PhD Award

Eurographics Annual Award for Best PhD Thesis

 

In 2011, Eurographics extended the Research Awards Programme by creating an additional Best PhD Thesis Award. The aim is to recognize good thesis work in Europe, to incentivize young researchers, and to offer them the opportunity to publish the state of the art section of their thesis as a STAR in the Computer Graphics Forum Journal. Eurographics annually grants three PhD thesis awards. They are jointly sponsored by Eurographics and the Computer Graphics Forum Journal. The PhD Thesis Awards Committee consists of five members. The committee can decide, as an extraordinary measure, to increase the number of awards in some years. The Committee will consider the quality of the work, the review reports, the quality and impact of the publications derived from the thesis, the coherence of the state of the art section in the thesis and any other relevant aspect of the work.

The PhD Thesis Awards Committee consists of five members. Committee membership will be for five years terms, which will be staggered to ensure continuity. The committee can decide, as an extraordinary measure, to increase the number of awards in some years. The Committee will consider the quality of the work, the review reports, the quality and impact of the publications derived from the thesis, the coherence of the state of the art section in the thesis and any other relevant aspect of the work.

Awarded researchers will be announced and receive a certificate at the opening session of the Annual Eurographics Conference (where they will profit from a free registration). They will also receive a three-years free Eurographics membership, and will be invited to prepare a State-of-the-Art paper within two months after the Conference. Submitted papers will follow a fast track review cycle for publication in the STAR section of the Computer Graphics Forum Journal.

 

The nomination term is now open, see the Call for Candidates below

 

Recipients of the Award

 

2014

Francisco Gonzalez, for his strong technical contribution to texturing and modeling, presenting new techniques that allow to cope with continuity issues.

Alec Jacobson, for his strong technical contribution to non linear deformation, proposing new formulations that can be efficiently and practically approximated in real time.

Cengiz Oeztireli, for his strong technical contribution to meshless sampling, manifolds reconstruction, and for the proposal of a unified analysis framework of point distributions.

 

2013

Thabo Beeler, for his strong technical contribution to the acquisition of the geometry of the human faces at a very high precision under static and also dynamic conditions.

David Bommes, for his strong technical contribution to the creation of high quality anisotropic quadrilateral polygon meshes, by succesfully formulating and solving it as a global constrained optimization problem.

Boris Neubert, for his strong technical contribution to the intelligent content generation, stochastic simplification and rendering of complex natural scenes.

Daniele Panozzo, for his strong technical contribution to the automatic conversion from unstructured triangle meshes onto dense quadrilateral meshes which are symmetry aware and preserve features.

 

2012

 

Tunc Ozan Aydin, for his strong and fundamental contributions in the area of high-dynamic-range (HDR) algorithms which are aware of the human vision system.

Bernd Bickel, for his strong technical contribution to face animation and automatic manufacturing of nonlinearly deformable objects, presenting an elegant computational solution for the synthesis of non-linear materials.

Ofir Weber, for his strong technical contribution to shape deformation, making conformal deformations practical and controllable and presenting an elegant and deeper understanding of the problem.

 

2011

Adrien Bousseau, for his strong technical contribution to expressive image and video manipulations, creating new well founded algorithms that have succedded in fulfilling the artist needs

Thomas Cashman, for his strong technical contribution to subdivision surfaces, by developing the first subdivision extension of NURBS surfaces.

Tobias Ritschel, for his strong technical contribution to the perceptually-motivated interactive rendering and editing using global illumination techniques.

 

Call for Candidates

The current Call will close on November 30th, 2014. Candidates will be PhD Theses defended and mainly conducted in Europe or in countries having a Eurographics Chapter or in EG Organizational Member Institutions. Theses defended and awarded the degree from May 1st, 2013, up October 31st, 2014, are eligible in this edition. The required documentation includes:

 

1. The Thesis in English. 

 

2. Names and contact details of four possible reviewers, of which at least one is not the Thesis supervisor or one of the examiners or a co-author in a publication resulting from the thesis. The connection of each possible reviewer to the Thesis (Supervisor, Examiner, Co-author, None) should be stated. The Awards Committee reserves the right to solicit reviews also from persons not on this list.

