Member Profile: Mike Bailey
1. What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?
Computer Graphics teaching and research. A long time.
2. What was your first job?
After my PhD, I was a research engineer at Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque, using 3D computer graphics to help design high-speed miniaturized mechanical safety devices. The use of 3D graphics for that was, at the time, pretty far-fetched.
3. Where did you complete your formal education?
Purdue University: BS, MS, PhD
4. How did you first get involved with ACM SIGGRAPH?
Dick Mueller was SIGGRAPH conference co-chair in 1984. He convinced me to join the conference committee as Courses Chair. That began a deep love for the conference and the CG community.
5. What is your favorite memory of a SIGGRAPH conference?
Two memories, really:
1982 when Pixar showed the animated short Luxo Jr. When the ball collapsed and the child-lamp sadly looked at it, the body language was so good that the entire audience moaned “Awwwwwwww”. At that moment, I remember thinking that being able to affect emotion so well was a real tipping point for computer graphics.
1991 when I was SIGGRAPH conference co-chair. I had such a good time those two years with the planning, the preparation, working with the conference committee, and especially working with the other conference co-chair, Carol Byram. (BTW, unlike many former SIGGRAPH co-chairs, Carol and I are still on speaking terms, and even have lunch together every so often.)
6. Describe a project that you would like to share with the ACM SIGGRAPH community.
I have had an obsession with writing course notes for various CG topics, both for classes and other purposes. I have collected links to all of them here: http://cs.oregonstate.edu/~mjb/cgeducation I hope people find them and put them to good use.
7. If you could have dinner with one living or non-living person, who would it be and why?
Steve Cunningham (deceased) to thank him for all he did for SIGGRAPH and for all he taught me while we were writing the Shaders book. I really miss him.
8. What is something most people don’t know about you?
I once did a computer graphics guest appearance on the PBS show Newton’s Apple. Keeping my day job was guaranteed when I botched a line and blurted out “Shit!”. (Fortunately, we were taping and that moment didn’t make it into the final cut.)
9. From which single individual have you learned the most in your life? What did they teach you?
Dave Anderson, my major professor in grad school. I have learned much since then of course, but he got me started with so many fundamental CG concepts and the excitement over using them.
10. Is there someone in particular who has influenced your decision to work with ACM SIGGRAPH?
Dick Mueller — he got me started. The appeal of the SIGGRAPH conference and the excitement of the computer graphics community took over from there.
11. What can you point to in your career as your proudest moment?
Not exactly a single moment, more like moments-in-the-making. But, by the numbers, I am most proud of:
• 9,000+ college students in my classes
• 63 grad students graduated
• 101 short courses taught
• and counting…