Home » News and posts » Utah Computer Graphics and Visualization Milestone
Announcements IEEE News Milestones R6 Actvities

Utah Computer Graphics and Visualization Milestone

Milestone text

The IEEE Utah Section and the Engineering College of the University of Utah held a dedication ceremony on campus for the first IEEE Milestone in Utah, “Development of Computer Graphics and Visualization Techniques 1965-1978” on March 23-24, 2023. There was a series of events with the pioneers of computer graphics held at the Cleone Peterson Eccles Alumni House. The entirety was live-streamed; see links below.

See IEEE Spectrum article “How the Computer Graphics Industry Got Started at the University of Utah” and the Engineering and Technology History Wiki article “Development of Computer Graphics and Visualization Techniques, 1965-1978“.

Download Milestone Program (March 24) (4MB PDF).

At this event luminaries including Ed Catmull (Pixar Animation), John Warnock (Adobe), Jim Clark (Silicon Graphics), Alan Kay (Xerox PARC) and Ivan Sutherland (Evans & Sutherland) will discuss the creative climate and technical contributions that gave birth to these technologies. See photos from the event.

March 23 was a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the U’s computer science department, now the Kahlert School of Computing, with panel discussions and talks looking at the past, present and future of the School.

March 24 was the Milestone dedication in the morning with a Graphics Symposium in the afternoon with the visionaries who launched the computer graphics revolution as they reflect on their student days at the University of Utah and their trailblazing technology contributions.

These historic events will never be duplicated. Go to www.price.utah.edu/rsvp for detailed event information and to RSVP.

Schedule of Events (recorded live streamed links):

  • Thursday March 23 from 10 AM to 5 PM is the 50th anniversary of the founding of the University of Utah Computer Science Department.
  • Friday March 24th from 10 to noon is the Milestone Dedication.
  • Friday March 24th from 1:45 PM to 5 PM will be a Symposium organized by the University of Utah.

Program, 50th anniversary of the Computer Science Department at the University of Utah (March 23, 10 am-5 pm)

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUFp6sjKbkE; direct links below

  • Welcome: Mary Hall, Director, University of Utah Kahlert School of Computing. (https://youtu.be/LUFp6sjKbkE?t=181)
  • Panel: Leading the Way in Computer Science Education: Former Kahlert School of Computing faculty members Dave Hanscom and Joe Zachary talk about the origins of our undergraduate program. Moderated by Erin Parker. (https://youtu.be/LUFp6sjKbkE?t=926)
  • Panel: Foundations for Creativity: Utah Computer Science, the early years. Chuck Seitz, Al Davis and Duane Call talk about how the environment in which they worked fostered creativity, and specifically as it relates to computer architecture and systems. Moderated by Rajeev Balasubramonian. (https://youtu.be/LUFp6sjKbkE?t=3774)
  • Keynote: The future and promise of technology – innovations from extraordinary women. Telle Whitney, Co-Founder, Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing and Former CEO of Anita Borg Institute. (https://youtu.be/LUFp6sjKbkE?t=6373)
  • Lunch
  • Keynote: Utah and the Frontiers of Computing. Steve Parker, Vice President of Professional Graphics, NVIDIA (https://youtu.be/LUFp6sjKbkE?t=12058)
  • Panel: Impact of Networking Research, from ARPANET to Emulab & Beyond. David Andersen (CMU) and Cody Cutler (Amazon), moderated by Rob Ricci (https://youtu.be/LUFp6sjKbkE?t=15368)
  • Future Video: Kahlert School of Computing assistant professors talk about what the future holds for the field. (https://youtu.be/LUFp6sjKbkE?t=18007)
  • Single Flux Quantum (SFQ) Digital Electronics (Digital circuits totally distinct from Quantum Computing). Keynote: Ivan Sutherland, 1968 – 74 Utah Professor, 1988 Turing Award Winner, CG Pioneer and Icon. (https://youtu.be/LUFp6sjKbkE?t=20833)

Milestone Dedication (March 24, 10 am-noon)

Development of Computer Graphics and Visualization Techniques, 1965-1978

In 1965, the University of Utah established a Center of Excellence for computer graphics research with Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) funding. In 1968, two professors founded the pioneering graphics hardware company Evans & Sutherland; by 1978, fundamental rendering and visualization techniques disclosed in doctoral dissertations included the Warnock algorithm, Gouraud shading, the Catmull-Rom spline, and the Blinn-Phong reflection model. Alumni-founded companies include Atari, Silicon Graphics, Adobe, Pixar, and Netscape.

Video: https://youtu.be/VzEaM6QAy-4; direct links below

Graphics Symposium Program (March 24, 1:45-5:00 pm)

Video: https://youtube.com/live/ui3R1Dlmsk0; direct links below

Live-streamed links


The images show Kathy Hayashi from San Diego who is IEEE Region 6 Director, Brian Berg from Silicon Valley/Medford OR who is Region 6 History Chair & served as our dedication Master of Ceremonies, Dan Donahoe who is Past Chair IEEE Utah Section and Milestone proposer, UoU CS Department Chair Mary Hall, UoU College of Engineering Dean Rich Brown, Computer View History Museum Director Marc Weber (in Mountain View, CA) and Prof. Jacob Gaboury from UC Berkeley and Peijung Tsai IEEE Utah Section Treasurer and R6 WIE Chair. There is also a picture of hundreds of folks filing into the conference room in the UoU’s Alumni House. We had eight display tables along the perimeter for the IEEE Utah Section, L3 Harris, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, The US Air Force, MITRE, BAE and Johns Hopkins APL.

Group Photo

Back row: Dan Donahoe (Utah Section), Nolan Bushnell, Bob Sproull, Martin Newell, John Warnock, Fred Parke, Gary Watkins, Alvy Ray Smith, Henri Gouraud, Ed Catmull, Sylvie Gouraud, Elaine Cohen, Rich Riesenfeld
Front row: Brian Berg (R6), Robert Schumacker, Ivan Sutherland, Jim Blinn, Henry Fuchs, Kathy Hayashi (R6)


Follow Us

Find Announcements

Past Announcements

Local Events

Region Meetings