ACM SIGGRAPH Executive Committee

Annual Report for Director-at-Large

June 30, 2001

David Ebert and Gudrun Enger


The May 2000 Executive Committee elections brought two new individuals to the positions of Director-at-Large. David Ebert and Gudrun Enger have extensive conference-side experience but have not served at the organization level before. The position of Director-at-Large does not have specific program responsibilities; rather they involve general support of the Executive Committee and the ACM SIGGRAPH organization. In addition to one strategic planning meeting and four face-to-face meetings, the Director-at-Large is expected to participate in conference calls, budget reviews and work in the booth at the annual conference.

In addition, David and Gudrun each focused on a couple ongoing areas of interest for the Executive Committee:

Starting in January 2001, David began serving as an EC representative to the Conference Advisory Group (CAG). In this role, David has provided an EC viewpoint to issues raised at the CAG level and a conduit of information between the EC and the CAG. Davidís specific CAG projects include chairing the Conference Administration contract review group and serving on the "Conference Good Taste" committee that reviews new advertising ideas by SIGGRAPH conference exhibitors.

Strategic Planning and the HUB

Gudrun and David both worked on furthering ideas that came out of the Strategic Planning meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The concept of the HUB was introduced, a vehicle to promote ACM SIGGRAPH as the leader of information about computer graphics and interactive techniques. We want to strengthen the value of ACM SIGGRAPH in the eyes of our members, create a global community, and provide real value through personalization and extension of the conference year-round.

After organizing ideas and continuing discussions over several meetings, we put together some recommendations for going forward. One current focus is to increase the amount of information on the website, without initially altering the infrastructure. Adding a news feature would bring instant value to the site and begin to build up ACM SIGGRAPH as the destination we envision. In addition, we plan to develop taxonomy of terms related to computer graphics and interactive techniques.

Additional HUB ideas we are pursuing include: job posting board tied into the Industry Resource Program; online mentoring; personalization services, such as; hosted roundtable lunches at the annual conference to promote connections; developing PR opportunities for ACM SIGGRAPH as the voice of computer graphics and interactive techniques; abstract translations available online; web casts with notable members of our community; Ask Dr. SIGGRAPH, an advice column; a Valued Contributor Database to maintain the involvement of retired experts in the field; conference news reports posted on; an extended graphics links site; a repository for the material collected by the conference Online program; and the development of industry specific digestion and explanation of conference material (e.g., SIGGRAPH 2001 for gamers).

As we develop and plan ideas, we will continue to look for volunteers and outside contractors where appropriate. This next year, we will see the implementation of several of these ideas into our current offerings.

Traveling Courses

During the Strategy Planning session in September 2000, the idea of a Traveling Courses program came up again. In November, Gudrun volunteered to investigate the possibilities, and a task force was formed to discuss and focus on recommendations for further action.

The task force consisted of Gudrun Enger, David Ebert, Alan Chalmers, Thierry Frey and Anselmo Lastra. For purposes of our discussion, we assumed that people want to take classes offered by ACM SIGGRAPH close to work or home. The over arching goal is to create a self-sustaining program which is financially independent. As we discovered, this task force only began to break the surface of the topic.

In May, we made several recommendations to the EC on how to proceed with this project. Our recommendations included:

Alan Chalmers, Vice President of ACM SIGGRAPH, is planning a traveling course in South Africa in November 2001, and the data from that program will be valuable to the discussion. We also propose a pilot program with a Chapter as well as one within an ACM SIGGRAPH member company.

This next year will be a time to gather additional information and develop a program plan, with the goal of rolling out a Traveling Courses program around the annual conference in 2002.