SIGGRAPH 2021 Committee

Meet the SIGGRAPH 2021 program chairs.


Pol Jeremias-Vila

SIGGRAPH 2021 Conference Chair

I am a computer graphics engineer, and I am currently a lead graphics engineer at Pixar Animation Studios where I develop algorithms to help artists make movies. I am credited in multiple films including “Soul,” “Toy Story 4,” “Incredibles 2,” “Coco,” and “Finding Dory.” Prior to Pixar, I worked in rendering technology for multiple games including “Star Wars 1313” and “The Force Unleashed 2.”

Aside from my contributions to films and games, I co-founded Beautypi LLC, a company dedicated to bringing computer graphics everywhere. In 2013, Beautypi released, a global social network with tens of thousands of contributors that enables graphics enthusiasts to create and share computer graphics knowledge. Today, Shadertoy is one of the biggest repositories of computer graphics experiments, ideas, and projects. In 2020, Beautypi released Memix, a software to improve video conferencing using computer graphics technology. Memix was acquired that same year by Mmhmm Inc.

I have spoken and juried work at multiple international conferences and events, including the Game Developers Conference, SIGGRAPH, SIGGRAPH Asia, FMX, GTC, and Eurographics. Since 2012, I have been actively involved with SIGGRAPH by directing the Computer Animation Festival, Real-Time Live!, and the immersive program.

I was born and raised in Barcelona, Spain. I moved to Los Angeles in 2006, and I currently reside in San Francisco.

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Tomasz Bednarz

ACM SIGGRAPH Frontiers Chair

I am a director and head of visualization at the Expanded Perception & Interaction Centre (EPICentre) at the UNSW Art & Design. I also am team leader at CSIRO’s Data61 (leading Visual Analytics Team) and simulation and modelling cross-cutting capability lead for Future Science and Technology. I hold an adjunct position at the University of South Australia (School of IT and Math Sciences). I am board chair of the ACU IT Industry Advisory Board and Australian Research Centre for Interactive and Virtual Environments (IVE) University of South Australia. I was SIGGRAPH Asia 2019 Conference Chair and have had many other volunteering roles at SIGGRAPH.

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Angus Forbes

Art Gallery Chair

I am an associate professor in the Department of Computational Media at UC Santa Cruz, where I direct the Creative Coding Lab, collaborating with a team of creative researchers to explore topics in data visualization, computer graphics, and human-computer interaction. I have a Ph.D. in media arts and technology and an M.S. in computer science, both from the University of California, Santa Barbara. I was the SIGGRAPH 2018 Art Papers Chair, and I am looking forward to working with the team again this year in my role as the SIGGRAPH 2021 Art Gallery Chair.

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Daria Tsoupikova

Art Papers Chair

I have an M.F.A. in computer graphics from Syracuse University and a B.F.A. in graphic design from Academy of Social Sciences in Moscow. Prior to joining academia in 2001, I worked for several design companies including global Siegel+Gale and the New York-based Firstborn. Beyond my work and research, I have a very international family, young daughter, and a very well-trained licensed therapy dog who holds 2017, 2018, and 2019 Top Regular Beauceron in AKC agility titles in the U.S. My hobbies include plein air painting, Therapy Dog International, volunteering in assisted living/hospitals, AKC agility training, and slalom.

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Ana Cecilia Balliache

Attendee Experience Manager

My background is in computer engineering, and I have a master’s in entertainment technology from Carnegie Mellon. I’m currently a senior engineer at Schell Games. There, I’ve worked on a variety of projects including XR games and experiences, educational mobile games, apps, museum experiences, and themed park attractions. For the past five years, I’ve volunteered at SIGGRAPH as part of the VR Village, VR Theater, Real-Time Live!, and most recently chaired the SIGGRAPH 2020 Posters Program.

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Fernando de Goes

Courses Chair

I work on numerical methods for geometry processing and computational physics. I received my Ph.D. in computer science from Caltech in 2014, supported by a Google Ph.D. fellowship. Before Caltech, I attended Unicamp (Brazil) where I earned an engineering degree in 2006 and a master’s degree in 2009. I am from Brazil and have lived in the U.S. since 2009.

