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1June 2001

For further information:
Sheila Hoffmeyer/Ann Kilhoffer
+1.312.644.6610 x3220
+1.312.245.1083 fax



Danny Hillis, chairman and chief technology officer of Applied Minds, Inc., presents the SIGGRAPH 2001 keynote address, "The Big Picture," at the 28th International Conference on Computer Graphics & Interactive Techniques, 12 - 17 August at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Hillis will discuss how as technological change continues to deliver new marvels and new possibilities, it is easy to lose track of the larger perspective. Technological progress, in particular the evolution of computer graphics, can best be understood as part of the bigger story of the evolution of human intelligence and its relationship to the natural world.

Over 40,000 computer graphics and interactive technology professionals from six continents will gather to showcase their best work to a multi-disciplinary international community. A comprehensive technical program, three-day exhibition, and special activities focusing on research, art, animation, and interactive technologies are planned.

"The experience and interests of Danny Hillis span the worlds of science and engineering, entertainment and electronics," said Lynn Pocock, SIGGRAPH 2001 Conference Chair from the New York Institute of Technology. "His work developing advanced technologies to change the way people work and play should be of great interest to our technical community."

Applied Minds, Inc. was recently founded as a research and development company creating a range of new products and services in software, entertainment, electronics, biotechnology, and mechanical design. Previously, Hillis was Vice President, Research and Development for Walt Disney Imagineering, and was named the first Disney Fellow in 1996. At Disney, he developed new technologies and business strategies for theme parks, television, motion pictures, Internet, and consumer products businesses. Hillis also designed new theme park rides, a full-sized walking robot dinosaur, and various micro mechanical devices.

An inventor, scientist, and computer designer, Hillis pioneered the concept of parallel computer that is now the basis for most supercomputers, as well as the RAID disk array technology used to store large databases. In 1983 he co-founded Thinking Machines, Corp. which was the first company to build and market such systems successfully. Hillis holds over 40 U.S. patents, covering parallel computer, disk arrays, forgery prevention methods, and various electronic and mechanical devices.

Hillis has published scientific papers in journals such as Science, Nature, Modern Biology, Communications of the ACM, and International Journal of Theoretical Physics. He recently published his second book, "The Pattern on the Stone," in which he explains the basic ideas that make computers work. Hillis is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Hopper Award for his contributions to computer science, the Spirit of American Creativity Award for his inventions, and the Ramanujan Award for his work in applied mathematics. He is a Fellow of the Association of Computer Machinery and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Immediately preceding the keynote, ACM SIGGRAPH will present three awards: The Steven Anson Coons Award for Outstanding Creative Contributions to Computer Graphics, the Computer Graphics Achievement Award, and the Significant New Researcher Award. SIGGRAPH 2001 is sponsored by ACM SIGGRAPH, the leading professional society for computer graphics and interactive techniques. Information on ACM SIGGRAPH membership and other conferences and activities can be found at

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