ACM SIGGRAPH Executive Committee Meeting

Saturday-Sunday, May 5-6 2012

Anaheim, California


Attendance: Tony Baylis, Rob Cook, Paul Debevec, Thierry Frey, Jeff Jortner, Dinesh Manocha, Jacki Morie, James O’Brien, Scott Owen, Turner Whitted, Joe Marks, Jackie White, Ashley Cozzi, Erin Butler, Gregg Talley

Jeff Jortner called the meeting to order at 1:30 pm PAC.

Saturday, May 5—Anaheim Convention Center, Room 203A

EC Meeting—Room 203A

1:00 Welcome & Electronic Motions

The EC verified the electronic motions.

Motion to approve the Digital Art Committee’s proposal to create online art show catalogues and print on demand

Debevec (motion), Frey (second), Baylis, Cook, Jortner, Manocha, O’Brien, Whitted

Abstain: Morie

The EC reviewed the minutes from the January EC meeting.

Motion to approve the minutes of the January 2012 EC meeting.

O’Brien (motion), Morie (second), Baylis, Cook, Debevec, Frey, Jortner, Manocha, Whitted

Nominations Committee Slate

Scott Owen, Chair of the Nominations Committee presented the slate of candidates for the Nominations Committee. The slate remained the same as last year as the group worked well together and all were willing to continue serving.

The EC discussed why the Nominations Committee has to change every year and agreed that the committee remain in place for multiple years. The EC agreed that this does not need to be a policy but can be put in place as a best practice.

Motion to approve the Nominations Committee slate as presented

Alain Chesnais, O’Brien (motion), Whitted (second), Baylis, Cook, Debevec, Frey, Jortner, Manocha, Morie

Financial Report


The Treasurer presented the 2013 budget for approval. The deadline for budget submission is February, and ACM SIGGRAPH is working toward a better process for building and presenting a balanced budget and a large reserve.

The EC-only budget for FY13 has a ($220,665) deficit. The Treasurer reviewed some of the large items that have been added to the budget for this year: SIS contract moved from the conference budget to the organization budget, additional investments in programs, website, etc. The total budget submitted was positive.

ACM would rather have things that we are considering in the budget than added to the budget later in the year. Some of the projects included might be re-evaluated later in the year and funding removed depending on how well the conference does.

Going forward, the EC would like a mid-level summary of what we are spending monies on versus our strategic plan. Tony will work with Greg on building this summary and present it to the EC in August as we go into the next budgeting year.

This current budget does not contain any of the chapter incentive funds, chapter software or funds for the history project.

The Education Committee is working with Unity to hold a training session the same week as SIGGRAPH. The Education Committee is looking for further guidance from the EC as to what kind of professional development they should be doing.

This FY13 budget does not include funds for new items. The budget funds are for the same meetings/projects that they always do.

The EC discussed the need for an additional fall strategic meeting; this is not included in the budget. A ½ day joint meeting with the CAG and then separate meeting for the EC was discussed.

Motion to approve the FY13 budget.

Baylis (motion), O’Brien (second), Cook, Debevec, Frey, Jortner, Manocha, Morie, Whitted

Reserve Fund Plan

The plan is to build the reserve fund up to $5 million over the next five years. The EC needs to see a timeline for this that can then we shared with the conference. The conference has a plan in place to return funds to the reserve fund for each conference. The suggestion is to put a minimum of $400,000 away annually; this number is conservative and allows us to put some new programs in place while building the reserve. The conference may need to put some money back in to improve attendee experience to keep people returning to the conference. The conference has formed an advisory group--Conference Guidance Committee—to provide feedback on the conference. This committee has representatives from sub-committees that aren’t represented on the current conference committee, including tools, user interface and interactive techniques, small studio games, film, research/industry, art, hardware, luminary, and research/academia.

SA Allocation Plan

The Treasurer presented three options to the EC for the SA allocation. The allocations from conferences helps ACM run SIG Services. The options each give ACM a percentage of the $50 K fixed fee ACM SIGGRAPH received from Koelnmesse plus a percentage of the profits.

The EC agreed to propose to the SGB EC a 10% of the return from Koelnmesse. This is in addition to the allocation ACM SIGGRAPH already pays for the expenses in the budget, ie, committee travel.


A sample newsletter prepared by Information Inc. was distributed to the EC for review. This newsletter would combine our internal news with industry news. ACM SIGGRAPH can provide topics to the Information Inc. and they find the content. The EC asked for additional pricing information. Ashley estimated $1800 per month. The EC discussed whether a blog on the web site could provide the same information for no cost. Most felt that we couldn’t count on content being provided on a consistent basis.

Small Conferences

ACM SIGGRAPH has had good success with the small conferences that have been sponsored/co-sponsored and in-cooperation. Should ACM SIGGRAPH more strategic and proactive in approaching groups to partner with us? We could find an area/topic (interactive techniques) and foster a small conference. Some suggested areas of interest might come out of the new CAG Conference Guidance Committee.

The Small Conference Committee has developed a draft of a small conference manual for the EC to review. The manual has links to the ACM information/forms that need to be submitted. This can be posted on the SIGGRAPH web site.


The Papers Committee would like to change the papers submissions deadline. The CAG has discussed this and doesn’t think the date should be changed at this point. Changing the date would impact SA. This decision needs to be communicated to the PAG and they should be given the option to appeal this decision to the EC. Discussions on this can continue, perhaps at an in-person discussion at SIGGRAPH. The EC discussed what is the optimal time for the papers deadline? Who should be in charge of this? Could the papers deadline be moved back to February?

This topic was revisited on Sunday and the EC agreed that a group consisting of the two CAG chairs, the PAG chair and the two conference CSEs should meet and discuss the issues surrounding a change in the papers submissions date.