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Vib Soundrarajah

Creative Development Director

I did my undergrad at the University of Waterloo in global business and digital arts and completed my master’s in digital media at Ryerson University. I went on to work at Christie Digital and SideFX Software until recently, when I decided to take on teaching at Durham College. I’ve been a SIGGRAPH subcommittee member for the Computer Animation Festival and Creative Development. I am a huge film buff and admire the works of Stanley Kubrick and Christopher Nolan. I enjoy watching and playing hockey and basketball, and I play video games during my spare time. Recently, I’ve been hit with the travel bug, and I’m looking to explore the world some more!

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Monica Cappiello

Education Liaison

I have over nine years of educational experience, including titles such as dean of academic affairs, full-time faculty, and director of media. Industry companies I worked for include PBS, Red Giant Studios, Mendez Foundation, and Pixellex Studio. I currently have a digital personal called Academic Phoenix, where I create digital tutorials. I currently have more than 36,000 subscribers. I have a B.A. in studio arts and digital media and a minor in astronomy from the University of Virginia. I also have an M.F.A. in animation from Savannah College of Art and Design. I currently work as an instructor at Ohlone College. Originally from the east coast, I’ve lived in Virginia, Florida, Georgia, and now my home state California. I also lived outside of the States in Italy, Spain, and Colombia. I was a costume designer and seamstress for operas in Italy. I was Geoffrey the Giraffe for Toys R Us and published a short story about my experience. I am a certified scuba diver, and my favorite spot to dive is the Florida Keys. I also completed two triathlons and volunteered with the Girl Scouts and Reading Partners. In my free time, I mountain climb, go for hikes, and play video games.

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Mark Elendt

Electronic Theater Director

My past SIGGRAPH involvement includes participating on the conference committee for 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017, and SIGGRAPH Asia 2019.  I’m also the current chair of the SIGGRAPH Practitioner Award. My professional career spans over 30 years working at SideFX on Houdini.

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Paul Dietz

Emerging Technologies Chair

I studied at MIT SBEE and received my M.S. and Ph.D. in EE from CMU. I’ve worked for Walt Disney Imagineering R&D, Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs (MERL), Microsoft, Misapplied Sciences, and Tactual Labs. I served on the Emerging Technologies Jury on and off for most of the 2000s. I’m a hardware guy who builds cool stuff both professionally and for the fun of it. I am frequently seen around the Seattle area on the wrong end of a trumpet or flugelhorn. I’m interested in touch interfaces, computational displays, sensors, analog ICs, computer music, animatronics, and interactive systems.

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Carlos Gonzalez-Ochoa

Games Focus Area Chair

I’ve worked in many different companies and fields. I have a Ph.D. in CS from Purdue University, focused in CAGD. I’ve worked in visual effects at Sony Imageworks, and I’ve worked on several Disney 2D movies, including its first 3D movie. I switched to video games and worked at Naughty Dog, and I am currently working on special projects at Epic Games. Like a lot of people at SIGGRAPH, I love the mix of art and science. I’m also an outdoors enthusiast. I travel to go hiking, rock climbing, canyoneering, and ice climbing.

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Chris Redmann

General Submissions Chair

My educational background is in architecture. Following that, I was a faculty member at Drexel University for about a decade. Since then, I have held roles in production and engineering across visual effects, feature animation, VR/AR/XR, and real-time graphics development. When not working, I enjoy spending time with my wife and 9-year-old daughter in a wide range of outdoor activities (skiing, running, hiking, biking).

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Callie Holderman

Immersive Pavilion Chair

I’m the senior manager of developer experience at Magic Leap. My career contributions in emerging technology include designing the mobile SDK for LeapFrog and secure IoT systems at Neustar. I was a researcher at UNC Chapel Hill for biomedical computer visualization and got my degree in CS at the University of Florida. I am a technical producer forging opportunities for creators to use immersive technology in their work. I’ve volunteered with SIGGRAPH since 2009 in the Student Volunteers program, SCOOP, and AR/VR/MR subcommittees. My creative pursuits are in improvised theater, movement, and music. I’m currently developing a permanent home for improv theater in San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood and becoming a Capoeirista in Fort Lauderdale. My fitness goal remains to be able to sit up straight at my desk for an entire day. I’m an avid sailor cruising SF Bay or crewing a Corsair F-27 trimaran in Miami. I am too nomadic to have pets, but my tomato plants are thriving.

