Sam Rothstein SIGGRAPH Member Profile

Member Profile: Sam Rothstein

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

I am a software developer working in emerging technologies at Cesium. I work on all things CesiumJS. My everyday work involves CesiumJS development through bug fixes and feature additions as well as fostering engagement in our community forum. I began working at Cesium two months ago.

2. What was your first job?

The summer after my freshman year of high school I worked at an animal rescue facility in Portola Valley, California. I enjoyed working with animals but I dreaded working outside during the hottest days of the year. Working in software seemed like a more comfortable alternative.

3. Where did you complete your formal education?

I graduated from Swarthmore College in the Spring of 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics.

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

During my final year at Swarthmore College, I worked on an American Sign Language-related project with Aline Normoyle and Norman Badler at The University of Pennsylvania. As a culmination of our work, we presented a poster on computing motion metrics from videos at the I3D Symposium.

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

Presenting research in a completely virtual conference hall at the I3D Symposium. My virtual embodied character was a small floating alien, Aline Normoyle’s embodied character was a potted carnivorous plant. There was something amusing about watching goofy-looking virtual characters present research.

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

Red Bull x Alps is an adventure race where competitors run, climb, and paraglide through many of Europe’s highest mountains. CesiumJS was used to create a live tracking app that allows fans to follow their favorite athletes throughout the competition. We wrote a blog post about it here:

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

Brian Eno. I would love to learn more about his perspective on ambient music, mathematics, and randomness in art and design.

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

I am an avid surfer! Surfing has brought me to beautiful locations all over the Pacific Coast. Recently, I made a guide to some of my favorite Bay Area surf spots using Cesium ion stories:

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

I have learned the most from my mother. She has taught me the importance of being pre-emptively considerate of other people’s perspectives and backgrounds.

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

I read Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull last month. I was inspired by how his journey as a computer scientist allowed him to cross paths with monumental figures in both technology and film. I am looking forward to attending his speech.

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

Working on an ios application that helps Californians stay safe during the wildfire season. Air Quality Index (AQI) data is becoming more and more important!