This Q&A was originally published in the ACM SIGGRAPH Member Profiles. Mark Elendt is a long-time volunteer with ACM SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH conferences and is the 2017 SIGGRAPH Courses Chair. He has been been a developer at Side Effects Software for over 25 years.
1. What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?
I’ve been a developer at Side Effects Software for over 25 years.
2. What was your first job?
After university, I did a brief stint at an insurance company before I found my passion at Side Effects.
3. Where did you complete your formal education?
Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada
4. How did you first get involved with ACM SIGGRAPH?
My first SIGGRAPH was in Dallas, 1990. After attending SIGGRAPH for many years, I first volunteered for a Sketches jury in 2002.
5. What is your favorite memory of a SIGGRAPH conference?
With over 25 SIGGRAPH conferences, I have hundreds of cherished memories. One that stands out was when my family was able to attend SIGGRAPH and I was finally able to share my passion for graphics with them.
6. Describe a project that you would like to share with the ACM SIGGRAPH community.
In the past few years, I’ve volunteered on the SIGGRAPH committee, and have helped others share their projects at the conference. This has been extremely rewarding, and I hope that being elected to the EC will continue to enable me to help others have a chance to show their projects at SIGGRAPH.
7. If you could have dinner with one living or non-living person, who would it be and why?
Stephen Fry. He has an amazing depth of knowledge in a vast number of different specialties. Conversation certainly would be interesting.
8. What is something most people don’t know about you?
I have no cell phone.
9. From which single individual have you learned the most in your life? What did they teach you?
My wife has been amazingly supportive of all my endeavours. She has taught me patience and attention to detail.
10. Is there someone in particular who has influenced your decision to work with ACM SIGGRAPH?
Doug Roble and Darin Grant first encouraged me to volunteer on a Sketches jury, and I’m really grateful they did. Over the years, I’ve met an energetic and passionate group of individuals who also volunteer their time to make SIGGRAPH special. It’s not a single individual, but rather all the people I’ve met over the years who make me want to keep SIGGRAPH relevant and exciting.
11. What can you point to in your career as your proudest moment?
I have been fortunate to have my work on Houdini recognized by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. It was a huge honor to receive an Academy Award, and a highlight of my career.
Find out more about the Courses Program at 2107! Submissions will be accepted from late November, 2016 through February 14, 2017