William (Will) J. Schroeder

Most Recent Affiliation(s):

  • Kitware Inc., President

Other Affiliation(s):

  • General Electric Corporation, Computational Scientist


  • Niskayuna, New York, United States of America


  • SIGGRAPH 2005

    William Schroeder is the President of Kitware, Inc., a small company that creates and maintains open-source software such as VTK (The Visualization Toolkit), ITK (The Insight Segmentation and Registration Toolkit), and CMake (a Cross-platform Make tool). These tools are widely used around the world with a user base estimated between 50,000-100,000 users. We also create proprietary products based on these open-source tools. We incorporated in 1998 and have been profitable every year since then. Our business model directly addresses the relationship between open-source and proprietary software on a daily basis. Since the company’s survival depends on getting this right, we spend a lot of time balancing the issues.

     William Schroeder is also an experienced speaker, having presented a SIGGRAPH paper (Decimation of Triangle Meshes Siggraph ’92), a panel, and several Siggraph courses. I also participate in IEEE Visualization and many other research conferences. Currently I actively lead the development of several opensource and proprietary systems, often in the context of a distributed development community. For example, I am a leader (Core 4 Principle Investigator) in the NAMIC (National Alliance of Medical Image Computing) project, a prestigious five-year, $20 million NIH grant to create open-source, cutting edge software tools for the medical imaging community. 

    SIGGRAPH 1999

    William Schroeder is a founder and president of Kitware, Inc., and a senior research associate at the Scientific Computation Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). Will received his Ph.D. in applied mathematics from RPI in 1991 while working full time at the GE Corporate R&D Center. Dr. Schroeder’s interests include visualization systems and algorithms, polygon reduction techniques, computational geometry, and numerical analysis. Dr. Schroeder has over 20 publications and five patents. His most recent work was the creation, along with two other authors, of the vtk Visualization Toolkit system, consisting of a 600 page textbook with companion software (C++ toolkit with  Tel/Java/Python bindings). Vtk is used around the world in academic, commercial, and government application, and is currently being extended to support large dataset visualization.  

    SIGGRAPH 1999

    Dr. Schroeder received his Ph.D. In applied mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) while working at GE’s corporate R&D center. Dr. Schroeder made many contributions at GE CR&D Including developing automatic finite element generators based on a novel combination of the octree data structure and Delauney triangulation. In recent years Will he’s made significant contributions to the computer graphics and visualization field. In Siggraph 1992 he published a seminal paper on triangle decimation, one of the first papers in the field for polygon reduction, and helped lay the foundation for the field of multiresolution surface representation, now an important topic in computer graphics. Will has also made several important contributions to the visualization field including the stream polygon, a method for 3D vector field visualization; an elegant method for computing swept surfaces and volumes; and system architecture papers. His most important contribution, together with co- creators Ken Martin and Bill Lorensen, has been the Visualization Toolkit (vtk) a system for general purpose visualization of unstructured and structured data, including both surface and volume rendering. Dr. Schroeder has over 20 publications and four patents.  

    SIGGRAPH 1996

    Will Schroeder is a computational scientist at GE’s Research & Development Center. He has  designed the object-oriented VISAGE visualization system used throughout GE. Will’s contributions to the visualization field include the decimation polygon reduction algorithm, the  stream polygon for vector/tensor visualization, and swept surfaces for motion representation. Dr. Schroeder received a BS in mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland, and MS and Ph.D. in applied mathematics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  

    SIGGRAPH 1995

    Will is a computational scientist at GE’s Corporate R&D facility in Niskayuna, NY. His current responsibilities include creating and applying algorithms for computer graphics, scientific visualization, and computational geometry. His recent work includes creating the GE company-wide scientific visualization system VISAGE, and developing an enhanced reality  system for visualizing maintenance and assembly tasks in aircraft engines and other complex equipment. Will developed the triangle decimation algorithm that has had wide spread use in virtual reality application and high performance graphics systems. Prior work includes developing a 3D automatic mesh generation system based on combined octree and Delaunay triangulation techniques. Will spent the first six years of his career working in an advanced development group at GE’s Gas Turbine Power Generation Division. There he developed engineering analysis tools based on finite element, boundary element. and finite difference techniques. Will has a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland, a MS in applied mathematics and Ph.D. in mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 

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