Strategic Initiatives Update

Membership Proposal

The idea here is to integrate a premium membership model that is free to the community but at a premium if you want further services and products. How can we best integrate with the chapters?

This is a Catch 22 right now. The chapters are in a transitional state right now, moving to the associate member model. ACM developed the associate program and 7 chapters are participating in the beta test. Associate member means you are automatically a chapter member. Pay chapter dues and you get some benefits from SIGGRAPH. The Chapters report that the administrative interface is hard to use. They have submitted numerous incident reports/bugs to ACM; some have been fixed and others have not. The Chapters are unwilling to bring more chapters onto this system when it is so difficult to use.

Jeff reported that he had participated in a call with ACM’s IT department. We will be starting a tracking system for ACM IT issues. The EC suggested that this problem with the administrative interface be raised to the SGB or Office of SIG Services. Perhaps other SIGs are experiencing the same issues. Jeff will be talking to SIGCHI at the meeting next week.

Jenny has voiced concerns about the legacy system at ACM. What concerns will inhibit us in moving forward as far as ACM’s legacy information system.

The Chapters are compiling the list of concerns/issues/strategic talking points for us to present to ACM.

AT SGB meeting, Jeff should ask how we get integration of chapters and infrastructure on ACM’s strategic plan.

History/40th Anniversary

ACM SIGGRAPH has received a proposal for redoing the Story of Computer Graphics movie and having this ready for the 40th anniversary. This would entail shooting new content and editing the movie. The plan would be to conduct some interviews on site at the 2012 SIGGRAPH conference. We had suggested that the Scoop team could do some of these interviews but the History group feels the quality wouldn’t be professional enough to edit into the movie. The group would likely need about $200k to redo the movie. Should the EC be spending funds to get these interviews together? The history group feels they could get sponsorship for the movie.

The EC agreed that archiving historical content and the 40th anniversary celebration are two totally different discussions. For archival purposes, we should do some interviews at SIGGRAPH.

We don’t have rights to use Computer Graphics movie digitally. Do we want to get the permissions to release it, and do we want it edited and add more interviews? We can’t upload or release on DVD. The EC definitely wants to get the original tapes. What are we going to do with the movie? Why are we doing it? The original movie was also going to have sponsors and they never got any. It cost 1.4 million.

The conference feels we should wait for the 50th for big exhibits. The EC agreed.

Action Items—Paul to secure the tapes and the permissions.

Sunday, May 6—Anaheim Hilton, Catalina 7

Coons Sculpture

ACM SIGGRAPH has only one remaining Coons sculpture and the sculptor will likely be retiring within the next few years. Paul has spoken with sculptor Helaman Ferguson regarding ownership of the design. ACM SIGGRAPH needs to submit paperwork asking Helaman to give us permission/rights to the Coons sculpture. Once we have this, we can have any foundry make the sculpture. The sculptures are paid for out of the Awards endowment fund; there is a $230,000 balance in the fund. The EC agreed to order 10 sculptures and then discussed the issue of storage. It might be time to look at climate controlled storage for SIGGRAPH


Action Items: Ashley will ask ACM about the terms of the endowment. Erin will check with Leona about storage.

Motion to order 10 Coons sculptures.

Whitted (motion), Debevec (second), Baylis, Cook, Frey, Jortner, Manocha, Morie, O’Brien

Reimbursement: Jeff reviewed the travel authorization policy. There have been a few issues with chairs not using the authorization form and then late expense reports. The EC discussed punishment for not following the policy and agreed that the volunteer shouldn’t be penalized because the chair did not follow the policy. A suggestion was made to take something out of chair’s budget as punishment.

ACM Policy on Conference Proceedings in Journals— The ACM Pubs Board has been developing a policy on publishing conference proceedings within the pages of ACM journals and have asked the SIGS to provide feedback to the proposed policy. SIGGRAPH is grandfathered out of this so this won’t affect our arrangement with Transactions on Graphics. This could be more of an issue with publications in Asia where they don’t recognize journals. SIGPLAN has responded and would like to see a call for experimentation with new publication methods that combine the best features of conferences and journals, in the context of a clearly specified framework within which these experiments can take place. SIGGRAPH is in favor of encouraging the experimentation. Perhaps ACM should provide some framework for the experimentation—own the copyright, go in the DL, etc. SIGGRAPH would like to see more information about co-sponsored conferences in non-ACM journals and parameters for being able to do this. Jeff will provide feedback to Joe Conant on this.

SVR—We will continue to use SOMA for the session recordings this year at a cost of $30k. Soma sells the recordings from their site, and they are then uploaded to the DL by December. We have asked ACM for reports on downloads to see what kind of usage this has.

SVR will be streaming, but ACM is not ready to do this. The infrastructure isn’t ready and the server company cannot handle the volume from all the past SVRs. We have permission forms from 2000 and on. ACM can only do mp4 and hp64; SOMA customizes to the device you are using. Akamai can do that but it is not currently part of the contract with ACM. Once we give ACM the volume of content and format, they will give us a price.

SOMA can stream for a year for a price and then we can make it free for members. This

would cost an additional $30K. AVW thinks there is a lot of duplication of effort with SOMA. They would like to work with us. Paul had suggestions to improve the streaming so it could all play, instead of hitting each session separately.

What is our long term plan for this? This needs to be discussed at the fall joint strategy meeting. Game Developers Conference does a nice job with the talking head. Let’s find out how they do, who they use. We should come up with a set of guidelines for chapters to provide content, use of the storage and distribution system.

SA Papers Chair

YT has passed on a recommendation from the SACAG that Alyn Rockwood serve as the 2013 Papers Chair.

Motion to approve the SACAG’s recommendation of Alyn Rockwood as the 2013 SA Papers Chair