Member Profile: Julian Gómez
1. What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?
I work on projects that involve 3D computer graphics. My first 3D activity was 1976, when I rendered the campanile at UC Berkeley. Since then I’ve worked in many different areas – space, at NASA,computer animation, chaos theory, commercial 3D systems, LEGO, immersive tech, learning systems. The common ground has been the fundamental role of 3D graphics.
2. What was your first job?
Not including door to door sales at age 6? My first computer science relevant job was a homework grader in the CS Dept. at UC Berkeley. It taught me a lot about how people create different solutions to aproblem.
3. Where did you complete your formal education?
University of California, Berkeley – AB With Honors and With Distinction
The Ohio State University – PhD, in the Computer Graphics Research Group
4. How did you first get involved with ACM SIGGRAPH?
The JPL graphics lab was tightly involved with ACM/SIGGRAPH from very early days.
5. What is your favorite memory of a SIGGRAPH conference?
SIGGRAPH 80 in Seattle. This was one of the years with a conference dinner. There was a boat ride through the harbor, ending at an island somewhere west, which had a facility for hosting dinners forlarge groups. In this case it was salmon roasted over open fires. The whole affair was like a campfire, but the discussion was graphics instead of ghost stories.
6. Describe a project that you would like to share with the ACM SIGGRAPH community.
Currently I’m working on using immersive technologies for knowledge management, with founding principles based on cognitive science rather than marketing silos. It includes a healthy dose of the arts,i.e. STEAM.
7. If you could have dinner with one living or non-living person, who would it be and why?
Albert Einstein. I would like to hear how he thinks and talks, about anything.
8. What is something most people don’t know about you?
My undergraduate minor was classical organ, and my senior thesis was a system to visualize Baroque music.
9. From which single individual have you learned the most in your life? What did they teach you?
Bob Holzman. He showed me how to transition from a wet behind the ears college graduate to a professional engineer, and very actively encouraged me to then become a scientist.
10. Is there someone in particular who has influenced your decision to work with ACM SIGGRAPH?
Jim Blinn and Frank Crow. From both of them I learned the value of research and academic discourse.
11. What can you point to in your career as your proudest moment?
It’s not a single moment, but a moment that’s occurred a number of times: when someone tells me that I’ve inspired them. I feel I’ve done good if I’ve inspired others to go and do greater.