From Idea to Showcase: Presenting Impactful Research Through SIGGRAPH Posters
photo by John Fujii © 2022 ACM SIGGRAPH
We caught up with SIGGRAPH 2023 Posters Chair James Tompkin, who gave us a sneak peek into what’s in store for this year’s event. He shared his insights on the program’s distinctive advantages and takes a trip down memory lane, reflecting on its rich history. Read on to discover the incredible experiences that await you at the Posters program during this year’s conference!
SIGGRAPH: Tell us about your vision for the SIGGRAPH 2023 Posters program. How did you identify it? What types of research are you hoping to see this year?
James Tompkin (JT): The vision for SIGGRAPH Posters is to be the “first step” in contributing to SIGGRAPH for a broad set of people in the community, be it students, academics, artists, or practitioners. This includes letting them engage through one-on-one interactions to meet people and explain their work. The ideal poster is a gem of a thing: a small but well-motivated and well-executed exploration of a topic in computer graphics and interactive techniques. When I walk around the Posters floor, I find that there are always many clever, creative, and engaging solutions to interesting problems, plus a whole set of problems that I didn’t know existed. This year, I’m hoping to see some explorations of how to add control to generative models and, of course, to learn about the problems that are new to me.
SIGGRAPH: This year we celebrate 50 years of SIGGRAPH conferences. How do you think the Posters program and research presented within it has evolved since SIGGRAPH’s earlier days?
JT: As a program, Posters has been running since 2004, so 2023 will be the 20th time the program has run. I would say that 2004 was in the “modern era” after the huge rush of graphics in the 1990s, and so Posters has stayed relatively stable over its lifetime so far. In terms of the research, I think it’s broader now than it ever was as our capabilities in algorithms, systems, interaction, and design have expanded. For example, last year we had Posters covering everything from mathematical and computational geometry and projector-camera systems to physical interfaces for simulating weight in virtual reality and computational fabrication of tweezers for picking up tiny objects. Posters has a real mix and something for everyone.
SIGGRAPH: How will this year’s Posters program differ from previous years? How will the program reflect on the past 50 years while looking ahead to the future of CG?
JT: A few fun things! This year, we’ll show videos of the authors’ works in the Posters area, because often the authors produce highly compelling demonstrations of their interactive systems. We’ll also have retrospective posters showing some highlights from the 20 iterations of the Posters program so far — including major contributors and impactful work from the past. Posters also often includes very early work with preliminary results on topics that are just emerging in the field. Posters will show you the nascent future, too.
SIGGRAPH: What advice do you have for someone who is submitting to Posters?
JT: Justify your work, then make that little gem shine!
SIGGRAPH: As we celebrate SIGGRAPH’s past, it is also necessary to consider its future. What do you think students — the future generation of CG and interactive techniques professionals — can gain, both professionally and personally, from submitting their work?
JT: Many things! First, the experience of putting together a submission can really help authors focus on a key issue or problem and then practice its communication in writing. Second, feedback from the jury on your work — both what they like and what they don’t like — is a valuable guide for authors. Third, if your work is accepted, you have an opportunity to communicate your work orally and engage folks in person. Fourth, networking and meeting people from across the community and pitching your ideas to them is a highlight. Fifth, and I might classify this one as a “personal” gain (and, for me, a personal bias) — the SIGGRAPH community makes the best stuff, and it’s always a pleasure to come to SIGGRAPH and be amazed.
Interested in submitting your latest research to the SIGGRAPH 2023 Posters program? Get ready to showcase your captivating work with the Posters program. Learn more about Posters, and submit your work by 25 April.