 

3. The submission must include a link to the Thesis pdf in the Eurographics Digital Library, http://diglib.eg.org/EG/DL/dissonline. Nominations must refer to Thesis documents being publicly available at http://diglib.eg.org/EG/DL/dissonline. Forms and procedures for submission of the thesis for archiving in the Eurographics Digital Library are available at:  http://diglib.eg.org/EG/DL/dissonline/instruction.htm

 

4. Full CV of the candidate with explicit mention of which publications resulted from the thesis.

 

The documentation of candidate nominations must be sent by e-mail to the PhD Thesis Awards chair, Paolo Cignoni ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ), not later than November 30th, 2014. Submissions can be sent by the candidate, the supervisor or any other researcher. All submitted material should be in English. Every Thesis can be submitted only once. Any submission missing these materials and conditions will be disqualified.

 

 

Full Citations of Eurographics PhD Awards

 

(2011) Adrien Bousseau’s PhD dissertation contains exciting and significant contributions to the field of non-photorealistic rendering, by proposing novel algorithms to realize expressive imagery that ressembles artistic work. A central challenge in illustration is coloring line art, to create effects as shading, shadow and focus. His thesis proposes a new vector graphics representation to allow complex gradients design. He solves the problem by finding the image corresponding to a combination of edges as the steady state of a color flowing process in the plane. The thesis also deals on the stylization of animations. Two methods, based on texture blending, are proposed to produce temporally coherent watercolorization of videos and 3D animated scenes. The thesis has already led to significant and large impact papers in top Journals in Computer Graphics, which that are now fostering new research work, industry projects and artist ideas.

 

(2011) Tom Cashman’s PhD dissertation contains a fundamental breakthrough in unifying NURBS and subdivision, something that many had come to believe impossible. He presents new results on the construction and analysis of subdivision surfaces of arbitrary topology, arbitrary degree, and arbitrary knot spacing of the underlying space of B-splines. His work overcomes the limitations of known approaches and thus perfects the theory of subdivision surfaces in a beautiful and convincing way. The dissertation is a major contribution towards a comprehensive understanding of subdivision as a versatile tool for representing freeform surfaces in computer graphics and scientific computing. The exposition of the material is of the highest standard: the dissertation is elegantly written and beautifully presented. The dissertation was the runner-up in the British Computer Society’s 2010 Distinguished Dissertation Competition.

 

(2011) Tobias Ritschel’s PhD dissertation focuses on efficient algorithms for global illumination computations and real time rendering of complex scenes while taking into account human perception. His work succesfully addresses the relevant and difficult topic of interactive global illumination, using a perception-based analysis to derive novel and computationally efficient approximations for global illumination, reflection editing and temporal glare. The proposed algorithms have been skillfully implemented and validated in different test scenarios. The thesis was successfully completed in less than three years and his work has already led to more than ten peer-reviewed publications in the leading International Journals. His research, particularly in imperfect shadow maps and micro rendering, is now triggering new research work.

 

(2012) Tunç Ozan Aydin's PhD Dissertation focuses on high dynamic range (HDR) image and video quality evaluation while taking into account human perception. His work successfully addressed the relevant and difficult topic of detecting perceivable differences between images of different dynamic range, combining computer science and engineering with human factors and perception. This paves the way for many novel applications such as a direct comparison of HDR images with their tone mapped variants, or quality evaluation for images displayed on devices with drastically different brightness and contrast reproduction capabilities. The proposed quality metrics are publicly available as a free Web service, which gains popularity both in the research and industry community. A further contribution of his thesis is the reliable detection of the visibility of image details under dynamically changing light conditions, by accounting for the dynamics of human brightness perception.

 

(2012) Bernd Bickel's PhD Dissertation presents novel and significant results on the field of capturing and manufacturing deformable materials. It is the first work to consider facial capture, animation of facial deforming materials and manufacturing of nonlinearly deformable objects. His research encompasses both data-driven and physically-based methods. He has proposed new methods to model facial geometry and wrinkle detail at multiple scales, together with data-driven retargeting algorithms to transfer geometric and motion detail from a source face to a target face. Morevoer, his work has been seminal in the field of digital manufacturing and computational materials, his combinatorial search method being able to resynthesize most complex materials through a proper combination of base components. His algorithm finds a microscale combination of base materials that approximates the deformation behavior of the input material at a mesoscopic scale. His thesis results have been published in high-ranking journals and conferences, including SIGGRAPH and Eurographics.

