Member Profile: Rachel Hwang

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

I work as a game developer at an indie game studio.

2. What was your first job?

My first job was working on Cesium, an open source globe rendering project featuring a lot of interesting graphics research.

3. Where did you complete your formal education?

My graphics education was at the University of Pennsylvania, where I received a masters in Computer Graphics and Game Technology.

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

I first joined though the student chapter at my university.

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

I can’t pinpoint a single moment as being my favorite. My favorite aspect of SIGGRAPH is the magic of being surrounded by thousands of people sharing a common passion, and striking up interesting conversations and friendships constantly throughout the week.

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

My favorite project has been a graphics class I designed and taught at the University of Pennsylvania on procedural graphics techniques. The entire course, lecture materials and assignments are open source and available online here if you’re interested:https://cis700-procedural-graphics.github.io/

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

Many, many good candidates! One of my picks would be Ada Lovelace — I would love to hear about her thought processes in helping to found the discipline of computer science, and her struggles with doing technical work as a women in her time and social context.

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

I dream very vividly, and enjoy keeping detailed accounts of the often very narratively complex dreams I have. These accounts often inspire me in my creative graphics work.

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

I owe so much to my favorite high school English teacher, who taught me to write and speak clearly. No matter what your field, solid communication skills are invaluable.

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

Patrick Cozzi has been an inspiration to me in my graphics career, not just as an engineer, but also as a mentor and community leader. He always, always makes time to help out new and up-and-coming members of the graphics community despite juggling many responsibilities. He’s an excellent example of how individuals can help grow collaborative intellectual communities.

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

My proudest accomplishment has definitely been the creation of my procedural graphics class. It was an experimental topic and format, but I’m very happy with the community it created, and the blend of technical and artistic perspective that students seemed to get from it. I’m also pleased to say that the curriculum will live on, and the course continues to be offered.