ACM SIGGRAPH Annual Report for Year 2000-2001
Judith R. Brown, President
Summary of key issues
Key concerns continue to be membership and maintaining the relevance of computer graphics and interactive techniques in an age of such prevalent, commodity use. Areas of increased emphasis are globalization and personalized and greatly expanded online services. Finding new volunteers is a continual process.
We began this year with a scenario-based strategic planning meeting that included a good cross-section of professionals in our field, in addition to the Executive Committee. The main outcomes from this meeting were setting high priorities for globalization and greatly expanded and personalized web services, that we call the "Hub." Our strategic plan has been updated to reflect these priorities. Both of our Directors-at-Large have been working on the Hub concept and are seeking additional, new volunteers. We also feel that starting our regularly-scheduled meetings with strategic thinking on some aspect of the organization has been productive.
We made some major bylaws changes this year. Our biggest change is that we now have three-year, non-renewable terms of office for elected Executive Committee members, rather than having two-year terms, with the possibility of two consecutive terms. There will be some one-year and two-year terms as we phase into this new term structure. Title change are President, Vice President, and Past President, instead of Chair, Vice Chair, and Past Chair, respectively, and Director for Chapters instead of Director for Professional Chapters. These title changes were made to alleviate confusion between the Organization Chair and the Conference Chair and to reflect the fact that we also have student chapters.
The Director for Professional Chapters, Colleen Cleary, resigned and was replace by Thierry Frey. Judy Brown, Alan Chalmers, and Garry Paxinos were re-elected to serve as President, Vice President, and Treasurer, respectively. As part of the phase-in to the three-year terms, President and Vice President were elected for only one year.
The nominations committee was able to find highly qualified candidates for all three officer positions this year. With the phase-in schedule for the three- year terms, the 2002 ballot will include candidates for all offices except treasurer, a total of seven elected positions.
We are seeing a modest increase in membership levels. In our strategic planning, we have identified that we want a committed meaningful membership, rather than purely a large membership. However, we have also observed that declining membership numbers can be interpreted as failure to run a dynamic membership program. Therefore, we would like to see at least stable, and preferably increasing, membership totals.
We achieved a wider distribution of our "General Information Piece: (GIP) this year and implemented a simplified online application for joining ACM SIGGRAPH, with the assistance of the ACM Information Systems staff. We tried a direct mail appeal to non-member conference attendees, which was not very successful. We re-established a new member welcome letter and a lapsed member mailing. We are frustrated by our inability to get ACM SIGGRAPH member cards for our members who are not members of ACM. This is a major member complaint because they receive nothing acknowledging their membership, and they have nothing to show that they are members.
We are significantly expanding our online information, and continued expansion in this area is a very high priority. We have transitioned from our own computing resource to the ACM Information System facility in New York, saving considerable money, and are integrating our computing operations more closely with ACM Information Systems. Our strategic planning continues to push us towards adoption of a grander vision for content activity through the Hub concept. We hope to be able to use the user authentication systems that are place for the ACM Digital Library to be able to authenticate users seeking services on siggraph.org.
SIGGRAPH 2000, held in New Orleans, Louisiana, and chaired by Jackie White, was a technical, creative, and financial success. It drew almost 26,000 attendees, with a technical attendance of over 8,500, outstanding numbers for a non-West-Coast conference.
The Conference Advisory Group has been gathering information to guide strategic planning in conjunction with the overall strategic planning of ACM SIGGRAPH. They are emphasizing outreach to other technical communities, such as games, web graphics, and digital video, and trying to continue to increase the presence of interactive techniques. SIGGRAPH 2001 will take place August 12-17 in Los Angeles.
The symposia program has been renamed from "small conferences." A committee has been established to oversee the various symposia and ensure that reports are made available, and a business unit has been set up for financing symposia. We plan to increase the number of symposia we support, and this year we supported GTEC 2001, the game technologies conference held in Hong Kong.
Campfires are highly interdisciplinary workshop-style events that we sponsor jointly with Eurographics. Two campfires, "Acoustic Rendering for Virtual Environments" and "Perceptually Adaptive Graphics" were held at Snowbird, Utah, in May.
Three ACM SIGGRAPH Awards were given at SIGGRAPH 2000. The Computer Graphics Achievement Award was given to David Salesin for pioneering the field of non-photorealistic rendering. His work on computer-generated pen and ink illustrations and subsequently computer-generated watercolors are considered landmarks in this emerging field. The Outstanding Service Award had two recipients in 2000, Tom DeFanti and Copper Giloth. DeFanti has been an inspirational executive committee member and conference contributor, creating many organizational activities and conference programs that we now take for granted. Giloth launched the conference's first art show and grew it into an internationally acclaimed annual event.
Relationships with other societies
After many years of working together, ACM SIGGRAPH and Eurographics signed an affiliation agreement that allows for discounted joint membership. Joint activities this year included two successful Campfires (see Symposia) and a joint mission to Southern Africa (see Project Grants.) New cooperation agreements are ready to be signed with the Japanese Computer Graphics and Art Society (CG-ARTS), the Digital Content Association of Japan (DCAj), and Nordic Interactive.
