Exclusive: Fun Facts About the SIGGRAPH Asia 2021 Committee

by | 24 June 2021 | Conferences, Industry Leaders

As we work hard to bring you the best content and event experience for SIGGRAPH Asia 2021, we’d like to introduce you to the dedicated and talented group of digital media professionals who form the SIGGRAPH Asia 2021 Committee!

Shuzo John Shiota
Conference Chair
CEO, Polygon Pictures Inc., Japan
Fun Fact: My last name in Japanese means “salt field”, while my first name means “three times around”. I’m the first born in the family. I found later in life that my first name means “Wednesday” in Chinese. I was born on a Sunday.

Ayumi Kimura
Conference Co-chair
Research Manager, OLM Digital, Inc., Japan / Program Manager and Collaboration Coordinator, CMIC, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Fun Fact: I like stationery and gadgets that make life fun and comfortable, such as Animal-Shaped Bookmark Clips, Self-inkling date stamp and Black paper memo pad + white pen.

Hideaki Ogawa
Art Gallery Chair
Director, Ars Electronica, Futurelab, Austria
Fun Fact: I enjoy tinkering in my garden.

Dan Sarto
Computer Animation Festival Chair
Animation World Network – AWN.com, USA
Fun Fact: I’m an avid cook who makes my own spice mixes, pickled vegetables, and “flavor bomb” pastes.

Mathieu Desbrun
Courses Chair
Professor, Computing and Mathematical Sciences, California Institute of Technology, USA
Fun Fact: I enjoy playing drums and reading mystery novels — but usually not at the same time, even though I like multi-tasking.

Tomasz Bednarz
Demoscene Chair
Team Leader, CSIRO’s Data61 & Director, UNSW’s EPICentre, Australia
Fun Fact: I love to buy lots of figurines and plush toys of animated characters but always tell others that they are for my wife. 😉 I have 20+ Minions, three sets of Bunny & Ducky, Little Green men, Bing bong, many Hello Kitties, etc. I am fond of “The Little Prince” book, too, and collect the series in different languages.

Kentaro Oku
Demoscene Co-chair
President, Kashika Co., Ltd., Japan
Fun Fact: I love driving, cycling, programming, and enjoy demoparties!

Kouta Minamizawa
Emerging Technologies Chair
Professor, Keio University Graduate School of Media Design, Japan
Fun Fact: I grew up in a neighborhood of Tokyo Disneyland, and became a lover of imagineering. That is the reason why I became a VR/HCI researcher and have been involved in emerging tech for 15 years since 2005.

Mark Elendt
Featured Sessions Chair
SideFX, Canada
Fun Fact: Every Thursday night I roll d20s.

Isamu Hasegawa
Games Chair
Senior Manager / R&D Technical Producer, SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD., Japan
Fun Fact: I like butterflies so much that I can identify all butterflies in Japan (as you know, there are more than 200 species of butterfly in Japan).

Jun Kato
Real-Time Live! Chair
Senior Researcher, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Technical Advisor, Arch Inc., Japan
Fun Fact: I publish papers, design, develop, and manage web services for creators. I occasionally become an octopus kid in “Splatoon 2”, holding X Rank for all game rules.

Stephen N. Spencer
Publications Chair
Paul G. Allen School, Dept. of Computer Science & Engineering, USA
Fun Fact: I’ve run 12 full marathons, and enjoy running when I visit somewhere new — Singapore in February was VERY humid.

Wan-Chun Alex Ma
Technical Communications & Posters Chair
Senior Research Scientist, ByteDance, USA
Fun Fact: The video game “Wing Commander III” in 1994 inspired me to pursue a career in computer graphics and virtual production. I’ve also enjoyed arts in different forms: nature, literatures, music, etc. I was actually a Trombone specialist during my Army service.

Carol O’Sullivan
Technical Papers Chair
Professor of Visual Computing, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Fun Fact: I love Asian culture and have been learning Mandarin and Korean during lockdown. Watching K-dramas is my guilty pleasure.

Takuya Kato
Student Volunteers Chair
Machine Learning Engineer, ExaWizards Inc., Japan
Fun Fact: I am one of the most enthusiastic NBA/basketball fans in Japan, I write articles, go on a podcast, host some events, etc.

Christian Sandor
XR Chair
City University of Hong Kong, School of Creative Media, Hong Kong
Fun Fact: I lived in Japan for eight years. My daughter Kate is now 3 years old and I selected the Kanji for her name: 恵登 (ascending wisdom).

Maki Sugimato
XR Co-Chair
Keio University, Japan
Fun Fact: I have a home theatre (a 130-inch screen with 11.1 ch audio) in my small apartment!

That’s all for now! 😉 We hope you had a fun time getting to know our committee members!

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