SIGGRAPH FY'04 Annual Report
July 2003 - June 2004
Submitted by: Alain Chesnais, SIGGRAPH President
Summary of Key Issues
The economic downturn continues to be our key challenge, resulting in fewer exhibitors and lower attendance at our annual conference. We are imposing tight controls on expenses, while also working to keep events current and exciting. Globalization and expanded online services continue to be key goals for building our community worldwide, and raising ACM SIGGRAPH's profile as "the voice of computer graphics" is an important goal for fulfilling our mission.
The focus of the strategic planning this year has continued to be the development of the notion of the ACM SIGGRAPH web site as a graphics hub, from which visitors should be able to find all computer graphics related material available on the web. Access to the site will be different based on the level of membership of an individual user. Non members will be able to browse a subset of the site, but will not be able to access everything and will not be able to post to the site. Chapter members will get the ability to post to forums and access more of the site than non members. Full members will get the maximum level of access, including extra services such as e-mail forwarding and possibly web page hosting as well. Each level of membership gives limited access to the next higher level. For instance a non member can read the forums, but cannot post to it until they become a member. This aims to reestablish a perception of relevant member benefits, specifically for our younger members, and hopefully incite more of the general SIGGRAPH community at large to actively become members.
Our primary member communication vehicles are the siggraph.org web site, our booth at the annual conference, and the printed "GIP" (General Information Piece) that is produced for the conference each year. As mentioned in the section above, the siggraph.org web is in the process of migrating to service based site where levels of service provided depend on the level of membership. We have defined three levels of membership: non-member, chapter member and full member. The idea is to allow each level of membership to have limited access to the level above. For instance allowing read only access for chapter members to parts of the site where full members can fully interact. The goal is to show what would be available and use this as a marketing tool to incite folks to become full members. A task force has been formed with the goal to define exactly what level of service should be offered at each level of membership. We expect the task force to come back with concrete recommendations in early FY '05 and expect to implement this model over the upcoming year.
We have worked closely with ACM staff over the past year to move the backend processes involved in maintaining the siggraph.org web site over to a common backend structure shared with the acm.org site. As a first step we have moved the maintenance of the siggraph.org mailing lists and aliases to be controlled by the same system that is used on the acm.org site. This assures a better quality of service for our members as local staff is available to maintain the site and intervene rapidly in case of outages.
An issue that remains outstanding is that we need to develop a common user authentication system between the acm.org services and siggraph.org services. This will provide a reinforced sense of being one organization and make it easier for members to navigate our site.
We continue to significantly expand our online information, and ongoing improvements in this area are a very high priority. One of our high-level goals remains to complete a Hub prototype implementation. We currently offer technical presentations from the SIGGRAPH 2003 Conference online as streaming video and synchronized slides through the ACM Digital Library, and continue our news alliance with Computer Graphics World.
We are in the process of moving the siggraph.org site over to a Plone based interface to allow more online interaction with our users. The expected benefits of doing so are:
Having the whole site managed through a high level Content Management System
Allowing members to propose content for publication without having to learn the specifics of the siggraph.org style sheets, nor even having to know HTML
Providing the mechanism for establishing role based access to specific areas of the site, thus reinforcing the notion of membership through the web site itself
Giving our members the ability to interact online through user forums
Though we had hoped to achieve this in FY '04, we were delayed in this project due to the delayed release of Plone 2.0. We have now successfully deployed Plone 2.0 on the siggraph.org server and are in the process of making the Plone based site available to our members.
For SIGGRAPH 2003 we contracted out the development of both an online presence and the creation of a DVD set for selected presentations from the conference. The material was made available in both media during FY '04 and was a great success. For SIGGRAPH 2004 we plan to expand on this and propose a 5 DVD set covering all of the content presented at the conference. This material will also be made available to our members in streaming media through the ACM Digital Library. We expect this offering to be very well received in educational and training facilities.
