2023 SIGGRAPH Pioneers

2023 SIGGRAPH Pioneers

The SIGGRAPH Pioneers group is proud to announce our Featured Speakers for 2023.

For the first time, we will have co-presenters, the two pioneers who literally wrote the book on CGI that launched innumerable careers, James D. Foley and Andries van Dam!

Their 1982 book, Fundamentals of Interactive Computer Graphics (the original “Foley and van Dam”) helped to define for an entire generation what computer graphics was and how it could be taught. Both Jim and Andy will speak in person at the Pioneers Reception in Los Angeles on the evening of August 8, 2023. They will reflect on their careers and the influence of their original book and the two subsequent editions. They are the perfect speakers to help the Pioneers celebrate the 50th anniversary of the conference!

Andries van Dam is the Thomas J. Watson, Jr. Professor of Technology and Education, and Professor of Computer Science, at Brown University. He contributed to the first hypertext system in the late 1960s, and co-founded the precursor of today’s ACM SIGGRAPH organization. In 2019, he was awarded the inaugural ACM SIGGRAPH Distinguished Educator Award. Andy’s research includes work on computer graphics, hypermedia systems, user interfaces including immersive virtual reality pen- and touch-computing, and educational software. He has been working for over four decades on systems for creating and reading electronic books with interactive illustrations for use in teaching and research. The character of Andy in the film Toy Story is named after van Dam.

James D. Foley is Professor Emeritus at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he held the Fleming Chair in the College of Computing. He was Interim Dean of Georgia Tech’s College of Computing from 2008 to 2010, is an IEEE Fellow, and won both the SIGCHI Lifetime Achievement Award and the prestigious ACM SIGGRAPH Steven F. Coons award. According to Wikipedia “He is perhaps best known as the co-author of several widely used textbooks in the field of computer graphics, of which over 400,000 copies are in print and translated in ten languages.” He has also held faculty positions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and The George Washington University, and management positions at Mitsubishi Electric Research.

The SIGGRAPH Pioneers is a network of researchers, developers, artists, and educators who have been working in the fields of computer graphics and interactive techniques for at least 20 years. Many members have been in the field since its beginnings more than 50 years ago. The Pioneers hold annual receptions at the SIGGRAPH conference as an informal get-together with old friends, and to hear remarks from a Featured Speaker whose career had a profound influence on the field. Jim and Andy will join a pantheon of recent speakers, including future technologist Ken Perlin, scientific visualization artist Donna Cox, effects wizard Douglas Trumbull, production pioneer Jeff Kleiser, researcher Jim Blinn, co-founder of PIXAR Alvy Ray Smith, and CGI Art pioneer David Em.

-Ed Kramer
Chair, SIGGRAPH Pioneers



The London ACM SIGGRAPH Professional Chapter promotes connections and information exchange by hosting a range of events related to Computer Graphics Technology, Animation, Interactive and Immersive Technologies, and Art for the Computer Graphics community in London.

The chapter boasts more than 200 members and is led by chair Boyan (Bobby) Georgiev, a creative artist based in London, Vice-Chair Ximena Romero Roldan, a 3D-mid animator at Blue Zoo, Secretary Jessica Lennox, generalist TD at One of Us, Treasurer Eva Krpanov, production coordinator at Mikros MTL, and a 17-member board representing London’s CG community.

Launched in 2004, the chapter’s membership scheme, which includes both professional and student categories, provides exclusive access to events and other benefits. The chapter hosts regular, twice-monthly events – including opportunities for socializing and mentoring for industry newcomers, talks by major studios, academy screenings and an annual 3-day post SIGGRAPH wrap-up conference.

The annual conference which has recently been relaunched under a new name, Rainbow Conference, will be presented as a major in-person event in 2023 at BFI Southbank, the number one venue for film and television in the UK, on 29-31 August. The conference, which is expected to host up to 300 attendees each evening, brings together the most exciting projects, studios and talent and is presented free of charge in order to encourage the diversity of attendees.

