On the week of July 26th - August 1st 2003, nine people from Florida State University's School of Computational Science & Information Technology (eight of them in the Vis Lab run by Dr. David Banks) went to the ACM's SIGGRAPH 2003 in San Diego, California. Those people are: Christopher Baker, Kevin Beason (me), Wilfredo Blanco, Brian Bouta, Neil Druckmann, Micha Faw, Brad Futch, Matt Scragg, and Hui Song.
minutes into the road to Jacksonville, Chris' van broke down. The
radiator cap was missing. We all stopped for an hour until we sorted things
out -- they switched to Chris' wife's car, and we all continued non-stop to
At the Atlanta connection, Brian and Chris nearly missed the connecting flight because they lost track of time. Similarly, there was some confusion over Brad's bar tab and I covered him after he left, while I arguably should have left his bar tab unpaid, since it was a ripoff and the service was the worst.
When we re-boarded the plane Wilfredo found out the cleaning crew disposed of his glasses.
After a four hour flight, we arrived in San Diego and ate at a Mexican-run diner near our hotel. It was expensive (~$14/person), but this turns out to be normal for San Diego. There also was some confusion about how far the diner was from our hotel. The hostess said 7 blocks, a drunk next to the diner said 10 more blocks. All in all it was 20 minutes from the hotel by foot.
There was a course called Interactive Geometric and Scientific Computations Using Graphics Hardware all day, but this was pretty boring so I left and returned later for the section "Ray Tracing and Global Illumination Using Graphics Hardware" (3:30-4:15p), by Tim Purcell from Stanford University.
Matt and I met up with Kate Kligman and went
to Alambres, a
restaurant for lunch. On the way there, we bumped into
Josh Grant, a graduate
Vis Lab and now an employee at
Pixar. On the way
back, we bumped into Elizabeth Bellenot, a friend of mine from FSU who was
her father, Steven Bellenot,
who is a professor in FSU's Mathematics
At 6:00pm Matt and I attended a Special Event, the Fast-Forward Papers Preview. This was mildly useful, but there were several no-shows, and this actually didnít cause me to go to any extra papers.
For dinner, Matt and I ate at Ricki's next to our Hotel.
Josh, Kate, Lai (Hui's friend from Missouri), and the entire Vis Lab group ate lunch together at China Too, a downtown restaurant.
From 1:45-5:30 I attended the course Global Illumination for Interactive Applications and High-Quality Animations. Afterwards, I talked to the following people:
Henrik Wann Jensen said hey to me. I said hello and followed him into a RenderMan course but stopped short of sitting with him, because I didn't want to be annoying.
From 5:45 - 7:00pm I went to the Papers session Precomputed Radiance Transfer, which was good but still difficult to understand, despite having read the papers beforehand.
From 7:30 - 9:30pm, the CSIT group attended a Special Session: Creatures, Critters & Clones: Styles and Techniques Unique to Industrial Light + Magic. It was okay.
I also met Benedict
Brown, a student from Princeton studying applying photon mapping to
sound waves. I also met his instructor,
At 7:00pm the CSIT group went to the Electronic Theatre presentation. I sat in the 4th row with Matt and Chris, we had good seats. The presentation was impressive and entertaining, except for the last clip, which was sleep-inducing.
almost went back to hotel but I got everyone
(Hui, Micha, Chris, Matt, and I) off the bus
and we went to Rockbottom Brewery for drinks. Later we were
joined by Brad and Wilfredo.
went to the San Diego
Zoo until 3:00pm. I saw mother and child hippopotami, a polar bear, a
panda, a lion, some hyenas, two Alaskan brown bears, some sun bears (think
Winnie the Pooh), some chimpanzees, snakes, turtles, some elephants,
a rhinoceros, some sleeping koalas, and more.
For lunch, Brad, Wilfredo, Matt, Neil, and I ate at The Field, a
great Irish restaurant downtown.
After lunch Matt and I checked out the Exhibition.
8:00pm we all went to the Papers Reception in the Sails Pavilion,
where free food was had. Josh, Lai, and Kate were also there.
After that several of us went for drinks at Rockbottom Brewery (again): Wilfredo, Neil, Rick, Matt, Chris, Brad, Brian, Micha.
Some interesting products:
From 1:00-3:00pm, we saw a Special Session called: Finding Nemo: Story, Art, Technology, and Triage. For some reason, people cheered when it was announced this session was not a technical How-To. Personally, I was disappointed with both special sessions because they were not How-To's or creation documentaries.
At 5:00pm, I bought Realistic Ray Tracing (2nd Edition) by Peter Shirley and Keith Morley (down), and also Advanced Global Illumination by Philip Dutré (whom I talked to, as mentioned earlier), Philippe Bekaert (down), and Kavita Bala, the three of which signed my copy.
Next I went to the 3:45pm Papers session Computation on GPUs, but it was boring so I left early.
night we took group photos at the conference center and then
had dinner at Hooters. Hui claimed it was her birthday
and danced with the Hooters girls, and we had a $335 tab.
After dinner, Matt and I met with my highschool friend, Bryan Blank, now Chief of Security at Sony Online Entertainment. He took us to a hilltop overlooking San Diego and La Jolla, down to the beach, to his nice apartment (12′ TV), and to his aforementioned workplace, including the data center. Thank you, Bryan.
departed San Diego. The airport was awfully slow. On the first flight,
a piece on the wing was vibrating and scaring us. After the flight, we told the
pilot and he said he would tell the mechanic.
On the second flight, there was a lot of turbulence, and Neil and I were both grateful when we had landed.
Driving back, we made a wrong turn (North on I-95) and had to back track before leaving Jacksonville.
On the way back I finished one of Jensenís papers: Structured Importance Sampling of Environment Maps. Whew, I started this on the first day!
After the drive back I said goodbye to Neil, and Brian, Matt, Matt's brother, Mike, and I went to Schlotzskyís for dinner.
Thanks to Dr. Banks for funding to go to SIGGRAPH 2003.
|Kevin Beason /|