Ken Bauer SIGGRAPH Member Profile

Member Profile: Ken Bauer

1. What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?

I am an educator and currently an associate professor and director of the masters in cybersecurity at the Tecnológico de Monterrey at our Guadalajara campus. I arrived here from my native Canada back in 1995.

2. What was your first job?

Delivering the afternoon paper and umpiring for little league baseball, then onto salaried work as a dishwasher. I worked for close to a decade in the hospitality sector.

3. Where did you complete your formal education?

My undergraduate degree in computer science was at my hometown University of Victoria; I completed my masters degree in the early 90s at the University of Washington (took a graphics course with Tony DeRose before he left for Pixar), and my Ph.D. studies (did not finish) at the University of Alberta.

4. How did you first get involved with ACM SIGGRAPH?

ACM SIGGRAPH was looking for a contractor to handle migration of their web services from a Solaris install to Linux in 2001. I had earlier installed the first Linux server at ACM HQ for the OOPSLA conference (part of ACM SIGPLAN). I had been a volunteer for OOPSLA since the mid 90s and so ACM HQ staff knew me and suggested that I apply for that role with ACM SIGGRAPH.

5. What is your favorite memory of a SIGGRAPH conference?

This may sound cliché, but all the memories with the people that I have met and worked with over the years. As an educator I have great memories of bringing some students to volunteer there who went on to careers in the industry through contacts that they made at this conference.

6. Describe a project that you would like to share with the ACM SIGGRAPH community.

As an educator who had shared my experiences and techniques pre-pandemic and with experience in teaching online as well, I was called on often during 2020 and 2021 to give talks and workshops on how to emergency shift to online classes. There was real danger of burnout for many of us in education and more so for myself as I was doing these volunteer sessions above and beyond my regular academic load. I created a project called #EduCoffee to give space for informal conversations and to take a break in the day. It started for my local colleagues but quickly grew to include faculty, friends, and some students from around the world. It was never a big scale thing, just something to give us a break in our day. It helped and still does. There is info on my blog at

7. If you could have dinner with one living or non-living person, who would it be and why?

I would love to have dinner with my maternal grandfather. He died of cardiac arrest shortly after I was born so I can only see pictures of him holding me as a baby and I would love to know more about his life and those of his family.

8. What is something most people don’t know about you?

Following up on the answer of my grandfather, my Métis/Cree bloodlines run through him.

9. From which single individual have you learned the most in your life? What did they teach you?

As is the case for many educators, I did not plan this path but fell into it. My cliché (and true!) answer would be how much I learn from all my students over these 30 years but I will point to one of my professors who I often look back on as a model of the way I teach: Bjorn Freeman-Benson. Bjorn also brought me in as a student volunteer at OOPSLA in 1992 which led to my volunteer work with that conference until 2007 and likely to my working with ACM SIGGRAPH.

10. Is there someone in particular who has influenced your decision to work with ACM SIGGRAPH?

Jeff Jortner and Leo Hourvitz brought me in as a contractor back in 2001 and were instrumental for not just giving me the job (which as an academic in México really helped me financially) but also for introducing me to this community and making me feel welcome.

11. What can you point to in your career as your proudest moment?

I have twice won an award voted on by alumni that we call “Profesores que Dejan Huella”, loosely translated as “Professors who left a mark”. We have awarded these twice for our 70th and 75th anniversary as an institution and will again this year as part of our 80th anniversary. I wrote about this 10 years ago when I first received the award on my blog at