The Future Looks Bright; However, Is Change in the Offing?

This year a record number of papers were submitted. Only 19% of the 424 submissions made it into the final presentation (of 81 papers).

Jessica Hodgins, SIGGRAPH 2003 Papers Chair, reported at the beginning of the Paper presentations on Monday, that the selection process was especially challenging this year as the meeting, in Denver, was hampered by snowstorms and the US military campaign in Iraq. In spite of all the complications, a great deal of was done in a short period of time to place the papers in sessions and make this year’s SIGGRAPH a success.

However, the number of submissions has been increasing steadily. While this bodes well for the computer graphics community, it concerns Hodgins as it might over stress the through reviews conducted by SIGGRAPH.

“Each person is reviewing 19 papers,” warns Hodgins, and “the review structure won't scale because of experience and difficulty associated with each review.” Unlike other major conferences, there is no hierarchy present, so every committee member discusses the papers. Unless events change, the situation according to Hodgins, “ is going to be hard.”

While all the changes are not in place, one change will be the inclusion of a new outcome from the SIGGRAPH review: Accept to Transactions on Graphics with major revisions. According to Hodgins, this gives the committee “a venue for authors to submit a work that needs a longer period of time for revisions.”

The paper review and selection process for SIGGRAPH 2004 is already on its way. “The process starts 18 months in advance” says Hodgins. The next chair will be Joe Marks of Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL). Hodgins’s comments for next year are that it is important to know whom the leaders in other areas since SIGGRAPH has such a wide breath of topics and, as many researchers tend to focus too much in their own area.

Regarding the 2004 selection process Marks suggests that while “The SIGGRAPH papers review process has never set targets for the number of acceptances. However, the acceptance rate in recent years has usually been between 18% and 20%. So it's likely that more papers will be accepted if more papers are submitted. The number of submissions has increased by about 18% each of the last two years, so most people are betting on more submissions and more acceptances for 2004.”

What this means for authors, especially new authors (e.g., graduate students), is that the competition for paper acceptance will increase. However, Hodgins did provide some tips on authoring a paper for SIGGRAPH. The paper should have a message for the SIGGRAPH community and should clearly state what problem it is solving and why its solution if of interest to the SIGGRAPH community. Mark reminds authors to “be sure to read the on-line Call for Participation (CFP) thoroughly!”

In conclusion, Hodgins has lead a renowned team of experts in this field for over a year to make the papers presentation at SIGGRAPH 2003 enlightening and though-provoking. While change maybe in the offing, she cautions that an important consideration for her and future chairs will be “to not to break (the paper selection process).” The rates of growth in the field and SIGGRAPH’s reputation for quality mean that Mark and Paper Committee for 2004 have a great deal of work in store for them.

Jessica Hodgins and Joe Marks (right)
the 2003 and 2004 SIGGRAPH Paper chairs rspectively








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Last updated 8/25/03.

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