Pioneers Reception - SIGGRAPH 2012

Event Date: 8 August 2012
Location: Los Angeles Convention Center, Room 511 B/C

The Pioneer’s reception will be in a meeting room in the Convention center. There will be a buffet and will start around 18:30 and end after the speaker is finished around 20:00.


Speaker - Kurt Akeley - Lytro, Inc. and Stanford University

Kurt Akeley, employee Number 10 at Silicon Graphics. (Source: JPR TechWatch)

For those of you going to Siggraph, and who have been working in computer graphics (i.e., getting paid for it) since 1991 or earlier, you should come to the Siggraph Computer Graphics Pioneers’ reception, Tuesday night at 6:00 in room 511 b and c. Kurt Akeley is this year’s featured speaker. He will offer reflections on OpenGL at its 20th birthday (or it could be “anniversary”). The Pioneers group provides mentoring for those interested in working in computer graphics, and the group functions as a networking group for finding future work.

Kurt was part of the founding Silicon Graphics team in 1982 and worked there for almost 20 years. During that time he led the development of several high-end graphics systems, including GTX, VGX, and RealityEngine. He’s also known for his pioneering work on OpenGL, the industry-standard programming interface for high-performance graphics hardware.

Culminating a multi-year effort by several industrial partners, the OpenGL 1.0 specification was finalized on June 30, 1992. Since then OpenGL has remained at the forefront of interactive computer graphics—it is as vibrant today as it was in 1992. Kurt will briefly describe the history of the initial development of OpenGL, then discuss at more length various factors he believes have contributed to its success, including in particular its design as an architecture. He’ll also touch on factors that were thought to be important at the time but may not have turned out to be and on errors that were overcome.

In addition, Kurt will say a few words on light field photography and the Lytro camera, which have substantial parallels to computer graphics and that offer another opportunity for a standard setting.