SIGGRAPH 2023 Steven Anson Coons Award: Cani

  • ©2023, Marie-Paule Cani



    Steven Anson Coons Award


    Cani spent the early part of her career pioneering work on the representation, manipulation, and animation of implicit surface representations.  Implicit representations encode 3D shapes as isosurfaces of a real valued function defined over R. Cani was one of the first to popularize and advocate for the use of implicits for computer graphics applications. The power of these representations is increasingly appreciated due to their suitability for machine learning settings.

    Cani built upon her modeling work to make several significant contributions in computer animation, including algorithms for modeling contact between smooth volumetric shapes, simulating the behavior of fluids, animating natural phenomena, and creating realistic hair and cloth wrinkles.  In particular, she introduced a new paradigm for robust and coherent simulation of highly deformable substances with particle systems to the Computer Graphics community by extending the Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) approach, which she applied to one of the first animations of lava flows.

    Cani also conducted pioneering research on intuitive content creation tools and interfaces. She proposed the first sketch-based garment modeling interface, introduced several sculpting-based systems – some for general shapes, others dedicated to specific applications such as sculpting mountain ranges, and developed methods that allow non-experts to model hairstyles and pose characters in a few sketching gestures.

    In addition to her significant technical achievements, Cani has an exceptional record of mentoring, leadership, and service. She has served as the SIGGRAPH Technical Papers Chair in 2017, Chair of the Eurographics Association, and a member of the SIGGRAPH Executive Committee. Cani has been a strong advocate for diversity in the graphics research community and has worked tirelessly to mentor numerous junior female researchers and increase the representation of women on bodies such as the SIGGRAPH Technical Papers Program Committee. Her efforts have been instrumental in improving the diversity and inclusivity of the field.

    Cani received her PhD at Universite Paris XI in 1990.  She first joined Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, as an Assistant Professor, and later moved to Institut Polytechnique de Grenoble, where she became Associate and then full Professor. She led two joint research groups with Inria, EVASION (2003-2011) and then IMAGINE (2012-2017). In 2014-2015, Cani was appointed as the yearly chair of computer science at the Collège de France, and in 2017, she became a professor of computer science at Ecole Polytechnique, Institut Polytechnique de Paris, France.

Additional Information:

    The Steven A. Coons award for outstanding creative contributions to computer graphics is presented in odd-numbered years to honor an individual who has made a lifetime contribution to computer graphics and interactive techniques. The award includes a $6,000 cash prize and a specially commissioned statue.