Distinguished Educator Award

Established in August 2018, the Distinguished Educator Award is given annually to a member for outstanding pedagogical contributions to computer graphics and interactive techniques at any educational level or within the context of any discipline. The award recognizes contributions in both innovative content and delivery. The award is presented annually during the award ceremony at either the SIGGRAPH conference or the SIGGRAPH Asia conference at the choice of the recipient.

Current Recipient

Mike Bailey

For his dedication to introducing the basics and joy of computer graphics to thousands of students and the SIGGRAPH conference attendees in a decades-long endeavor

ACM SIGGRAPH is pleased to present the 2024 Distinguished Educator Award to Mike Bailey for his dedication to introducing the basics and joy of computer graphics to thousands of students and the SIGGRAPH conference attendees in a decades-long endeavor.

Mike Bailey, Professor of Computer Science at Oregon State University, has been active in computer graphics and interactive techniques for almost 50 years and has earned BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University in engineering and computer graphics. He has taught 144 college classes with more than 12,000 students (both in person and online) during faculty appointments at Purdue, University of California San Diego, and Oregon State University; and was the Director of Visualization at the San Diego Supercomputer Center before joining Oregon State. He has also taught continuing adult education classes, and more than 100 professional courses including 55 at SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH Asia. A veritable fixture in the “courses” venue at SIGGRAPH, Bailey has introduced countless of first-time attendees to the wonders and scope of potentials in computer graphics in his course, “A Whirlwind Introduction to Computer Graphics” (formerly the “Fundamentals of Computer Graphics Seminar”). Committed to early education in computer graphics, Bailey is also active in K-12 education teaching short courses in TinkerCad, Scratch, Blender, and Processing for various school and educator groups. And he received the Athena Pinnacle Award for promoting women in STEM, presented in recognition of outreach work with the San Diego Girl Scouts.

An educator’s educator, Mike Bailey has created resources for others to use in the teaching of their courses. He co-authored Computer Graphics Shaders: Theory and Practice (CRC Press, first and second editions, 2009 and 2012) with Steve Cunningham. After creating one of the first university courses on GLSL Shaders (2006) and Vulkan (2018) he posted his course notes on cgSource (sponsored by the ACM SIGGRAPH Education Committee) for free use by other educators preparing their own lectures and course materials. Additional course materials for lectures on scientific visualization, Blender, Scratch, Processing, and more are freely available online. And, of course, he has contributed to the store of knowledge used and referenced by educators with more than 100 journal and conference papers in areas such as computer graphics and GPU programming, and their applications to scientific and engineering visualization.

Mike Bailey’s involvement in education at SIGGRAPH has been extensive. He served as Courses Chair five times (the first time in 1984), Education Chair two times, Conference Co-Chair in 1991, and more. He served as faculty advisor for the ACM student chapter at Oregon State and was an instrumental part of the group that created and supported the first SIGGRAPH Educator Program in Las Vegas in 1991. His service for SIGGRAPH was recognized when he was named the recipient of the ACM SIGGRAPH Outstanding Service Award in 2015.

Recipient of numerous internal teaching awards and recognitions, he continues to teach and innovate in an effort to inspire and motivate students to achieve success in their chosen fields as his former students have gone on to work in places that include Pixar, ILM, Intel, NVIDIA, AMD, Adobe, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Apple, Autodesk, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Blizzard, and more – as well as academic institutions University of Texas, Seattle University, and the University of Portland.

An educator who loves the subject he teaches, and cares deeply about the individuals he teaches, Mike Bailey has provided opportunities and resources for students and educators alike.

Previous Recipients

  • 2023 Scott Owen
  • 2022 Ed Angel
  • 2021 Barbara Mones
  • 2020 Donald P. (Don) Greenberg
  • 2019 Andries van Dam


Contributions considered for this award are broad.

  • Computer graphics and interactive techniques
  • Use of novel computer graphics in education
  • Curriculum and delivery
  • Student engagement
  • Classroom teaching techniques
  • Online courses
  • Textbooks and demos
  • Use of online content, such as blogs, videos or webinars


  • Impact on research and practice of education as it relates to computer graphics and interactive techniques (this may be direct within areas of computer graphics and interactive techniques, or it may be in another discipline impacted by the use of computer graphics and interactive techniques).
  • Cumulative contributions to the field both directly and through leadership of others.
  • Innovation in education.
  • Influence on the work of others, and acceptance of educational techniques by the ACM SIGGRAPH community; educators who are making a difference as innovators or pioneers in their respective disciplines.
  • Activity in the ACM SIGGRAPH educational community.

    Nomination Procedure

    Nominations for the Distinguished Educator Award may be submitted by contacting the Distinguished Educator Award Chair by January 31 each year. Self-nominations are allowed. Nominations may also arise from an archive of past nominations maintained by the awards chair and culled yearly by the committee. The awardee will be selected by the Distinguished Educator Award Committee based on nominations received from members of the SIGGRAPH community.


    • A one-page summary explaining how the nominee meets the criteria for the award.
    • A statement of teaching philosophy from the nominee.
    • A description of any teaching awards won and recognition internal and external to their home school or university for excellence in teaching, including accomplishments (awards, publications, exhibits, employment, etc.) of their students and/or advisees.
    • A list of any teaching- and/or pedagogy-related publications, exhibits, and/or presentations.
    • Letters from at least two people who are knowledgeable about the qualifications of the nominee, which may be submitted with the application package or sent directly to the committee. (Note: The nomination will be complete ONLY if the required letters are received by the deadline.)