The arts.siggraph project
The two Directors at Large, Jacki Morie and Masa Inakage have launched a project to develop a web presence specifically targeted towards the art community at SIGGRAPH. The project formed a task force consisting of Jacki Morie, Masa Inakage, Hiroko Uchiyama, Rhonda Schauer, Cynthia Rubin, and Kathryn Saunders. The task force had its first whole day meeting on March 23th2004, at the USC ICT conference room. The task force discussed what to include and how to update the web. The web is currently designed by Ms. Rhonda Schauer. To add an artistic and playful flavor to the site, the students of Ms Hiroko Uchiyama are designing nearly a hundred artistic logo designs of ACM SIGGRAPH logo, to use them in the arts.siggraph web site, a similar approach to the Google web site.
The task of the 2004 Nominations Committee was to select two candidates for each of the three following Executive Committee positions: Director for Communications, Director for Chapters, and Director at Large
The Nominations Committee, chaired by the Past President, Judy Brown, included Marcelo Zuffo and Alan Chalmers. The committee interviewed a large number of possible candidates and identified two candidates for each position during the week of the conference. A third candidate for Director at Large was added after a successful petition process. ACM SIGGRAPH bylaws allow a petition candidate to be added to the slate with 1% of the members' signatures.
Election results were announced as soon as each candidate had been informed of the results, and this early election schedule eased the transition issues for the new members of the Executive Committee. We want to thank Monique Chang of ACM Headquarters for her very good help with the elections process.
The results of the elections were as follows :
Mk Haley was elected for a three year term to the position of Director for Communications
Francis X. McAfee was elected for a three term to the position of Director for Chapters
Rob Cook was elected for a three year term to the position of Director at Large
SIGGRAPH 2003 was held in San Diego, California on July 27-31, 2003 and chaired by Alyn Rockwood. It drew over 24,000 attendees, with a technical attendance of over 6,200 and had 240 exhibitors. The conference broke even as a result of adjusting the budget to take changing economic times into account and having all members of the organizing committees going above and beyond the call of duty to control costs while maintaining a high level of excitement for the conference. The Conference Advisory Group (CAG) is seeking to reach out to other technical communities and to increase the presence of games and interactive techniques in the annual conference. The CAG is working with the ACM SIGGRAPH Vice-President to have more symposia/workshops co-located with the annual conference. There will be three co-located workshops in conjunction with SIGGRAPH 2004.
In addition to the conferences that regularly receive ACM SIGGRAPH support, this year we also supported Graphite 2004. The Graphite conference, held in Singapore in June 2004, was the second edition of Graphite. It was co-organized by SEAGraph and ANZGraph, the two regional graphics organizations set up by ACM SIGGRAPH to cover graphics activities respectively in South East Asia and Australia/New Zealand the year before.
Three ACM SIGGRAPH Awards were given at SIGGRAPH 2003.
The 2003 Steven Anson Coons Award was presented to Pat Hanrahan for his leadership in rendering algorithms, graphics architectures and systems, and new visualization methods for computer graphics. The Steven A. Coons award is given in odd-numbered years to an individual to honor that person's lifetime contribution to computer graphics and interactive techniques.
The 2003 Computer Graphics Achievement Award was presented to Peter Schrder for his contributions to the newly emerging area of 3D geometry processing. The Computer Graphics Achievement award is given each year to recognize an individual for an outstanding achievement in computer graphics and interactive techniques.
The 2003 Significant New Researcher Award was presented to Mathieu Desbrun for his original contributions to deformable models and animation. The Significant New Researcher Award is awarded annually to a researcher who has made a recent significant contribution to the field of computer graphics and is new to the field. The intent is to recognize people very early in their career who have already made a notable contribution and are likely to make more. In an unusual linkage of computer graphics professors and students, the advisor for 2003 Computer Graphics Achievement Award winner Peter Schrder on his first SIGGRAPH paper in 1993 was Pat Hanrahan, who has been selected to receive this year's ACM SIGGRAPH Steven Anson Coons Award. And Schrder's former postdoctoral student, Mathieu Desbrun, has been chosen as the 2003 ACM SIGGRAPH Significant New Researcher Award.
Relationships with other societies and international efforts
ACM SIGGRAPH and Eurographics have an affiliation agreement that allows for discounted joint membership. In February 2004 an ACM SIGGRAPH-Eurographics delegation visited six countries in South East Asia with the goals of:
promoting Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques
learning about the state of computer graphics and interactive techniques in the region
helping to firmly establish a regional graphics association SEAgraph (South East Asia Graphics) that we had previously set up after a similar trip to Australia, New Zealand and Singapore in 2002.
helping to enable worldwide collaborations for universities and industry in the region.
