"Lets Talk" with SIGGRAPH Papers Chair - Dr. Markus Gross

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With the excitement of SIGGRAPH’s Computer Animation Festival and Key Speaker George Lucas, there may be an inclination to overlook SIGGRAPH’s Papers. Dr. Markus Gross, SIGGRAPH’s Papers Chair, gives us an insight into the Papers program, its history, and the reasons why it is the core of the SIGGRAPH experience.


Please give our readers a brief description as to what the Papers segment of the SIGGRAPH conference entails? Do presenters just read their papers; or do they provide a full-scale presentation, provide question and answer sessions, or panel discussions?

A typical SIGGRAPH Paper session entails a full-scale presentation by one of the authors for approximately 20 minutes. An additional five minutes are reserved for questions and answers with the audience. The program is organized into different sessions each of which has a specific topic. A session comprises 3 to 4 Paper presentations. It is the tradition of the SIGGRAPH Papers Program that these presentations follow highest quality standards.

Is this the first year that you have been involved with the SIGGRAPH conference? How did you become chairperson of SIGGRAPH Papers?

Before accepting the role as SIGGRAPH 2005 Papers Chair, I served as a SIGGRAPH Papers committee member a total of four times starting back in 1999. Also, I have chaired other conferences, such as IEEE Visualization (twice) and Eurographics. This prior service provided some of the expertise needed to chair the daunting SIGGRAPH Papers Program.

Additionally, this position is quite an honor as I was actually requested to stand as a candidate for this position by James L. Mohler, the SIGGRAPH 2005 Conference Chair.

I would recommend that anyone looking to enhance their career and professional lives become involved as a SIGGRAPH volunteer.

How many papers are being presented this year, and will there be any last minute additions to the Papers final list of presenters?

There will be 98 Paper presentations this year selected from 461 submission. Our selection procedure follows highest standards, is very rigorous, and accepts nothing less than outstanding innovations. It does not allow for last minute additions.

From data gathered from past SIGGRAPH conferences, are certain Paper sessions destined to be more popular than others? Which of this year’s sessions will be the first to fill?

Traditionally, the Paper sessions on rendering, modeling, and animation have been the most popular and typically receive the highest attendance. Recently, other topics such as physically-based modeling or hardware-related research have attracted much attendance as well.

With an abundance of presentations, exhibits, courses, and panels, and so many papers being presented … this year’s SIGGRAPH conference seems overwhelming. With all the competing events, what specifically will bring conference goers to the Paper’s sessions?

The SIGGRAPH Papers Program constitutes the core of all SIGGRAPH programs. It continues to define excellence in research in computer graphics and interactive techniques. It has long been the finest international forum for disseminating groundbreaking, provocative, and important new work. The Papers program has served as a source of inspiration for generations of researchers, and it reaches out significantly into other programs.

For instance, research results presented in the Papers program very often become integral parts of very successful courses in the SIGGRAPH Courses Program. Also, some of the Sketches of ongoing research eventually become complete Paper submissions. Some authors of systems-oriented work have presented prototypes of their innovations in the Emerging Technologies portion of SIGGRAPH.

For these reasons, the SIGGRAPH Papers Program does have a number of regular submitters.

Can you advise the average attendee how to organize their list of “can’t miss” presentations? Are there unlimited seats open to all Papers’ sessions? Are reservations needed and/or taken?

The lecture halls for the Paper presentations are sufficiently large and there generally are sufficient seats available to the audience. There is no seat reservation or numbering scheme. It is based on a “first-come, first-served” principle. It is always a good idea to get to a session a few minutes early.

In terms of organizing one’s schedule, it is very smart to spend time with the SIGGRAPH program offline and before the conference. There are many things in parallel and you might want to attend sessions from many different programs. There is some risk that you miss an important session.

So, check your interest first, then go through the program and mark everything you are interested in. Then, assign priorities to each marked event. In case of conflict, take to one with the highest mark. Finally, compile your personal schedule, print it out and take it to the conference.



Dr. Markus Gross – 2005 SIGGRAPH Papers Chair –is also the Professor of Computer Science and Director of Computer Graphics Laboratory of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich.


We invite you to visit the following sites:

  • SIGGRAPH's 2005 International Conference

  • SIGGRAPH’s Papers

  • Schedule of Program Events




    "Lets Talk" with Dee-Marie
    is a monthly featured column
    by Dee-Marie:
    Senior Staff Writer, and
    Managing Editor of
    Renderosity's Front Page News

    August 1, 2005

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    Member Opinions:
    By: nemirc on 8/1/05
    Thanks for this interview dee. Good work, as always.


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