The 2019 CHCCS/SCDHM Service Award of the Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society is presented to Dr. Pierre Poulin for his long-term contributions to the Canadian computer graphics, visualization, and human-computer interaction community in his role coordinating the doctoral dissertation awards given annually for the best Canadian dissertation in computer graphics and the best Canadian dissertation in human-computer interaction.
Dr. Poulin initiated the first CHCCS dissertation award in 2005 to commemorate and honor his mentor and former graduate supervisor, Dr. Alain Fournier, who passed away in 2000. The Alain Fournier Dissertation Award was funded by donations from family, friends, and former colleagues of Dr. Fournier that are administered through the Vancouver Foundation on behalf of CHCCS. Initially the Fournier Award was open to any dissertation in the field of computer graphics, visualization, or human-computer interaction by a doctoral student at a Canadian university.
In 2010, a second dissertation award was introduced after an anonymous donor established the Bill Buxton Dissertation Award through the Vancouver Foundation for dissertations in human-computer interaction. Since then, the Fournier Award recognizes exceptional doctoral research in computer graphics or visualization and the Buxton Award recognizes exceptional doctoral research in human-computer interaction or visualization, with the understanding that visualization intersects computer graphics and HCI so the selection committee will determine the appropriate area for a particular dissertation.
In his role as Chair of the Dissertation Awards Committee, Dr. Poulin serves as the primary liaison with the Vancouver Foundation for the endowments that fund the dissertation awards. He also oversees the annual submission and review process for both awards by appointing the selection committees for each award and then coordinating the selection process and ensuring that any potential conflict-of-interest concerns are properly dealt with. It is a testament to Pierre’s dedication to these and other tasks associated with the award process that the CHCCS Dissertation Awards are recognized as significant achievements for Canadian doctoral students and that the selection process has run smoothly for more than a decade under this leadership.
In addition to his many years almost single-handedly establishing and nurturing the CHCCS Dissertation Awards, Pierre has served as general co-chair and local arrangements organizer for the Graphics Interface 2000 conference in Montréal, as a member of the technical program committee for numerous Graphics Interface conferences starting in 1998, as the elected Vice-Chair of the CHCCS organization since 2002.
Dr. Poulin earned his B.Sc. at Laval University in 1986 and his M.Sc. in 1989 at the University of Toronto. He earned his Ph.D. from The University of British Columbia in 1993 after which he was a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University before joining the Department of Computer Science and Operations Research (Département d’informatique et de recherche opérationnelle) as a faculty member at the University of Montreal in 1994 where he is currently Professor and Chair of the department. Pierre’s research focuses on topics in computer graphics including realism, image synthesis, local and global Illumination, image-based modeling and rendering, natural phenomena and physical simulation, procedural modeling, real-time rendering, and animation.