South East Asia includes a vast geographical region, so a follow up delegation after our initial delegation to Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, was essential to ascertain a fuller extent of computer graphics activity in the region and extend this to include parts of the Indian subcontinent, including India and Bhutan. The direct beneficiaries of this mission will be computer graphics researchers, educators, developers and enthusiasts, i.e. OUR community in that region. Currently this number is relatively small, perhaps several hundred, but if successful, the results of the delegation's visit to the area should see a significant increase in computer graphics activities in the region, thus affecting many more people there. In addition, by carrying out this activity, ACM SIGGRAPH will further establish itself as the leading international organization in the field with the strategic goal of promoting computer graphics and interactive techniques world wide.
In addition to working closely with Eurographics, the Japanese Computer Graphics and Art Society (CG-ARTS), the Digital Content Association of Japan (DCAj), and Nordic Interactive, ACM SIGGRAPH is also in the process of developing relationships with other computer graphics associations.
Traveling Art Show (TAS)
Every other year, part of the art show from the conference is selected to travel for two years. The raveling art show (TAS) continues to increase its activities as it is hosted by ACM SIGGRAPH chapters and conferences supported by ACM SIGGRAPH around the world.
The Education Committee of the ACM SIGGRAPH organization is now 20 years in existence. This voluntary committee was reorganized into (3) three functional working groups to better facilitate work based on the goals and objectives of the Education Committee.
To encourage and facilitate efforts that connect communities -collaborative connections that better our educational process and trigger innovation and creativity.
To support projects and experiences that further the development of the field -to evaluate existing projects and new projects to ensure they meet the needs of the educator and learner.
To provide global online resources - to achieve and develop resources for educators, to encourage the definition of a knowledge base for the computer graphics discipline and to identify curriculum and core competencies, innovative processes and learning pedagogy.
To look at all the learners in the field -to discover how best to design instruction and instructional interfaces using cognitive science and human learning theory and to light the path for future educators so they can continue in the development of the field.
The three functional working groups are:
1. Curriculum Knowledge Base led by Frank Brattain.
Activities include curriculum workshops, campfires etc. that include the definition of a knowledge base for the computer graphics discipline. This year we continue the curriculum workshop led by Cary Laxer and Gary Bertoline. It will include Lew Hitchner as an additional Education Committee representative and 15 additional participants from both education and industry to expand the work done in the 2003 workshop. We also plan to support the update of the Computer Generated Visualization resources material on our web site; headed by Gitta Domik.
2. Building Community led by Dena Eber.
Activities include international outreach, the development of online resources-(eg CGEM Joaquim Jorge, and others making up the Executive Advisory Board; Andries van Dam, Colin Beardon, Dan Bergeron, Don Brutzman, Gary Bertoline, Colleen Case, Jacki Morie, Jiao Ying Shi, Jose Encarnacao, Lars Kjelldahl, Masa Inakage, Mike McGrath, Rejane Spitz, Tony Longson, Werner Hansmann), the redesign and implementation of the new Education Directory (William Joel), participation in Forums and other special projects. Our international participation includes our Eurographics liaison Werner Hansmann, our South American representative Rejane Spitz and our Asian representative Jiaoying Shi. A special thanks to Professor Shi, Steve Cunningham, Judy Brown, Cary Laxer, Zhigeng Pan, Michael McGrath, Werner Hansmann and the NSF for sponsoring and hosting the CGE04 Computer Graphics Education Workshop at Zhejiang University Hangzhou China.