The Rainbow Conference program includes three keynote presentations per evening, one or additional speakers and an exhibition floor showcasing studio recruitment booths and hardware company tech demonstrations. The conference ends with a panel discussion featuring successful industry professionals. The chapter is also planning a potential daytime program for universities, which would include workshops and master classes for students.

The London ACM SIGGRAPH Professional Chapter presents a broad range of inspiring and memorable events thanks to the leadership of dedicated industry volunteers and support from generous sponsors. 

For more information about the London ACM SIGGRAPH Professional Chapter, follow on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/londonsiggraph/, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LondonSIGGRAPH/ and Twitter at https://twitter.com/londonsiggraph or visit the chapter’s website at https://london.siggraph.org/

ACM SIGGRAPH is Seeking Candidates for the Position of Chair for 5 Standing Committees

Early Career Development (S3)

The Student Services Committee provides continuity and institutional memory for the student volunteer and intern programs at SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH Asia to demonstrate the value of SIGGRAPH membership to student members. Read more

External Relations

The External Relations Committee establishes and oversees ACM SIGGRAPH’s agreements with numerous organizations and conferences around the world. This committee identifies and establishes relationships with new organizations according to the current strategic plan.

Lifelong Learning

The Lifelong Learning Committee develops online educational materials such as webinars, online courses (SIGGRAPH University), ACM Books and state of the art reports to support practitioners and other members wanting to expand their skills by learning about new areas. Read more

Research Career Development

The Research Career Development Committee plans, develops, and facilitates activities that support the career development of members with research careers in academia and industry. Read more

Specialized Conferences

ACM SIGGRAPH helps organize and sponsor focused conferences, workshops, and other symposia around the world on topics related to computer graphics and interactive techniques. These gatherings enable groups with specific interests to get together and exchange information. Read more

The Chair of a Standing Committee is responsible for the following:

  1.  Recruiting, organizing and meeting with the Committee members
  2. Acting as a liaison between their Committee and the Executive Committee (EC) to advise the EC and to ensure that the Committee’s activities are aligned with the strategic priorities of the EC.
  • The Chair must submit a budget request to the Executive Committee every January.
  • The Chair must submit an annual report to the Executive Committee every June.
  • The Chair can expect to spend an average of 5 or more hours/week on the chair activities.

For those interested in applying for one of these positions, please contact the Nominations Chair, Thierry Frey. Only applicants who are ACM SIGGRAPH members in good standing as of the application deadline will be considered. Provide a CV and vision statement stating why you’re interested in being chair and what you hope to accomplish in this volunteer role. The Nominations Committee will review all the candidates, conduct interviews if necessary, and make recommendations to the ACM SIGGRAPH Executive Committee in order to approve the next chairs, according to the following schedule :

April 1 – April 30 – Call for nominations open 
May 1 – 15 – Review by the Nominations Committee
May 15 – Recommendation to the EC
June 1 – New chairs announced
Sept 1 – Term begins for 3 years

2023 ACM SIGGRAPH Candidate Slate

The ACM SIGGRAPH Nominating Committee has proposed the following candidates for the 2023 ACM SIGGRAPH election which will commence on 15 June 2023:


Mathieu Desbrun, Inria/X
Alla Sheffer, University of British Columbia

Elizabeth Baron, Unity Technologies
Marc Petit, Epic Games

Courtney Starrett, Texas A&M University
Victoria Szabo, Duke University

In accordance with the ACM SIGGRAPH Bylaws, additional candidates may be placed on the ballot by petition. All candidates must be ACM Professional Members as well as members of ACM SIGGRAPH. Anyone interested in petitioning must inform ACM Headquarters, Pat Ryan (ryanp@hq.acm.org), of their intent to petition by 5 April 2023. Petitions must be submitted to ACM Headquarters for verification by  18 April 2023.

