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Computer Graphics Pioneer Jim Blinn Keynotes SIGGRAPH 98

For immediate release
15 February 1998

For further information:
Ann Kilhoffer

Jim Blinn, Graphics Fellow at Microsoft Research, presents the keynote address Wednesday, 22 July at SIGGRAPH 98 in Orlando. SIGGRAPH 98 will be held 19-24 July at the Orange County Convention Center, where over 30,000 computer graphics enthusiasts will gather to recognize and celebrate 25 years of inventing the future of computer graphics and the changes the community is bringing to the world. A comprehensive technical program, three-day exhibition, and special activities focusing on research, art, animation, and interactivity are planned.

In his keynote address, Blinn will survey the computer graphics scene from his unique perspective as a scientist, engineer, artist, and author. Over the past 25 years, his contributions and achievements have exponentially expanded the horizons of computer graphics. Blinn has developed many widely used graphics techniques, including bump mapping, environment mapping, and blobby modeling.

Before joining Microsoft Research in 1995, Blinn was Associate Director of Project Mathematics!, a Caltech project to produce educational videos for use in high schools. At the Jet Propulsion Laboratory from 1977 to 1989, his many projects included the Voyager fly-by animations depicting various space missions to Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus; The Mechanical Universe, a 52-part telecourse produced by the California Institute of Technology to teach college level physics; and computer graphics animations for Carl Sagan's PBS series, Cosmos. As a Graphics Fellow at Microsoft Research, Blinn is back into graphics research, investigating the mathematical underpinnings of image rendering.

Blinn was the first recipient of the SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award in 1983 for work in lighting and surface modeling techniques. In 1983, he also received a NASA Exceptional Service medal for his Voyager fly-by animations. Blinn was recognized in 1989 by the IEEE with an Outstanding Contribution Award for his regular column, Jim Blinn's Corner, in their Computer Graphics and Applications journal, and in 1991 received a MacArthur Fellowship in recognition and to allow continuation of his work in educational animation. In 1995, the Parsons School of Design presented Blinn with an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree for his contributions to computer graphics.

Blinn received his B.S. in Physics and Communications Science from the University of Michigan; M.S.E. from the University of Michigan in Computer, Information and Control Engineering; and a Ph.D. from the University of Utah in Computer Science.

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Learn from the past.
Discover the present.
Envision the future of computer graphics.

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If you would like more information on SIGGRAPH 98, please call Ann Kilhoffer, SIGGRAPH 98 Marketing and Media, +1.619.275.5090, or email:

For news from SIGGRAPH 98 exhibitors, please see PR Newswire beginning 15 June.

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