3. Conference Activities led by Michael Mehall.
The Education booth organized by Guanping Zheng is our key contact point at the conference; along with participation in the Education Program's (Tony Longson) opening and closing sessions and the resource room (Marc Barr). Our student competition winners' work will be presented at a session in the Education program and displayed at both the booth and resource rooms. We hope to increase the visibility of these competitions. The SPACE (Student Poster and Animation Competition Exhibition), includes posters (Michael Mehall) and animations (Marty Altman). The SPICE (to be renamed TIME) competition includes standalone interactive projects and web-based sites (Stephen Wroble). The FSSW (Faculty Submitted Student Work) project is under evaluation. Winners and other Education committee activities are documented in our catalog (Nancy Ciolek; Publications) and go on tour (Frank Brattain; Traveling Show) both nationally and internationally throughout the year. Our grant program (Mike McGrath) will sponsor 8 local high school instructors and 2 international educators' program presenters. Rhonda Shauer acts as our webmaster and is in the process of making some structural and content updates to the site.
Much of the work done this year, as the new Director for Education, was in evaluating existing and proposed projects, restructuring the committee and organizing the budget to identify funding needs. In addition the committee has expanded participation with workshops, the CGEMS advisory board and the intentional utilization of volunteer reviewers and jurors for our competitions. This has allowed for more people to participate in the activities of the committee.
The SIGGRAPH Publications Committee oversees and is involved with all aspects of SIGGRAPH publications, from budget planning and approval, to production, to order fulfillment, to new project development.
Stephen Spencer (The University of Washington) heads the Publications Committee and oversees the work of the rest of the committee. He also oversees CD-ROM production and print publication production tasks.
Dana Plepys and Thomas DeFanti (University of Illinois at Chicago) heads the SIGGRAPH Video Review program, offering high-quality, relevant CG content on video tape and DVD.
Patricia Galvis-Assmus (UMass-Amherst) and Hans Westman (Art Institute of Pittsburgh), along with production help from Lynn Valastyan (Smith, Bucklin and Associates) handle the SIGGRAPH Newsletter / Computer Graphics Quarterly, a quarterly publication of ACM SIGGRAPH.
ACM SIGGRAPH offers a wide range of publications for sale to the computer graphics community, mainly focused on the content presented at the organization's conferences and workshops: printed and CD-ROM based conference and workshop proceedings, video tapes, and DVDs all help to document these gatherings of the computer graphics community.
The SIGGRAPH "Member Value Plus" program offers conference and workshop proceedings for sale to SIGGRAPH members at reduced rates.
Our arrangement with Eurographics to assist in sponsoring a number of their events and handle the production and printing of the proceedings of the events is going well.
The major goal of the past year has continued to be the growth of the chapters' network. We were able to achieve this goal depot budget limitations by focusing on a couple of areas: increased outreach, especially towards students, and better administrative support, through the development of CAWA (Chapters Automated Web Application). Also, we have tried to increase the level of interactions between the chapters and the other programs of the organization.
As a result of this effort the total number of ACM SIGGRAPH chapters continues to grow. We have gone from 16 to 22 student chapters and from 53 to 63 professional chapters. Many of these new chapters are the direct result of outreach trips to specific regions in the world aimed at promoting computer graphics activities around ACM SIGGRAPH. Of particular note is the fact that the greatest level of growth is outside of North America. We currently have chapters in 23 countries and expect to grow that number over the next few years as we undertake more outreach trips to promote ACM SIGGRAPH activity.
Why I Belong to ACM
Hear from Bryan Cantrill, vice president of engineering at Joyent, Ben Fried chief information officer at Google, and Theo Schlossnagle, OmniTI founder on why they are members of ACM.
Written by leading domain experts for software engineers, ACM Case Studies provide an in-depth look at how software teams overcome specific challenges by implementing new technologies, adopting new practices, or a combination of both. Often through first-hand accounts, these pieces explore what the challenges were, the tools and techniques that were used to combat them, and the solution that was achieved.
ACM Queue’s “Research for Practice” is your number one resource for keeping up with emerging developments in the world of theory and applying them to the challenges you face on a daily basis. In this installment, Dan Crankshaw and Joey Gonzalez provide an overview of machine learning server systems. What happens when we wish to actually deploy a machine learning model to production, and how do we serve predictions with high accuracy and high computational efficiency? Dan and Joey’s curated research selection presents cutting-edge techniques spanning database-level integration, video processing, and prediction middleware. Given the explosion of interest in machine learning and its increasing impact on seemingly every application vertical, it's possible that systems such as these will become as commonplace as relational databases are today.