Traveling Art Show (TAS)
Every other year, part of the art show from the conference is selected to travel for two years. The TAS continues to be more international as it is hosted by ACM SIGGRAPH Chapters worldwide, and is shown at ACM SIGGRAPH-affiliated conferences. TAS 99 will be presented at Nordic Interactive 2001 in Copenhagen, then in Rochester, New York, before being returned to the artists. TAS 01 will have its first external showing in Cape Town as part of AFRIGRAPH 2001 in November.
The ACM SIGGRAPH Project Grants Committee funded a project to send ACM SIGGRAPH and Eurographics volunteers to Southern Africa to meet with computer graphics professionals in education and industry in South Africa, Botswana, and Swaziland. The goals are to promote computer graphics and interactive techniques in Southern Africa, to learn the state of computer graphics and interactive techniques in Southern Africa, and to help enable worldwide collaborations for universities and industry in the region. This group also included a representative from the ACM Member Activities Board.
A second, smaller project supported completion of an archive of the 1986 SIGGRAPH Art Show Video Retrospective.
The Education Committee has two types of activities, those related to the annual conference and those that involve resource development. As part of the Education Booth at the conference, we have a display of the winning entries of SPACE (Student Posters and Animation Competition and Exhibition) and SPICE (Student Projects for Interactive Concepts in Education). This year, the SPICE projects emphasized interactive web-based projects. The SPACE exhibit and a CD of the SPICE entries travel internationally after the conference. The Education Committee web site has also been moved to the ACM site, along with the rest of siggraph.org.
This often discussed concept surfaced again at our strategic planning meeting and one of our Directors-at-Large, Gudrun Enger, led a task force to investigate possibilities and recommend further action. There are some planned pilots, and there is a lot of work to do over the next year, including developing an understanding of how this fits with ACM's Professional Development plan.
The mission of the ACM SIGGRAPH Public Policy Program is to provide visibility of relevant public policy information, such as proposed legislation, to ACM SIGGRAPH members and others in the computer graphics technical community and to provide information on the implications of technology to the non technical community, including policy makers and funding agencies. We do so by our "Computer Graphics" column, our web site (http://www.siggraph.org/pub-policy), serving as a catalyst for studies on computer graphics research topics, participation in conferences addressing policy issues, conducting issues surveys, writing white papers, and working with ACM public policy groups, such as USACM.
There will be both a course and a panel at the SIGGRAPH 2001 conference. The course, "The Impact of Public Policy on Computer Graphics," was co-organized by Barbara Simons, ACM Past-President and founding chair of USACM and Bob Ellis, ACM SIGGRAPH Public Policy Committee Chair. The panel, "Beyond Copyright: The Brave New World of Digital Rights Management," was organized by Ellis and David Richard Nelson.
We have an approved National Research Council study on research needs in computer graphics, for which ACM SIGGRAPH has committed $50,000 in seed funding, and Mike McGrath is working with the NRC to get the rest of the money for a research panel.
The ACM 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.
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 newsletter has experienced a lot of growth and change in the last year or two, moving away from tightly focused 'theme' issues, expanding the breadth of its potential readership by offering a number of columns in each issue. The SIGGRAPH "Member Value Plus" program offers conference and workshop proceedings for sale to SIGGRAPH members at reduced rates.
The last year has seen a number of exciting new developments in the SIGGRAPH Publications area. The Technical Images program will cease after the SIGGRAPH 2001 conference. Time and technology have made this program obsolete, with far wider availability to distribute these images on CD-ROM and the Internet. Perhaps the biggest news is the advances being made by Robert McDermott and Jimmy Miklavcic at the University of Utah in DVD-ROM production. They are leading an effort to document the annual conference and small conferences on DVD-ROM, storage media with sufficient space and speed to store and play not only papers but video and other presentation content. A prototype of the ACM SIGGRAPH 2000 Conference Proceedings was built as a "proof of concept," and the 2001 version will be distributed to the ACM SIGGRAPH membership just after the conference this August. Additionally, a DVD-ROM documenting the 2001 Interactive 3D Graphics Symposium (held in February) was made.
What's Next? Our organizational work toward a strategic plan drives many activities, including the expansion of the online version of the Computer Graphics Quarterly to include all of the content found in the printed version.
Colleen Cleary was elected Director for Professional Chapters in Spring 2000. Due to a very demanding job, Colleen resigned in Spring of 2001. Judy Brown, ACM SIGGRAPH Chair appointed Thierry Frey to replace Colleen until the next elections, scheduled for Spring 2002. We have two new professional chapters - Rocky Mountain and Atlantic Canadian - not yet chartered, for a total of 46 ACM SIGGRAPH Professional Chapters and nine ACM SIGGRAPH Students Chapters, 55 chartered or in-formation chapters in sixteen countries. Chapters represent a population of over 3,000 active members, who organized more than 100 events last year: conferences, screenings of the SIGGRAPH Video Review programs, site visits, collaboration with other organization, promotion of the annual SIGGRAPH conference.
Last year's chapter activities began with the SIGGRAPH 2000 Conference. The fifth annual Professional Chapters Development Workshop attracted over sixty people. This day is a very important event for all Chapter leaders, providing them with the opportunity to network not only with other Chapter Leaders, but also with Conference volunteers and Executive Committee members. The Chapters had a week-long presence at the Conference, scheduling four meetings for professional and student chapters, providing information eight hours a day at the Professional Chapters Committee Booth and hosting the ever-popular Professional Chapters Party at Marguaritaville.