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2018 Outstanding Service Award: G. Scott Owen

Source: ACM SIGGRAPH Citation

For his long-term, visionary, and dedicated service ACM SIGGRAPH recognizes Scott Owen with the 2018 Outstanding Service Award. He has been a Director on the Executive Committee, SIGGRAPH Conference Chair, SIGGRAPH Conference Advisory Group (CAG) Chair, President of ACM SIGGRAPH, and Chair of a Standing Committee.

Scott joined ACM and ACM SIGGRAPH in 1980 but did not attend his first SIGGRAPH Conference until 1987. There he met the first Chair of the ACM SIGGRAPH Education Committee, Steve Cunningham, and joined the Education Committee. In 1990, the Executive Committee selected Scott to be the second Chair of the Education Committee. In 1992 this became an Executive Committee position and Scott was elected as the first Director for Education and served in this position until December, 1995. During his tenure as Chair and then Director, the Education Committee considerably expanded its size and number of activities, and also established the SIGGRAPH Conference Educators Program (first held at SIGGRAPH 95.) With Steve’s help, the Education Committee also established a series of joint Computer Graphics Education Workshops with Eurographics.

In 1995, the ACM SIGGRAPH Conference Planning Committee (CPC), the precursor to the current Conference Advisory Group (CAG), changed the management model of the SIGGRAPH Conference from one with two volunteer Chairs to a single Chair assisted by a paid high level contractor. The CPC recommended, and the Executive Committee selected, Scott to be the first Chair to try the new management model for SIGGRAPH 97. That model proved to be very successful (as did SIGGRAPH 97, still ACM SIGGRAPH’s largest conference ever) and remains in place to this day. Following his term as Conference Chair, Scott served as the CAG Chair during 2000-2005.

From 2005-2011, Scott served as President of ACM SIGGRAPH.  At SIGGRAPH 2006, in Boston, a group of professors from Asia met with Scott and Alyn Rockwood, then Vice President, and asked to hold a SIGGRAPH Conference in Asia. Scott formed a task force, chaired by Alyn, which met in Kuala Lumpur in December 2006. As a result of this meeting, the ACM SIGGRAPH Executive Committee decided to have the first SIGGRAPH Asia in Singapore in 2008, with Y.T. Lee as Chair, and the second in Yokohama, with Masa Inakage as Chair.

From 2011-2017 Scott was Chair of the ACM SIGGRAPH External Relations Committee and from 2011-2018 Chair of the ACM SIGGRAPH Nominations Committee. He also served two terms on the ACM SIG Governing Board (SGB) Executive Committee and one term as the SGB representative to the ACM Council.

Scott Owen is a Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at Georgia State University,  Atlanta, Georgia. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from Harvey Mudd College and his Ph. D. in Chemistry from the University of Washington with a dissertation in computational chemistry. He did a two-year Post-Doc at Georgia Tech and then became a Professor of Chemistry at Atlanta University where his research interests were in biophysical chemistry. In 1984 he moved to Georgia State University in Computer Science. His primary interests are in applications of computers and in the use of computer graphics in science and computer science education.

Previous Award Recipients

2017 Alyn Rockwood
2016 Alain Chesnais
2015 Mike Bailey
2014 Scott Lang
2013 Mary Whitton
2012 David J. Kasik
2010 Kellogg S. Booth
2008 Stephen Spencer
2006 John Fujii
2004 Judy Brown and Steve Cunningham
2002 Bertram Herzog
2000 Tom DeFanti and Copper Giloth

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