In the old days, most people, when asked "what do you get by being in SIGGRAPH?," stopped after mentioning the Quarterly. Maybe they recalled a discount at the conference, and then silence. It's been possible to cajole people into joining, then find them disappointed and leaving a year later. I know, you reading this are already a SIGGRAPH member, and one willing to plow through candidate statements in mid-winter. But there have been fewer and fewer of us every February for a while now. Are we going to attract and keep more members? Will SIGGRAPH, the organization, ever be half as exciting and useful as SIGGRAPH, the conference, has come to be?
I think this is happening now: our revitalized publications and Professional Chapters, and rapidly-emerging on-line membership services and publications make membership more worthwhile than ever. Perhaps people just need to know.
Does every computer user need to join SIGGRAPH just because so much of computing is now graphical? No, but the evidence of our huge conference attendance and meager membership proves there's a big and smart bunch of developers, advanced users, and creative artists we need to have on the inside, not just catching the show every August. As a Director-at-large, I will work on recruiting and outreach, making sure that these people doing graphics are more informed and aware of what SIGGRAPH membership offers them today, year-round, world-wide.
Hardworking Executive Committee members and volunteers are expanding our offerings, both tangible and on-line, working out details, and adjusting the proposed divisions between public and member-enriched capabilities. I applaud them (and anticipate their success); my emphasis will be complementary, on spreading the word to non-members, with why-you-want-this facts. The economics of publications and on-line activities suggest that expanding our membership will let us broaden and deepen our services, not make us dilute what we do for current members.
Since, I'm more scientist than marketeer, I will have to invite and solicit help from those who have done this or have suggestions on reaching the "summer only" crowd. I see us beginning by wheedling space for our announcements and invitations in their newsletters, at their gatherings, and on their Web pages.
I offer enthusiasm and, yes, affection, for SIGGRAPH and the international graphics community.
Though I am a SIGGRAPH "outsider" and until recently my closest brush with the SIGGRAPH elite was helping on the 1984 Omnimax movie, I'm willing to pitch in, learn, and work.
Michael Pique got started in computer graphics as a graduate student of Fred Brooks at UNC Chapel Hill in the mid '70s, working on 3-D interactive graphic tools for biochemists and protein crystallographers. He continues doing that 20 years later at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla. You've no doubt seen him at SIGGRAPH conferences trying to get you to look at 3-D slides or stereolithography molecules. He uses AVS for scientific visualization projects and has recently been learning Java.
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1996 ACM SIGGRAPH Election Information
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