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German computer scientist receives most prestigious research award for computer graphics in Europe

Eurographics, the European Association for Computer Graphics, awards the Distinguished Career Award for outstanding contributions to many areas of computer graphics every second year.

This year the award goes to Professor Hans-Peter Seidel, head of the Computer Graphics department at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics. The Eurographics Distinguished Career Award honors not only his scientific contributions, but also his commitment to educate and support excellent academic teachers in Europe. The award is considered to be the most prestigious one in the field of computer graphics on the European level. Seidel is the first German scientist to receive it.

If you want to get an impression of Hans-Peter Seidel’s research field, you should visit the computer graphics lab of the Max Planck Institute: A room is carpeted in green; normal video cameras are filming an athlete doing gymnastics. From the footage the computer calculates the skeletal pose so fast that you cannot perceive any delay between the moves and the overlay of the red skeletal pose in every frame of the video footage. Another screen shows the face of a young woman. A second later, the computer has analyzed a database with 3D face models and is now presenting the best-fit makeup for the novel face. Two mouse clicks later, the screen is showing how the face will look after the young woman has reached the age of 42.

These represent only a small part of the research projects in the field of computer graphics, but all are enabled by the algorithms investigated by Hans-Peter Seidel and all show the same characteristics of his scientific work. This is the development of new algorithms, closely meshing these with the capabilities and perspectives of modern graphics hardware, as well as universal consideration of the entire processing chain from data acquisition and modeling through to image synthesis.

His contributions have not only had significant impact on a national and international level but have also helped to shape the field at large, Eurographics says in its commendation. It also compliments him for realizing and predicting the convergence of computer graphics and computer vision and supporting it with his scientific results.

Additionally, it praises Seidel’s role in educating lecturers for Germany and Europe. By imposing extremely high standards of scientific excellence in his research group, Seidel single-handedly contributed to the creation of a network of excellence in computer graphics at a European scale. Indeed, 30 former students or postdoctoral fellows lead their own research groups. Eurographics attests to these groups’ regular presence at the best international conferences and journals, and affirms that they have raised European computer graphics research to new levels of excellence.

Personal background:

Professor Hans-Peter Seidel is the scientific director and chair of the Computer Graphics department at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Informatics and a professor of computer science at Saarland University, Saarbrucken, Germany. For his work, Seidel was awarded the DFG Leibniz Prize in 2003. This is the most prestigious science award in Germany.

Seidel is co-chair of the Max Planck Center for Visual Computing and Communication, which was founded in 2003 in collaboration with Stanford University. He is also the scientific coordinator of the Cluster of Excellence on Multimodal Computing and Interaction established by the German Research Foundation (DFG) within the framework of the German Excellence Initiative in 2007. Furthermore, he is a member of the governance board of the Intel Visual Computing Institute at Saarland University, founded by Intel Corporation in 2009.

According to Microsoft Academic Search, he is the most-cited scientist in the field of computer graphics from 2002 to 2012.

Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Seidel
Tel.: 0681 / 9325-400

Friederike Meyer zu Tittingdorf | idw
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