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June Kim

International Resources Chair

My educational background is in creative technologies, multimedia, and IT/commerce. I am an associate lecturer (immersive design), UNSW Sydney. Prior to joining academia, I worked as a compositor and digital designer in New Zealand for about a decade. Since my first service as a student volunteer at SIGGRAPH Asia 2010, I have been participating in SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH Asia conferences as a reviewer, juror, and on the conference committee.

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Michael Reed

Labs Chair

My expertise is in image computing, and I have a broad background in AI-related technologies (vision, robotics, ML). I have been a SIGGRAPH attendee, contributor, and volunteer for more than two decades. As a volunteer, I’ve assisted a variety of juries and review committees, as well as chairing the SIGGRAPH 2019 Courses Program. As a contributor, I’ve been lucky enough to have presented in the Talks, Panels, and Technical Papers programs. I work at RightHand Robotics in their computer vision group. Prior to that, I was at Blue Sky Studios where I was a research engineer focused on advancing animation and rendering technology.

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David Spoelstra

Platform Technology Liaison

David has served in executive and senior engineering management roles responsible for multimillion dollar budgets at both startups and Fortune 500 companies. David got his start at SIGGRAPH as an early employee of Truevision, the company that created the world’s first 16-million color videographics frame buffer. David is currently ACM SIGGRAPH Treasurer-Elect and member-at-large on the SACAG.

As a way of giving back, David teaches C, C++, and microcontroller programming in the evenings at Ivy Tech Community College. In his spare time, he enjoys IndyCar racing and talking on amateur radio satellites with his home-built equipment. He combined those hobbies by becoming the president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway amateur radio club.

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Melina Skouras

Posters Chair

I’ve been a researcher at Inria since December 2017. Before that, I was a postdoctoral associate at MIT where I worked with Prof. Wojciech Matusik on the computational design of meta-materials. I obtained my Ph.D. in 2014 from the Computer Graphics Laboratory of ETH Zurich, Switzerland, where I collaborated with Disney Research Zurich. My thesis focused on the development of novel algorithms for designing custom deformable objects. I received my master’s degree in computer science and applied mathematics from ENSIMAG, INP, Grenoble, France, in 2004. Before starting my Ph.D., I was a software developer at Dassault Systèmes in the CATIA Geometric Modeler team. I’ve lived in four countries. My parents are from Uruguay, and my father’s parents are from Greece. I’m married with a 3 ½-year-old son. I love the outdoors, and I’ve always liked sciences.

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John Kalaigian

Production Sessions Chair

My professional employment began at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where I was a member of the radiology department for five years. After attending SIGGRAPH 2003, I changed gears from medical imaging and informatics toward digital design and animation. For six years after graduate school, I worked as a freelance technical director/3D artist, primarily for advertising agencies and mid-range animation studios in New York City. I joined the Blue Sky Studios family in early 2012 where I enjoyed working alongside an amazing collective of talent, specifically the environments/assembly and character simulation teams. After the studio closed in early 2021, I’ve enjoyed returning to New York’s advertising and special projects market as a freelance 3D lead. I am a first generation Armenian-American, originally from Queens, New York. My hobbies include tennis, soccer, hockey, skiing, running, and scuba diving. I also enjoy tinkering with microcontroller-based projects, 3D printing, and starting to get into woodworking. Outside of SIGGRAPH, my most recent and rewarding volunteer activity has been serving as co-chair for the Visual Effects Society, New York Section, providing rewarding and enriching value for our membership in the Tri-State area.

