ACM SIGGRAPH Executive Committee Meeting

Friday, August 3, 2012

Westin Bonaventure

Tsubaki Room, 12th Floor (Yellow Tower elevator)


Attendance: Tony Baylis, Rob Cook, Paul Debevec, Thierry Frey, Jessica Hodgins, Masa Inakage, Jeff Jortner, Dinesh Manocha, Jacki Morie, James O’Brien, Scott Owen, Turner Whitted, Jenny Dana, Mashhuda Glencross, Lou Harrison, Scott Lang, Jaime Radwan, Stephen Spencer, Brian Wyvill, Ashley Cozzi, Debra Venedam, Daniel Schmidt, Erin Butler, Gregg Talley, Joe Marks (by phone)

Guest: Gerrit van der Veer

Jeff Jortner called the meeting to order at 9:07 pm PAC. He welcomed EC members, committee chairs and guests to the meeting. He recognized outgoing EC members Rob Cook and Thierry Frey, outgoing Past President Scott Owen and outgoing Information Services Chair Jenny Dana.

Jortner then reviewed the Electronic Motions.

SIGGRAPH Latin America

Bogota has a very active chapter with about 1,000 members. The city is doing well economically, as is computer graphics. The chapter puts on a conference with an excellent program with great animators and impressive speakers from Disney, Pixar, etc. A father/son team--the Bahamons, organizes the conference. They floated a trial balloon to Paul Debevec about having a SIGGRAPH Latin America conference, perhaps in Columbia. They are interested in connecting with other Latin American chapters and expanding the conference. They have received $50,000 in sponsorship for this year’s conference. They would like to get $2,000 to cover a speaker’s banquet.

Scott Lang spoke to the need for chapters to follow the rules and process for hosting events. The Latin America conference used to do a three-day screening of the CAF. Chapters are supposed to fill out the ACM forms for these types of events. The concern is that the chapter is not going through the proper channels. Scott would recommend a planning committee be put in place to look at Latin American events. To be a chapter, they have to sponsor multiple events in a year and Bogota only does the one event.

Action Item: Brian Wyvill, Paul Debevec and Scott Lang will discuss and make a recommendation to the EC.

Strategy and Governance Discussion

• GCG Call Report

Joe Marks provided some background on the formation of the CGC. It grew out of the realization that the CAG was not completely representative of everyone who attends the conference. So, a standing focus group of relevant SIGGRAPH communities was formed to help us identify big picture and high impact opportunities, and provide insight into how to adjust the conference and model and reach those that are not currently attending. The group is comprised of individuals who are less familiar with SIGGRAPH, and represent a more senior (or ‘seasoned’) point of view on the industry. The group represents the following communities: Film, Art, Hardware, Tools, Research: Academia, Research: Industry, Games: Big Studios, Games: Small Studios, User Interface and Luminary. Two meetings have been held with the group.

Summary—A lot of unhappiness with the conference related to their communities. Only two of the reps were planning to attend. All said there is nothing like SIGGRAPH; they want us to be better. Each community had a different way that we could improve and be more relevant for their community. Need to look at the organization of the conference committee and the CAG to make it more relevant to other groups. Our current structure makes us strong organizationally but not visionary. Younger generation does not feel we are relevant for their careers. Need to recruit some younger people.

Full conference registration is down to 3500. This is alarming; we’ve gone from almost 5,000 to 3,500 since 2008. It’s probably time to make some changes; make SIGGRAPH more compelling.

• Fall Strategy Meeting—The EC has discussed having a fall strategy meeting with the CAG in October. This is an unbudgeted meeting and we will be getting less from this year’s conference. The EC might want the CAG to discuss in October and provide input for the EC to discuss at the January meeting.

Action Item: Put a group together to make a recommendation about the strategy meeting: Tony, Gregg, Ashley, Debra, Joe, Erin, Jackie.

This is not just a conference-related issue; this is an organizational issue as well. We need to be looking at the issues on several levels. We also need to be looking at a unified database to start tracking the types of data we need. Sig Chi split its Papers Committee into separate papers communities to better represent their membership. All the communities co-locate at the Papers Committee Meeting. They have many papers reviewers and sometimes they go outside the committee to have the papers reviewed by experts in those fields.

• Governance Discussion

The EC structure was changed several years ago to separate EC members and Committee Chairs. The group discussed how this has been working and agreed that communication between the two groups seems to be a problem area. The EC liaison role has never been fully implemented. The liaison should function just like the EC rep to the CAG, providing two-way communication from EC to committee and committee to EC. We need to assign a liaison to each standing committee Improving the communication between the EC and the committees was also the point of the Chair calls, but these have been less than successful because everyone can’t be on the calls. The Committee chairs are asked for more and more, but do not feel that they are getting strategic direction from the EC.

It’s difficult to have the joint EC/committee meeting at SIGGRAPH. There is just too much going on to really have strategic discussions. One suggestion is to hold the meeting the Friday after SIGGRAPH. There are pros and cons to this. It might make the most sense to have a face-to-face meeting in the fall or January for budget and planning purposes. This could be a three-day meeting—bring in the chairs for a 3 hours slot and have the EC meet the last day to approve. Write up a liaison job description and assign a liaison to each committee.

The committee chairs felt they haven’t been involved in the strategy decisions, yet the overall strategy document that was included in the meeting materials has not been changed since the last time we all met. If they have additional comments on the document, they should submit them to Erin.

Membership was a big part of the strategy discussion and we have never settled anything here. There were several steps that needed to be put in place—1. Good faith items which included additional funds for new chapter programs (completed) 2. Problems with ACM infrastructure. Thierry and Jenny sent out an email detailing the issues, but ACM wants a comprehensive document.

