SIGGRAPH 1988 Computer Graphics Achievement Award: Barr

  • ©1988, Alan Barr



    Computer Graphics Achievement Award


    Prof. Alan H. Barr is being recognized for his contribution to graphics, primarily for extending computer graphics shape modeling to include physically based and “teleological” modeling . He is a leader in the recent push toward integrating dynamic constraints and physics into the animation of computer-synthesized scenes — an important advance in computer graphics.

    The ultimate goal in simulation is to be able to model the actual behavior of objects whether based on physical or “cartoon” principles. Dr. Barr’s research brings us closer to achieving that goal. Using a “teleological” modeling element (from the Greek word teleos, meaning end or goal) allows representation of abstract, physically realistic, time-dependent objects and systems of objects in mathematically consistent schema. Potential applications include mechanical CAD, robotics, goal-oriented motion, self-assembling mechanical systems and computer vision.

    Dr. Barr was educated at Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute, receiving BS, MS and PhD degrees in Mathematics in 1973, 1976, and 1983. His interest in computer graphics was stimulated at Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute’s Center for Interactive Computer Graphics. There he created a collection of new solid modeling primitives, called superquadrics. From 1982 through 1983 while finishing his PhD at Renssalaer, Barr was a senior research scientist at Raster Technologies Inc. In 1984 he became an assistant professor of Computer Science at the California Institute of Technology where he conducts his research and is a superb mentor of graduate students.

    Dr. Barr has lectured in and chaired several SIGGRAPH tutorials. He and his colleagues are regular contributors of stunning images for the SIGGRAPH film shows. It has been said he has the distinction of having the most images reproduced without credit!


    ACM SIGGRAPH Citation