Ivan Sutherland, a University of Utah computer science icon widely regarded as “The Father of Computer Graphics” who also ushered in a generation of well-known computer graphics legends as a professor, was among eight U luminaries who were the first inductees into the ACM SIGGRAPH Academy.

The inaugural group of inductees were announced Aug. 13 during SIGGRAPH’s North American conference in Vancouver. ACM SIGGRAPH is an international organization of researchers, artists, developers, filmmakers, scientists, and business professionals in computer graphics and interactive techniques.

The new academy was formed to “shine a light on those individuals — researchers, practitioners, technologists, artists, designers, and educators — whose work is influential and who are having a direct impact on the field as proven through the development of new research or innovations in computer graphics and interactive techniques.”

Sutherland (pictured, above right) was a professor of computer science at the University of Utah from 1968 to 1974 during the department’s historic period in which it produced other well-known legends such as John Warnock, Jim Clark, Nolan Bushnell, as well as Ed Catmull and Alan Kay. Sutherland was also a colleague of David C. Evans, who became the University of Utah’s first chair of the computer science department.

A reception for Sutherland was also held during the SIGGRAPH conference along with a panel discussion on virtual reality that he participated in. (See videos below.)

Among the 52 inductees in the first class of the SIGGRAPH Academy, eight were from the University of Utah. Below is a list of the alum, when they received their degrees at the U, and a description from SIGGRAPH on why they were included in the academy.

Ivan Sutherland — For Sketchpad and for providing a vision for computer graphics that has sustained the field.

Ed Catmull (B.S., 1969; Ph.D., 1974) — For outstanding creative contributions as an individual researcher, for inspirational leadership, organizational direction and mentorship.

James Blinn (Ph.D., 1978) — For pioneering work in rendering and educational animation, and for exemplary contributions as an author.

James Kajiya (B.S./M.S., 1977; Ph.D., 1979) — For numerous pioneering technical contributions to rendering, and computer graphics hardware design.

Henry Fuchs (Ph.D., 1975) — For contributions to augmented and virtual reality, telepresence and graphics hardware, and for educating the leaders in the field of computer graphics.

James Clark (Ph.D., 1974) — For the development of the “Geometry Engine.”

John Warnock (B.S., 1961; M.S., 1964; Ph.D., 1969) — For PostScript, which embodies a major contribution to imaging models, and to integration of graphics and text.

Michael Cohen (Ph.D., 1992) — For the development of practical radiosity methods for realistic image synthesis.

Celebrating Ivan Sutherland's 1968 Head-Mounted 3D Display System

Reception Honoring Ivan Sutherland