Action Item: The EC meeting notes should be sent out to the Chairs.


SIGGRAPH has eliminated several planning meetings in the new structure. The CAG is continuing to look strategically at these meetings and perhaps change the dates. The S+1 committee doesn’t meet until May, which is too late; this meeting might be moved up to the first weekend in February. This could become the co-located meeting with the EC.

Budget update—SIGGRAPH is down on full conference body count, but fine financially due to other registration categories. Expenses have been kept in check. Bob is projecting a $100K net. Attendee numbers will be met--full conference one day exceeding budget; full week festivals exceeding budget by double. We need to look at where full conference registrations have gone. Missed numbers on early registration, but financially better because late registrations pay more. Exhibits, sponsorships, advertising, and tech talks are over budget by about $130,000. Non-members are down by about 300.

New CAG chair—Joe Marks is stepping down from his position as CAG chair. He has about 1 ½ years left in his term. The CAG has recommended verbally that Jackie White fill the remainder of the term. Jackie is willing to fill the position. If Jackie fills the position, we will need to replace her as EC rep to CAG.

Motion to approve that Jackie White fills the remainder of Joe Mark’s term as CAG chair.

Motion passed.

She will remain EC rep to the SACAG.

The EC will also need to replace Joe Marks as Service Award Chair. Paul will speak to Joe about potential successors.

SIGGRAPH Asia Update

Daniel reported that submissions area on par with last year. Other programs are stable at +/– 5%. SA has replaced sketches with technical briefs as another avenue for people who are not ready for papers submissions yet. This year will test how this model works.

Exhibit revenue is at 56%. Registration is just opening.

2013 Site Selection

SA received two proposal for 2013—Hong Kong and Seoul. Japan dropped out because of the earthquake last year. The Hong Kong Chapter is working with the Hong Kong government agency to see what level of support they will provide. The SACAG’s recommendation is to go with Hong Kong. The risk is that the government support could be down 5-10%. A chair has not yet been identified.

Motion to approve Hong Kong as the site for SIGGRAPH Asia 2013, contingent on confirmation of funding from Hong Kong.

Whitted (motion), Morie (second), Baylis, Debevec, Hodgins, Inakage, Jortner, Manocha, O’Brien

SIGGRAPH Asia is considering China as the venue for SA 2014. They are working with a professor from Beijing University. This will be a difficult negotiation as there are multiple factions to appease. ACM might have some input since they operate in China.

Papers Deadline

Following the last EC meeting, a small group met to discuss moving the SIGGRAPH Papers deadline from January to late December. The group agreed on the principle of moving the date, but don’t want to jeopardize the health of SIGGRAPH Asia by doing this. The group agreed that they don’t have good enough data to go on and will be looking for firmer data. A survey should go out before next spring. Survey needs to be validated.

Jackie should be involved. Rob and Jackie will make recommendations for committee members. Committee should have representatives from both sides of the issue.

PAG Governance

Rob developed and presented a PAG governance model. This should be added to the Policy Manual. The PAG should be made a Standing Committee.

The governance document should be amended as follows:

4b –change wording to say members are appointed by the chair

5—change first bullet to say it is a resource to the ACM SIGGRAPH organization.

Motion to establish the Papers Advisory Group as a Standing Committee and adopt the revised governance document as policy.

Jortner (motion), Whitted (second), Baylis, Debevec, Hodgins, Inakage, Manocha, Morie, O’Brien

XSEAD Proposal

The SGB has some issues with the proposal. Several SIGs have been approached, but conflicting information has been given out. There will be a SIG call with Donna regarding this.

ACM SIGGRAPH can say in theory we are supportive of this. The tangible contribution from SIGGRAPH is to provide 2 volunteers.

Motion to support the XSEAD proposal in principle subject to further discussion with the Publications Board and meeting the requirements of ACM.

Morie (motion), Baylis (second), Debevec, Hodgins, Inakage, Jortner, Manocha, O’Brien, Whitted


Jeff updated the EC on the web rfp and announced that the rfp group was recommending that the contract be awarded to Q. Jeff reviewed the website strategic document and asked that any comments be sent to Erin. He also reviewed the Content Manager role description. This position would interact with committees and volunteers to gather the information—not necessarily write all the content.

Motion to approve awarding the web site contract to Q.

Jortner (motion), Debevec (second), Baylis, Hodgins, Inakage, Manocha, Morie, O’Brien, Whitted


• Streaming/recording

Jeff announced that the Award Talks would be streamed live on Monday afternoon. There would be a link to the talks on the website along with a registration form so we can capture some data on those that join in. AVW will test the streaming during the award rehearsals on Sunday.

Jeff mentioned that SOMA now does transcriptions for $180 an hour. Lou and Jacki mentioned that are numerous services that do this for $1 a minute.

• Filming on Site

Paul has been working with Frank Foster and Joan Collins to arrange interviews and filming of SIGGRAPH award winners on site. Releases will be signed. All interviews will be put on hard drives and archived. Frank will be soliciting sponsorship to update the movie.

• Plan for Small Conferences

A short discussion on whether ACM SIGGRAPH should solicit conferences to be sponsored or in cooperation or help create conferences where there are content voids.EC agreed this would be a good way to broaden our reach. They discussed perhaps bringing the best paper from each small conference into SIGGRAPG or have it published in TOG

• Endowment Fund

This was a brief discussion on whether the award winners are appropriately recognized? Do we need to increase the monetary awards? We would need to add to our endowment fund. Should we start another endowment fund for Service and Art awards? Does the money matter or is just the recognition enough?