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

Felix Heide

For novel and impactful research on the hardware and software of computational cameras.

ACM SIGGRAPH is pleased to present the 2022 Significant New Researcher Award to Felix Heide for his work on imaging hardware, computational imaging methods, and the end-to-end optimization of computational imaging systems.

Felix’s research focuses on camera systems: combining novel optics, exotic camera hardware, and sophisticated computational methods to design camera systems with higher performance or with novel capabilities. His work is notable for making contributions across many stages of the imaging pipeline, from designing optical elements to devising new imaging modalities, learning and tuning image-processing computations, and even proposing novel optical designs and algorithms for holographic displays. In addition to improving each of these stages individually, Felix and his students have also created new tools and strategies for optimizing the imaging pipeline as a whole, including languages and tools for efficient optimization and an end-to-end learning framework for producing high-quality images that are appropriate for a specific task.  For example, he recently learned to how to design a nanophotonic metalens for broadband light so that its image quality is comparable to conventional refractive lenses. This is just one example: his work has a broad range of applications, including depth sensing, transient imaging, autonomous driving, seeing beyond the line of sight, seeing through rain and snow, and displaying images using computer generated holograms.

Felix leads the Computational Imaging Lab at Princeton University. He obtained his BS and MS from the University of Siegen and his PhD from the University of British Columbia, where his doctoral dissertation won the Alain Fournier PhD Dissertation Award and the SIGGRAPH Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award. He completed his postdoc at Stanford University and has been at Princeton since 2020.

Previous Recipients

  • 2022 Justin Solomon
  • 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 ( 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 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.