CHCCS/SCDHM Achievement Award

Dinesh K. Pai

Achievement Award 2020

A 2020 CHCCS/SCDHM Achievement Award from the Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society is presented to Prof. Dinesh K. Pai (UBC) for his numerous high-impact contributions to the field of computer graphics research.

His highly interdisciplinary research is focused on developing computational models of human movement. He has made significant contributions to physics-based animation, multisensory displays including haptics and sound, robotics, biomechanics, and neural control of movement. In support of this, he has developed many novel software and hardware systems related to multisensory capture for humans, sound, and physical properties of the world.

At UBC he directs the Sensorimotor Systems Laboratory, whose state-of-the-art facilities include custom-built skin and fabric measurement devices, 3D full body color scanners, motion capture systems, a suite of skin measurement instruments, an ultrasound system, EMG systems, several eye trackers, haptic interfaces, force sensors, and robots. He founded the UBC spinoff company Vital Mechanics Research, to translate his basic research in skin and tissue simulation into applications. Software from Vital Mechanics has been used in the visual effects and apparel industries.

Prof. Pai has an exceptional track record of mentorship. More than a dozen of the Ph.D. students and postdocs he has supervised or co-supervised now hold faculty positions, including eight in Canada: at McGill, Ottawa, Toronto (2X), Saskatchewan, Simon Fraser, BCIT, and UBC. Others include professors at Stanford, Texas A&M, George Mason, and Birmingham and research scientists at Adobe, Beijing Film Academy, and CNRS France. Many of his students now have leadership roles in the graphics and haptics industries.

Prof. Pai’s scholarship has been recognized by named professorships, awards, prestigious grants, and numerous invited lectures. He has been Professeur Invité at the Collège de France, Paris, and appointed Santa Chiara Chair in Cognitive Science at the University of Siena, Italy. He holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair, and received UBC’s Killam Research Prize. He received one of the most competitive and prestigious international research grants in life science, from the Human Frontier Science Program. He has given more than 100 invited lectures, including the Teruko Yata Distinguished Lecture at Carnegie Mellon University, Stanford’s Broad-Area Colloquium, Distinguished Lectures at Columbia and Penn, Institute Colloquium at Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Germany, and several conference keynotes.

Prof. Pai received his Ph.D. from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, and his B.Tech. degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He has been a Professor at Rutgers University; held visiting professorships at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute and New York University’s Center for Neural Science; and a Fellowship of the BC Advanced Systems Institute. See for more information.