geometric modeling, GPU computing, interactive rendering of large complex scenes, and interactive sound simulation.

Donna Cox

For pioneering work in the art of scientific data visualization.
Distinguished Artist Award

Frederick Brooks

For pioneering work applying scientific rigor to virtual reality, and applying virtual reality to scientific research.

Hanan Samet

For founding, developing, and authoring the definitive texts in the field of storing, processing, analyzing, and retrieving  spatial data.

Marie-Paule Cani

For contributions in implicit surfaces, physical simulation, sketch-based interaction, and expressive modeling, and for leadership in the graphics community.

Ravi Ramamoorthi

For groundbreaking  theoretical work in mathematical representations of visual appearance, and for translating these into computational methods with wide practical impact.

Stephen Hill

For implementing multiple advanced real-time techniques in various games and virtual reality experiences, and for leadership in sharing ideas with the rendering community.
Practitioner Award

2018 ACM SIGGRAPH Inaugural Academy Class

Alan H. Barr

For contributions to graphics, primarily for extending computer graphics shape modeling to include physically based and teleological modeling.

Alvy Ray Smith

For seminal contributions to computer paint systems.

Andries van Dam

For unwavering pursuit of excellence in the field of computer graphics, and for contributions to computer graphics education and related fields.
Distinguished Educator Award

Bill Reeves

For his groundbreaking techniques in particle systems and Z-depth shadows, and in production software with the RenderMan renderer.
Practitioner Award

Daniel Cohen-Or

For seminal contributions to the fields of geometry processing, shape analysis and image processing.
Computer Graphics Achievement Award

David Kirk

For bringing high performance computer graphics systems to the mass market.

David Salesin

For pioneering the field of non-photorealistic rendering in computer graphics.

Donald P. Greenberg

For pioneering original ideas, and for education of graduate students in computer graphics and computer-aided design.
Distinguished Educator Award

Ed Catmull

For outstanding creative contributions as an individual researcher, for inspirational leadership, organizational direction and mentorship.

Ernest A. Edmonds

For major contributions to the development of computational art, and to the broader field of contemporary art.

Fredo Durand

For seminal contributions to the field of computational photography.

Greg Turk

For contributions to physically-inspired mathematical application in graphics, particularly texture synthesis, geometric modeling, and physical simulation involving thin structures.

Greg Ward

For the development of the Radiance synthetic imaging system.

Henry Fuchs

For contributions to augmented and virtual reality, telepresence and graphics hardware, and for educating the leaders in the field of computer graphics.

Holly Rushmeier

For work on global illumination, material capture, and the display of high dynamic range images.

Hugues Hoppe

For pioneering work on surface reconstruction, progressive meshes, geometry texturing, and geometry images.

Ivan E. Sutherland

For Sketchpad and for providing a vision for computer graphics that has sustained the field.

James T. Kajiya

For numerous pioneering technical contributions to rendering, and computer graphics hardware design.

Jean-Pierre Hébert

For pioneering achievements in creating art through computer programming, and using algorithms and innovative techniques for new forms of creative expression.

Jessica Hodgins

For foundational work in character animation, for support and cultivation of emerging researchers, and for extensive volunteer service to the computer graphics community.

Jim Blinn

For pioneering work in rendering and educational animation, and for exemplary contributions as an author.

Jim Foley

For strong and sustained leadership in computer graphics education and research, and for dedication to the profession through books and his work with ACM/SIGGRAPH and ACM publications.

John Warnock

For PostScript, which embodies a major contribution to imaging models, and to integration of graphics and text.

Jos Stam

For pioneering work on subdivision surfaces, and on fast algorithms for the simulation of natural phenomena, especially fire, fluids, and gasses.

José Luis Encarnação

For leadership in applied research, for work in establishing international graphics standards, and for contributions to computer graphics education.

Ken Perlin

For broad contributions to and impact on computer graphics, ranging from novel mathematical approaches for modeling to hardware interfaces.

