SIGGRAPH Spotlight: Episode 66 – The Winning Formula: ACM Student Research Competition Winners Edition

by | 12 June 2023 | ACM SIGGRAPH, Conferences, Students

From left to right: Aaron Demolder, Vincent Loi, James Tomkin, Dario Lanza, Jessica Baron

Tune in for a special SIGGRAPH Spotlight episode featuring past winners of the ACM Student Research Competition. Hosted by SIGGRAPH 2023 Posters Chair James Tompkin, this episode offers an exciting opportunity to delve into the exceptional research projects of Jessica Baron, Aaron Demolder, Dario Lanza, and Vincent Loi. Join them as they share insights into their award-winning work, discuss SIGGRAPH’s impact on their careers, and explore the evolving landscape of computer graphics and interactive techniques. With engaging discussions and valuable advice, this podcast episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in submitting their work to SIGGRAPH.

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Check out our guests’ winning ACM Student Research Competition projects on the ACM Digital Library:

About Our Guests

Jessica Baron is a Ph.D. candidate in visual computing at Clemson University, and her research focuses on appearance capture and modeling of the light-scattering of feathers. She has interned with Pixar’s RenderMan team, Wētā FX’s “fur-and-feathers” tool development team, and Epic Games’ Unreal Engine team as well as researched at EPFL in Switzerland on a Fulbright award. She has been involved with SIGGRAPH since 2016 and, as a tribute to a career in graphics, named her dog Fresnel.

Aaron Demolder is a digital media engineering doctorate (EngD) candidate at the EPSRC funded Centre for Digital Entertainment (CDE), Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, U.K. He is currently completing his EngD while leading the technical creative work at VividQ Ltd., Cambridge, U.K., with a focus on better incorporating emerging technology into art-driven pipelines. He received a BA (Hons.) in computer visualization and animation at the National Centre for Computer Animation. His work at VividQ balances experimenting with content for the new generation of display technology and driving improvement of the holographic generation system that enables it.

Dario Lanza is a Ph.D. student at Universidad de Zaragoza in Spain, working at the Graphics and Imaging Lab and part of the PRIME ITN. He is currently working at the intersection between computer graphics and appearance modeling. The goal of his work is to simplify the editing of realistic materials, both data-driven and parametric. His work is supervised by Prof. Adrian Jarabo and Prof. Belen Masia. He obtained his master’s degree from Univerzita Karlova in Prague, Czech Republic. During his master’s thesis, he experimented with fluid simulation and terrain erosion, under the supervision of Prof. Alexander Wilkie. Prior to that experience, he obtained his bachelor’s degree at Politecnico di Torino in Italy. Dario’s non-academic interests include drawing and using 3D software tools to generate pretty images just for the sake of it! He also enjoys having a beer with friends.

Vincent Loi is a senior researcher in cloud rendering, Huawei Technologies Canada in Vancouver, B.C. He received his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering at the University of British Columbia, Kelowna, B.C., where he explored the novel integration of light simulation approaches from computational nanophotonics, physically based rendering and daylighting to enable multi-scale simulation of the color appearance, behavior, and performance of nano-engineered optical materials. He was a student entrepreneur, using his knowledge and expertise in computer graphics to fund his start-up company that provides high-quality photorealistic immersive experience solutions to local companies from boat manufacturers, builders, winery owners, and elite sports. He sold his founded company to a Vancouver-based company and the venture keeps thriving and evolving. Currently, he is working on the Open Source 3D Engine (O3DE) and machine learning and seeking ways to integrate cloud-based high photorealistic rendering solutions.  

James Tompkin is the John E. Savage Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Brown University. His research at the intersection of computer vision, computer graphics, and human-computer interaction helps develop new visual computing tools and experiences. Tompkin’s doctoral work at University College London on large-scale video processing and exploration techniques led to creative exhibition work in the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City. His postdoctoral work at Max-Planck-Institute for Informatics and Harvard University helped create new methods to edit content within images and videos. His recent research has developed new techniques for low-level depth reconstruction, view synthesis for VR, and content editing and generation.

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