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Interview with Yoshifumi Kitamura, Conference Chair, SIGGRAPH Asia 2015

Posted By : Mukesh    At 10/8/2015 11:42:09 PM

Tags : Yoshifumi Kitamura     SIGGRAPH Asia 2015    

As Conference Chair to SIGGRAPH Asia 2015 could you please begin by telling us what the conference is about and why it exists?
SIGGRAPH continues to grow over the years – each edition has been better than the last, and both the conference and exhibition attract continue to attract a bigger following.

For SIGGRAPH Asia 2015, the committee has endeavored to showcase works that have not been screened elsewhere. There is more emphasis on original short films that have been produced specifically for the Festival. More importantly, audiences can look forward to the best works in animation and special effects from around the world.

While SIGGRAPH Asia continues to be an important platform to showcase Asian works to the world, it is also an opportunity for Asian professionals to be inspired by the best works that the world has to offer.  For professionals in Japan especially, it is my hope that the array of works and technology showcased in SIGGRAPH Asia can further motivate creativity in this industry.

How did you personally become involved and what interested you in computer graphics and visualization?
Computer Graphics and Visualization are indispensable key technologies to many related fields. Interactive Technology, a field in which I have been working in for many years, is one of them. I have been engaged with SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH Asia for many years, mainly involved in the Emerging Technologies or E-Tech program where my students and I demonstrated hands-on research on interactive techniques for almost 20 years.

Over the last couple of years I was serving the community as the SIGGRAPH Asia Director. I believe that the progress of Computer Graphics and Visualization, including neighboring fields, is important for further development of our research fields, which will also be good for the future improvement of humans’ lives as well.

Is there a theme to this year’s event or a focus that you are attempting to highlight?
This year’s edition of SIGGRAPH Asia is a combination of revolutionary and evolutionary – it is about the balance and harmony between disruptive innovation and the growth of creating new technologies.

Could you tell us about the Symposiums that are going to be held during the event?
As mentioned before, for the first time at SIGGRAPH Asia this year, we are introducing two new Symposiums – the Symposium on Education and the Symposium on Visualization in High Performance Computing.

Do you see differences in approaches between Asian audiences and other parts of the world when it comes to SIGGRAPH?
No, I do not see any clear differences in approaches between Asian audiences and other parts of the world.

Could you briefly explain some of the research activities that have been gaining interest lately and where you think more activity in terms of research is needed?
I think that technology to generate a dynamic environment (i.e., a room or space, for example), which can adaptively change its status (i.e., display style or even shape of displays, for example) to satisfy humans’ implicit or explicit intentions and requirements while sensing their activities or situation will definitely gain more attention in the near future.

Finally, please tell us about some of the things we should be keeping our eyes upon at this event?
SIGGRAPH Asia will have richest number of affiliated programs in the history of the conference, including two completely new programs – Symposium on Education and Symposium on Visualization in High Performance Computing.

There will be a variety of exciting and high quality content this year, including panel sessions and workshops conducted by Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures. Each day of the event will offer something exciting and engaging for all participants, with infinite opportunities to learn something different everyday. We have also curated workshops and demonstrations on some of the exciting trends in the industry right now, including haptic media, robotics, mobile applications and augmented reality.

The team has been working tirelessly to organize SIGGRAPH Asia 2015 and we are all looking forward to hosting some of the world’s top academics and creative geniuses down to Kobe in November!

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