University of Utah


The University of Utah established one of the pioneer, and certainly the most influential computer graphics programs in the country when they asked David Evans to establish a program that could advance the state of the art in this new field in 1968. The computer science department had received a large ARPA grant ($5M/yr for 3 yrs) which resulted in the work of many faculty and graduate students who have pushed the CGI discipline to where it is today. In the words of Robert Rivlin in his book The Algorithmic Image: Graphic Visions of the Computer Age, "Almost every influential person in the modern computer-graphics community either passed through the University of Utah or came into contact with it in some way"

Evans joined with Ivan Sutherland, who developed Sketchpad at MIT and later served in a position at the Department of Defense, to create an environment in which new problems in the discipline were proposed, and in which creative solutions were found. They later founded the Evans and Sutherland Computer Company to develop and market CAD/CAM, design, molecular modeling and flight simulators.

Some of the most important algorithms to evolve from the research in the Utah CG group include:

and many others. Many of these algorithms have resulted in the generation of significant hardware implementation, including LDS-1, the SGI Geometry Engine, the Head Mounted Display, the modern frame buffer, flight simulators, etc.

Individuals who were involved in the Utah program have established many leading companies in the graphics industry, including E&S, Silicon Graphics, Adobe, Ashlar, Atari, Pixel Planes, Netscape, Pixar, etc.

1st computer: UNIVAC 1108; replaced with PDP-10 (96K memory)

Early scan line rendering of B58 bomber

Scan line rendering of faces with shading variations

The Utah VW shaded images

Comparisons of faceted, Gouraud and Phong shading

Phong shading example

Phong shading with transparency

Molecules used for shading comparisons

Hidden line elimination

Blinn and Newell texture mapping

Utah teapot

Bump mapping (Blinn)

Bump mapping (Blinn)

Shaded glassware

Resch eggs

Resch and his pysanka (National Geographic, 1976)

Sutherland head mounted display

Evans & Sutherland simulation


Name Came from Went to Comments
Ivan Sutherland MIT, Harvard E&S graphics workstation
David Evans Berkeley E&S  
Frank Crow   NYIT,III; Ohio State, Xerox, Interval antialiasing; shadows; integrated scenes
Jim Blinn   NYIT, JPL, Microsoft  
Michael Archuleta      
Ed Catmull   NYIT; Pixar  
Fred Parke   Case; NYIT; Texas A&M facial animation
Lance Williams   NYIT; Apple  
Bui Tui Phong   Passed away in 1975 phong shading, lighting model
Garland Stern   NYIT  
Jim Clark   UC Santa Cruz; NYIT; SGI; Netscape Founded Silicon Graphics
John Warnock   E&S; PARC; Adobe Founded Adobe
Martin Newell   Xerox PARC; Ashlar Proceduaral modeling, painter's algorithm, founded Ashlar
Ron Resch     designed Hungarian egg
Bob McDermott   NYIT  
Gery Wessler     character animation
Alan Kay   Xerox PARC; Apple Designed Alto; now an Apple fellow
Alan Ashton      
Russell Athay      
Mike Banks      
Robert Barnhill Wisconsin Univ. of Kansas  
Brian Barsky   Cal Berkeley beta-splines
Robert Barton      
Patrick Baudelaire      
Mark Bloomenthal      
Jules Bloomenthal   NYIT  
Rod Bogart      
Bob Burton      
Hank Christianson   BYU movie.byu
Jin Chou      
Elizabeth Cobb      
Jim Cobb      
Rich Riesenfeld Syracuse   b-splines creator
Elaine Cohen     Oslo Algorithm
Michael Cohen   Microsoft  
Steve Coons     coons patches
Brian Donahue      
Deborah Dooley      
Don Dovey      
Hank Driskill      
Peter Dube      
Gershon Elber      
Robin Forrest     Modeling
Henry Fuchs   UNC Parellel graphics; Med Vis, VR
Vanessa Fuson      
Gary Goates      
Bill Gordon      
Henri Gouraud     gouraud shading
Martin Griss      
Chuck Hansen      
Chih-Cheng Ho      
Tim Jacobs      
Christopher Johnson      
David Johnson      
Greg Heflin      
Lou Hitchner      
Hartmut Jurgens      
Jim Kajiya   Cal Tech fur, rendering equation
John Kawai      
Shoichi Kitoaka      
Louie Knapp      
Jeff Lane   Boeing Lane/Carpenter algorithm
Frank Lillenhagen      
Yarden Livnat      
Tom Lyche     Oslo Algorithm
Robert Mahl      
Robert Mechlenberg      
Tom Stockham     Digital Recording
Glenn McMinn      
Mike Milochik      
Tim Mueller      
William Newman     Newman and Sproull textbook
Connie O'Dell      
Karen Paik      
James Painter      
Duane Palyka   NYIT  
Steve Parker      
Hans Otto Peitken      
David Pugmire      
Raphie Rom     Catmull-Rom splines
Dietmar Saupe      
Dino Schweitzer   Air Force Academy  
Chuck Seitz   Myricom LDS-1
Han Wei Shen      
Peter Shirley      
Peter Pike-Sloan      
Edward Smith      
Max Smith      
Robert Sproull     Newman and Sproull textbook
Paul Stay      
Margaret Sturgill      
Jeff Thingvold   LambSoft  
Spencer Thomas   Michigan raster toolkit
Tom Thompson      
Don Vickers      
Gary Watkins     watkins visible surface algorithm
Robert Wehrli      
Andreas Weichbrodt      
David Weinstein      
Nolan Bushnell   Atari Pong