eTech & Art & More

Interview with Leo Hourvitz, ACM SIGGRAPH Director for Communications
Also, Principal at Stoneschool

By Hal Newnan
12 August 2001

What first drew you to computer graphics?

The immediacy, in the early days of CG, of getting a picture when my program was correct.

Do you have any favorite CG mentors?

Dick Phillips taught a course on an AppleIIe in the Fall of '79, and when the program was wrong your picture was ugly. You got immediate visual feed back. He was a wonderful man and professor, great and very patient, and one of the coolest guys on campus.

What was the first time you contributed to SIGGRAPH?

In 1988 I organized the course on Postscript, as part of the SIGGRAPH tradition of presenting whatever up-and-coming graphics standards were evolving. Back then the desktop publishing revolution was in full swing.

What year/city was your first SIGGRAPH? Which was most intense? Why?

Dallas 1981 and I have not missed one since..
Most intense? They just keep getting more intense for me, because I know more people in the community every year.

What contributions to ACM SIGGRAPH are you most proud of?

We've made some progress in making our online presence usable and still have a ways to go.
I was on the SIGGRAPH95 conference committee and that was a great experience and convinced me to be more involved in the organization. Being on it was incredibly fun, my first inside the organization experience.

What's your favorite thing at this year or last year's SIGGRAPH?

Last year's wooden mirror, it was the most outstanding art gallery piece I've seen in a long time.

The Web 3D round up last year was also great, and I was the last presenter in an event that ran late and had an open bar.

What near/intermediate developments in CG do you look forward to?

Better global illumination, working as a technical director in feature films we spend a lot of time working around there being no practical method for this.

A laptop machine that can be a 3D animation workstation, video editing, and daily email and word processing machine. That will make a huge difference for the ability of individuals to put really creative works together.

What aspects of the ACM SIGGRAPH program would you really like to boost?

I'd like to see us get more info and resources for our community to use year-round. We are looking at a bunch of new things, like online news to comumnicate references and databases. We want to find awesome volunteers who are active and interested in those areas.

We are increasing our emphasis on our International members and our ties to other societies. We are doing this because our community is more and more world wide, and because too frequently we fail to make connections to our colleagues in other countries.

Leo's coolest things this year:

Protude Flow

Contact Water

Hardware Shaders and Shading Languages


This page is maintained by YON - Jan C. Hardenbergh All photos you see in the 2001 reports are due to a generous loan of Cybershot digital cameras from SONY