Significant New Researcher Award

The significant new research award is given to a researcher who has made a recent, significant contribution to the field of computer graphics and is new to the field (i.e., received their Ph.D. or the equivalent up to seven years ago). The intent is to recognize people who have already made a notable contribution very early in their careers and are likely to make more. The award includes a $1,000 cash prize.

Current Recipient

Justin Solomon

MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

ACM SIGGRAPH is pleased to present the 2022 Significant New Researcher Award to Justin Solomon for his outstanding contributions to geometry processing and its theoretical foundations. 

Justin leads the Geometric Data Processing group in the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).   His research focuses on geometric problems in graphics and machine learning, using tools from large-scale optimization, optimal transport, and differential geometry.  He is best known for his work transitioning optimal transport from theory to practice, addressing theoretical and algorithmic challenges in 3D shape analysis, and developing architectures for learning from geometric data.  In particular, his work with collaborators in graphics and other domains on Dynamic Graph CNNs for learning on point clouds, Functional Maps for computing soft correspondences between shapes, and Convolutional Wasserstein Distances for optimal transport on meshes and images have been very influential.

The impact of Justin’s research extends beyond computer graphics to machine learning, audio processing, vector graphics, computer vision, image processing, and a variety of other applications. For example, he applied geometric and statistical methods to study gerrymandering in political redistricting, and he used optimization algorithms to infer maps from volumes to flat templates in medical imaging.  His research widens the scope of applied geometry to benefit anyone using computers to analyze complex shapes, networks, maps, and other modalities.

In addition to his research, Justin has made numerous contributions to the computer graphics community through leadership and service.  He is the founder and director of the Summer Geometry Initiative (SGI), a summer program that introduces a diverse group of scholars to research techniques in geometry processing and related computational and mathematical disciplines.   He is the author of a textbook titled Numerical Algorithms that provides a reference for numerical methods in geometry, graphics, and robotics.  He is an associate editor for ACM Transactions on Graphics and chairs the ACM SIGGRAPH Research Career Development Committee.   Finally, he won three teaching awards at MIT.

Justin received his PhD, MS, and BS in Computer Science and a BS in Mathematics, all from Stanford University.  He completed postdoctoral research in the Princeton Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics and interned at Pixar Animation Studios.

Previous Recipients

  • 2021 Jonathan Ragan-Kelley
  • 2020 Alec Jacobson
  • 2019 Wenzel Jakob
  • 2018 Gordon Wetzstein
  • 2017 Bernd Bickel
  • 2016 Chris Wojtan
  • 2015 Johannes Kopf
  • 2014 Noah Snavely
  • 2013 Niloy Mitra
  • 2012 Karen Liu
  • 2011 Olga Sorkine
  • 2010 Alexei Efros
  • 2009 Wojciech Matusik
  • 2008 Maneesh Agrawala
  • 2007 Ravi Ramamoorthi
  • 2006 Takeo Igarashi
  • 2005 Ron Fedkiw
  • 2004 Zoran Popović
  • 2003 Mathieu Desbrun
  • 2002 Steven J. Gortler
  • 2001 Paul E. Debevec

Nomination Procedure

ACM SIGGRAPH members are encouraged to nominate individuals for the Significant New Researcher Award by sending an email to the Technical Awards Chair ( before 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 and its impact. The Technical Awards Committee uses nomination statements as the main basis for their selections, so a concise and clear statement is strongly encouraged.