The Nominating Committee
Thierry Frey, Chair
Dena DeBry
Jenny Dana
Arik Shamir
Larry Bafia
Scott Owen

Eakta Jain, Ph.D

SIGGRAPH’s success as a dynamic professional community is, in large part, due to the work of the dedicated volunteers who bring their experience and passion to the organization.  Eakta Jain, recently elected to the SIGGRAPH Executive Committee (EC), sees her new role as an opportunity to give back. “It reflects that my professional community trusts me to look out for SIGGRAPH and help steer it such that it continues to be vibrant in the years to come.”

Eakta first became interested in robotics in middle school, inspired by a television show that featured Kismet, the robot head made by Dr. Cynthia Breazeal at MIT as a machine that can recognize and simulate human emotions.  Eakta’s father, an electronics engineer and entrepreneur working in robotics and embedded systems, recognized his daughter’s fascination with the subject and encouraged Eakta to pursue her interest.  Her first job, while studying for her Bachelor of Technology in Electrical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, was with her father’s company. Her work to conceptualize and execute a visual programming interface was unpaid – but provided Eakta with the invaluable experience of producing a tangible outcome to present for feedback. 

Eakta’s decision to pursue graduate studies Carnegie Mellon University was a result of photos of the “cool stuff” in the CMU robotics lab taken by her mother, a computer science teacher who also ran the school robotics club, during a professional development visit to CMU. 

Now an associate professor in the Department of Computer and Information Science and Engineering at the University of Florida, Eakta brings industry experience at Texas Instrument R&D Labs, Disney Research Pittsburgh and Walt Disney Animation Studios to her work as a researcher, teacher, academic supervisor and mentor.  She and her students explore topics at the intersection of graphics/VR and privacy/security, conducting research on mitigating privacy risks while enabling the generation of compelling virtual experiences and digital avatars.

When Eakta first started thinking about the concept of privacy, she was overwhelmed by the magnitude of the literature on the topic. A colleague introduced her to the writings of Helen Nissenbaum, professor of Information Science and founding director of the Digital Life Initiative at Cornell Tech in New York City.  Eakta has been inspired by Nissenbaum’s work on privacy, bias in digital systems, trust online, ethics in design, and accountability in computational and algorithmic systems and is intrigued by the influence of philosophy on computer science.

Eakta is excited about her new role as a member of SIGGRAPH Executive Committee, where, in addition to ensuring the organization’s sustainability setting its strategic direction and guiding new initiatives, she chairs the Nurturing Communities strategy group and serve as liaison to the EC for the Career Development group. She is especially interested in how the organization can provide a balance of online and in-person presence, with virtual offerings that reach a large, international audience and in-person events that cultivate and strengthen personal and professional networks.

Eakta notes that, in addition to the ongoing support and encouragement she received from her parents, she had great mentors and role models, including Jessica Hodgins and Nancy Pollard at CMU, Karen Liu at Georgia Tech and Marie-Paule Cani at Ecole Polytechnique. She continues in that tradition by having mentored more than 30 students during her eight-year tenure at the University of Florida. And, as a faculty member and mother of young children, Eakta understands that life is imperfect and so is she. “I have been often asked “how do you do it all” and I worry that this sentence perpetuates that fallacy because my life is not perfect, I don’t do it all, and indeed, no one can.  There are so many difficulties and imperfections in me that are not part of a profile and the most important thing that my awesome mentors did for me was to let me see their vulnerabilities and hardships that were not visible to me.”

When asked what advice she has for young women, Eakta says “I reframe this question to myself as “what would I tell my younger self?”. And, if I could go back in time, I would say “who you are is enough”. Many a time, I felt that I should be smarter, or cleverer, or more strong-willed or more decisive or any number of things different from who I am. Of course we all have things we need to work on and ways in which we will grow over time. But at any given moment in time, who you are is enough.”

With a father who worked in the field, a mother who taught computer science and nurtured interest in robotics in her students and a younger brother with a PhD in robotics, Eakta quips that she “joined the family business”.  And Eakta’s students, research colleagues and the SIGGRAPH community at large are fortunate to benefit from her expertise, experience and volunteer commitment.

Member Profile: Eakta Jain | ACM SIGGRAPH