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Chris Evans

Real-Time Live! Chair

I have been volunteering with ACM SIGGRAPH since 1998. I was the director of art and animation technology at Crytek for almost a decade. I first attended a SIGGRAPH conference in 1998 and only missed one or two in all those years. It’s hard to nail down one favorite SIGGRAPH memory. My most recent would be meeting the team that scanned the David statue and having them check out a project I did for SIGGRAPH 2017 where we ported it into VR! I like history, old maps, diving, photography, and getting kids excited about science.

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Andres Burbano

Retrospective Chair

I am a media artist and technology historian. I have a Ph.D. in media arts and technology from the University of California.

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Ian Failes

Special Projects Chair

I studied IT/law and worked as a legislative drafter before moving into VFX and animation journalism. I write for several publications and launched my own publication called “befores & afters” in 2019. I recently served on the SIGGRAPH Asia Brisbane 2019 committee as local member. I live in Sydney with my girlfriend. We are both obsessed with movies, but she doesn’t like knowing how they are made (and I do). I’m a regular traveler, often to VFX events, where I volunteer organizational time. I collect memorabilia from the movie “Speed.”

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Alex Bryant

Student Volunteers Chair

I received my B.F.A. in graphic design from Angelo State University. For the last several years, I have worked in the entertainment industry through production and social media roles for CBS, Dick Clark Productions, and NBCUniversal. I’ve humbly received an Emmy, 4 ADDYs, a feature on, and an invite by the Dalai Lama. I joined SIGGRAPH in 2014 as a Student Volunteer, became a Team Leader in 2015, and joined the inaugural diversity and inclusion as well as communication committees. I returned to the Student Volunteers program for 2020 and 2021. People find me to be an upbeat, self-motivated team player with a passion to give back and excel to pursue toward my greatest potential while empowering others to reach theirs. I was born near Great Yarmouth, England, and raised in Suffolk, United Kingdom, and West Texas within a military family with dual citizenship. Today, I reside in Austin, Texas, with my girlfriend Jennifer and cat Sophie. In my spare time, I love going to the movies, exploring nature, and spending time with family. I have volunteered for the Indy Car Classic, MotoGP, Formula 1, ATX TV Festival, 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Bid Committee, and became a float decorator for the annual Tournament of Roses Parade.

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Sylvain Paris

Technical Papers Chair

I went to school in France and MIT for a post-doc before starting at Adobe as a researcher. My interests are in photo and video editing and related topics. I am supporting a group of 15+ researchers, which gives me the opportunity to hear about many different topics like audio, computer vision, cognitive science, high-performance computing, and more. I am from France, and my wife is from Hong Kong. We have two children. I enjoy cooking and baking, and I am starting with DIY and gadgets to make our home better.

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Larry Bafia

VR Theater Director

I’m an animator and educator currently residing in Vancouver, B.C. I enjoy travel, hiking, motor sports, and photography. When my schedule permits, I also enjoy painting urban landscapes in acrylic. Besides volunteering for SIGGRAPH on a local and committee level, I have been involved with the SPARK CG Society in Vancouver, which hosts an annual animation conference and festival and VFX conference. I have animated professionally for over three decades starting in stop motion (clay and latex puppets) and moving on to CG character animation. I’ve also directed commercials. The bulk of my reel is from PDI/Dreamworks and Will Vinton Studios. I began an academic career in 2003 by becoming the animation department head at VFS. I have been teaching digital media production in a master’s program at the CDM since 2009.

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Munkhtsetseg Nandigjav

SIGGRAPH 2022 Conference Chair

After receiving my B.S. in computer graphics technology from Purdue University and M.F.A. in animation from Savannah College of Art and Design, I went to work for and collaborate with a number of organizations and clients. Since 2008, I’ve been serving the SIGGRAPH community through the annual conferences and had the honor of joining the conference committee in 2017 as the Student Volunteers Chair, 2018 and 2019 as the Creative Development Director, and 2020 as the Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater Director. While I’m not a collector, the Pixel bobble head has become my favorite thing every year at SIGGRAPH. Moving forward, I’m humbled to have the opportunity to serve as the conference chair for SIGGRAPH 2022.

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