Kurt Akeley

For contributions to the architecture, design, and realization of high performance 3D graphics hardware systems.

Lillian Schwartz

For pioneering work using computers in art including graphics, film, video, animation, special effects, virtual reality and multimedia, and computer-aided analysis of art and architecture.

Loren Carpenter

For pioneering work in the design of algorithms for generating raster computer graphics, and for computer graphic images that mimic photographic realism.

Lynn Hershman Leeson

For paradigm-changing innovations with a broad range of emergent applications, and pioneering new modes of storytelling, all accomplished with a strong aesthetic and insightful cultural discourse.

Manfred Mohr

For pioneering achievements in creating art through algorithmic geometry.

Marc Levoy

For pioneering work in rendering volumes without an intermediate surface representation.

Michael F. Cohen

The development of practical radiosity methods for realistic image synthesis
Steven Anson Coons Award

Michael Kass

For significant contributions to computer graphics, ranging from image processing to animation to modeling, and in particular for the introduction of optimization techniques as a fundamental tool in graphics.

Monika Fleischmann

For pioneering the field of new media art through research projects based on interface design and new forms of communication.
Distinguished Artist Award

Nelson Max

For pioneering work in scientific visualization, for deep technical contributions, and for generous encouragement and stimulation of ideas and intellectual exchange.

Pat Hanrahan

For leadership in rendering algorithms, graphics architectures and systems, and new visualization methods for computer graphics.

Peter Schröder

For pioneering work in geometry processing and multiresolution modeling.

Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz

For work in the modeling and visualizing of biological structures.

Ramesh Raskar

For numerous, impactful research contributions to computational imaging and light transport.

Richard Szeliski

For pioneering contributions at the intersection of computer graphics and computer vision, particularly in image-based modeling and rendering.

Robert L. Cook

For numerous pioneering technical contributions to rendering, and for extraordinary service.

Roman Verostko

For seminal contributions to the creation and promotion of digital art.

Steina Vasulka

For pioneering work in video as a creative medium.

Steve Marschner

For contributions to modeling the appearance of natural materials.

Thomas W. Sederberg

For pioneering work on free-form deformations, and the use of algebraic geometry in geometry modeling.

Tom Funkhouser

For work in 3D shape-based retrieval and analysis, and for work on interactive systems for both visual and acoustic modeling of complex virtual environments.

Tomoyuki Nishita

For work in the rendering of natural phenomena that has inspired computer graphics researchers all over the world.

Tony DeRose

For seminal work in making subdivision surfaces a practical geometric modeling technique.

Turner Whitted

For the invention of recursive ray tracing and for groundbreaking contributions to the areas of shaders, procedural graphics, graphics hardware, novel sensors, and sensor arrays.

Criteria for Election to the ACM SIGGRAPH Academy

  • Cumulative contributions to the field of computer graphics and interactive techniques
  • Impact on the field through development of new research directions and/or innovations
  • Influence on the work of others
  • Reasonably active participant in the ACM SIGGRAPH community
  • All accomplished members of the ACM SIGGRAPH community will be eligible to be nominated including researchers, practitioners, technologists, artists, designers, and educators.

Nomination Procedure

ACM SIGGRAPH Academy members are selected by a ACM SIGGRAPH Academy Committee consisting of five voting members from across the SIGGRAPH community. Nominations for the ACM SIGGRAPH Academy may be submitted by contacting the SIGGRAPH Academy Chair before 31 January each year.


  • A brief summary (in English, maximum one page) explaining how the nominee meets the criteria
  • Supporting letters of exactly three endorsers. Endorsers should themselves have achieved distinction in the field. Endorsers will need to have personal knowledge of the candidate’s work. Endorsers will provide a brief endorsement statement giving their personal assessment of the candidate’s impact on the field.
  • Nominator’s name, address, telephone number, and email address.