SIGGRAPH 2021 Committee
Meet the SIGGRAPH 2021 program chairs.
SIGGRAPH 2021 Conference Chair
In 2006, my love for real-time graphics brought me to California from my hometown of Barcelona. I joined the computer graphics research group at the University of California, Irvine, and eventually completed a master’s in computer science at the University of Southern California. I’m a lead graphics engineer at Pixar Animation Studios, and I cofounded Shadertoy.com, a community that enables graphics enthusiasts to create and share rendering knowledge. I have been actively involved with SIGGRAPH since 2012. When I am not programming, you will find me running, watching movies, or drinking coffee.
ACM SIGGRAPH Frontiers Chair
My bio is coming soon!
Art Gallery Chair
I went to graduate school at UC Santa Barbara and have worked at University of Arizona and University of Illinois before landing at UC Santa Cruz, where I am now an associate professor. I was the SIGGRAPH 2018 Art Papers Chair, and I am looking forward to working with the team in 2021.
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.
Ana Cecilia Balliache
Attendee Experience Manager
My professional background is in computer engineering. I graduated from Universidad Simon Bolivar in Venezuela in 2009. I attended Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center and obtained my master’s in 2012. I’ve been working as an engineer for the past nine years at Schell Games, an entertainment company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There, I’ve worked on a variety of projects including VR and AR games and experiences, educational mobile games, apps, museum experiences, and themed park attractions. I’ve been involved with SIGGRAPH since 2016 and worked with VR Village, VR Theater, Real-Time Live!, and Posters. I’m from Caracas, Venezuela, and I’ve been in the U.S. since 2009. I currently live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and I’ve formed a poor opinion of winter. When not writing code I enjoy knitting, cooking, dancing, games, and hanging out with my Pittsburgh family. Talking about Venezuelan politics is a sure way to get me in a bad mood.
Fernando de Goes
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.
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!
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 have a digital persona called Academic Phoenix, where I create digital tutorials. I have more than 18,000 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 the department director of digital art and animation at Cogswell 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.
Electronic Theater Director
My past SIGGRAPH involvement includes 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017, and SIGGRAPH Asia 2019. I’m also on the SIGGRAPH nominations committee and am the current co-chair of the Practitioner Award. My professional career has been boring. I’ve only worked at one company, SideFX.
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.
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.
General Submissions Chair
My educational background is in architecture, and 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, and game development. I enjoy spending time with my wife and 8-year-old daughter in a wide range of outdoor activities (skiing, running, hiking, biking, etc.), and, when I can make time, brewing (and tasting) beer.
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.
International Resources Chair
My bio is coming soon!
I’ve been in engineering R&D for most of my life, and at Blue Sky since grad school, which is quite a time. I had a terrific time helping out with SIGGRAPH 2019 as the Courses program chair, and I look forward to being involved again for 2021. I live in the exurbs of New York City with my daughter. In my free time, I am mostly concerned with sleeping and eating, though I do like to get to a good gallery when I can.
Platform Technology Liaison
My bio is coming soon!
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 2 ½-year-old son. I love the outdoors, and I’ve always liked sciences.
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, primarily for advertising agencies and mid-range animation studios in New York City. I am fortunate to be part of the Blue Sky Studios family for nearly eight years, working alongside an amazing overall collective of talent, specifically the environments/assembly and character simulation teams. I am a first generation Armenian-American, originally from Queens, New York. My athletic hobbies include tennis, soccer, hockey, skiing, and running. Recently I’ve been working on small DIY microcontroller-based electronics projects, as well as 3D printing. 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.
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.
I am a media artist and technology historian. I have a Ph.D. in media arts and technology from the University of California.
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.”
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 oprah.com, 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.
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.
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.
SIGGRAPH 2022 Conference Chair
I received my B.S. in computer graphics technology from Purdue University and M.F.A. in animation from SCAD. I worked for and collaborated with number of organizations and clients. I served on the conference committee since SIGGRAPH 2017 as Student Volunteers Chair, Creative Development Director, and Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater Director. My service started as a Student Volunteer for SIGGRAPH Asia 2008 in Singapore. Collecting Pixel bobble heads every year has become my favorite thing, although collecting in general isn’t my interest. I feel my Pixel bobble heads from the past three years represent fun memories. I’m a native of Mongolia. I love sports and being active all around. Good cake and ice cream make me happy.