Computer Graphics Achievement Award

The computer graphics achievement award is given to an individual for outstanding achievement in computer graphics and interactive techniques. The award includes a prize of $2,000.

Current Recipient

Wolfgang Heidrich

For fundamental contributions to the development and analysis of computational imaging and display systems.

ACM SIGGRAPH is delighted to present the 2023 Achievement Award to Wolfgang Heidrich for the development and analysis of computational imaging and high dynamic range display systems.  Heidrich is a pioneer in this field, which combines methods from computer graphics, machine vision, imaging, inverse methods, optics, and perception to develop new sensing and display technologies.

Some of his most influential work is in the area of high dynamic range image display systems, notably his 2004 SIGGRAPH paper, which formed the basis of the Brightside Technologies HDR display startup and introduced the operating principle underlying many commercially available HDR displays today.  He also worked on establishing other aspects of the HDR imaging pipeline, including calibrated HDR acquisition, the conversion of regular low dynamic range images to HDR, and the combination of HDR displays with 3D tomographic and polarized light displays.  He co-authored the foundational 2010 book on HDR imaging, displays, and lighting.

In the area of computational image acquisition, he has co-authored seminal work on convolutional sparse coding, end-to-end optimization of optics and image processing, and transient imaging.  Heidrich has also made notable contributions in the areas of 3D reconstruction of shape and appearance, face, garment, and fluid capture, and more traditional computational photography topics such as deblurring and super-resolution.

In addition to his research, he has contributed to computer graphics through mentorship and service.  He supervised some of the most notable new researchers in the fields of 3D acquisition, reconstruction, and imaging.  His professional service includes serving as the Chair of the SIGGRAPH Asia Program Committee in 2016.  

Heidrich received his Diplom Informatiker from University of Erlangen, an M.Math in computer science from University of Waterloo, and a PhD in computer science from University of Erlangen. He was a Professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC) Computer Science Department from 2000-2018, where he also held a Dolby Research Chair. Since 2014, he has been a Professor of CS and EE at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), serving as the Director of the KAUST Visual Computing Center from 2014 to 2021.

Previous Recipients

  • 2022 Michiel van de Panne
  • 2021 Doug L. James
  • 2020 Kavita Bala
  • 2019 Denis Zorin
  • 2018 Daniel Cohen-Or
  • 2017 Ramesh Raskar
  • 2016 Frédo Durand
  • 2015 Steve Marschner
  • 2014 Thomas Funkhouser
  • 2013 Holly Rushmeier
  • 2012 Greg Turk
  • 2011 Richard Szeliski
  • 2010 Jessica Hodgins
  • 2009 Michael Kass
  • 2008 Ken Perlin
  • 2007 Greg Ward
  • 2006 Thomas W. Sederberg
  • 2005 Jos Stam
  • 2004 Hugues Hoppe
  • 2003 Peter Schröder
  • 2002 David Kirk
  • 2001 Andrew Witkin
  • 2000 David H. Salesin
  • 1999 Tony DeRose
  • 1998 Michael F. Cohen
  • 1997 Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz
  • 1996 Marc Levoy
  • 1995 Kurt Akeley
  • 1994 Kenneth E. Torrance
  • 1993 Pat Hanrahan
  • 1992 Henry Fuchs
  • 1991 James T. Kajiya
  • 1990 Richard Shoup and Alvy Ray Smith
  • 1989 John Warnock
  • 1988 Alan H. Barr
  • 1987 Robert Cook
  • 1986 Turner Whitted
  • 1985 Loren Carpenter
  • 1984 James H. Clark
  • 1983 James F. Blinn

Nomination Procedure

ACM SIGGRAPH members are encouraged to nominate individuals for the Computer Graphics Achievement Award by sending an email to the Technical Awards Chair ( by January 31 of each year.


  • Name, address, phone number, and email address of the nominator
  • Name and email address of the candidate
  • Suggested citation (maximum of 25 words)
  • Nomination statement (maximum of 500 words in length) addressing why the candidate should receive this award

Your nomination should describe a candidate’s most significant research contribution(s), and optionally describe industrial impact, community service, and/or other contributions to computer graphics and interactive techniques. The Technical Awards Committee uses nomination statements as the main basis for their selections, so a concise and clear statement is strongly encouraged. Descriptions of a small number of contributions (one is acceptable) are preferable to a long list of activities.