 

(2012) Ofir Weber's PhD thesis, in the field of geometry processing, describes novel and efficient methods for 2D and 3D shape manipulation. It is s a rare combination of deep mathematical theory, based on complex analysis and harmonic theory, with efficient and robust  implementations on modern GPU hardware. The thesis was done at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Detail preserving shape deformation is a topic with significant research activity in the last few years. In this very competitive area, Weber managed to propose groundbreaking advances, by a combined use of the right mathematical tools and efficient implementations. He described the generalization of barycentric coordinates by using Complex Analysis, leading to a very elegant formulation and a deeper understanding of the problem. The results described in the thesis have been published in high-ranking journals and conferences, including SIGGRAPH and Eurographics, where it also received a Best Paper Award. His work is also being considered for a US patent.

 

(2013) Thabo Beeler's PhD thesis targets on the acquisition of the geometry of the human faces at a very high precision under static and also dynamic conditions. Thabo Beeler has designed and build up the complete pipeline of a novel scanner hardware together with its image analysis software, with results which show a clear improvement over existing face scanning systems in terms of spatial and time resolution. His scheme is single-shot and extends to the temporal domain by using anchor frames, obtaining facial geometry at a very high quality. The work has resulted in a system being the first scanner that can handle facial hair up to a large extend, by proposing a coupled method for acquiring facial hair and skin. The thesis of Thabo Beeler has set new standards in the important field of face scanning technology. It has impacted not only the academic community but also the practice within industries. His work is internationally well recognized and the number and quality of the related publications is outstanding and hard to outperform.

 

(2013) David Bommes's PhD thesis deals on the creation of high quality anisotropic quadrilateral polygon meshes, where faces are as rectangular as possible while the global mesh structure satisfies a number of additional boundary constraints such as alignment to sharp feature curves, orientation with respect to principal curvatures, as well as a simple topology with as few irregular vertices as possible. The thesis is a significant and outstanding piece of scientific work. The mesh generation problem is succesfully formulated as a global (potentially non-linear) constrained optimization problem. The achievements towards high-quality quad mesh generation result from the combination of a theoretical insight on the topological structure of quad meshes, differential geometry, and the use of recent state-of-the-art numerical solvers for constrained non-linear optimization. Besides the academic merits, the Mixed-Integer Quadrangulation technique has been successfully transferred into the industrial domain. Today, the algorithm is already included in two of the leading professional software packages for 3D modeling.

 

(2013) Boris Neubert's thesis focuses on novel methods for intelligent content generation and rendering of complex scenes. Nature is a good example of a highly complex scene, challenging both in terms of model and image generation. The thesis provides strong technical contributions to different stages of a modeling and rendering pipeline in this context. In particular the thesis describes novel methods for simulation-based model generation or self-organizing modeling as coined by recent work, together with data-driven and sketch-based methods. These methods are guided by the idea of reducing the tedium of manual modeling, while still providing artistic freedom. To deal with the challenging level of complexity during rendering, the thesis presents a new method for efficient rendering based on stochastic simplification. The described results have been published in high-ranking journals and conferences including Siggraph, Siggraph Asia, and the Computer Graphics Forum Journal.

 

(2013) Daniele Panozzo's PhD dissertation contributes to fill the existing gap between acquisition of surfaces from 3D scanners and their use in modeling. He has proposed several innovative approaches to automatically convert unstructured triangle meshes into dense or coarse quadrilateral meshes. The conversion process may be guided by both local features and global symmetry analysis, enabling the generation of symmetric meshes whose edges are aligned to features. Among the most relevant results of the thesis, Daniele Panozzo has proposed an algorithm for quad mesh simplification, a technique for reverse Catmull-Clark subdivision, an algorithm for producing coarse quad layouts aligned with an input field, and a method for computing generalized symmetry maps and obtaining symmetry aware quad meshes. Daniele's contributions to interactive geometric modeling also include editing surfaces while preventing self-intersections and collisions, thus enabling the direct use of the edited meshes in conventional physical simulation and production pipelines. His thesis results have been published in top-rated journals including Eurographics and ACM Siggraph.

 

(2014) Francisco Gonzalez PhD thesis worked on various sampling and continuity problems arising at different stages in Computer Graphics. In particular, he studied the problem at three different stages in the traditional graphics pipeline: texturing, mesh deformation and rendering. He solved the first problem, continuity in texturing, by creating a technique that used a set of virtual triangles that seamlessly stitched the textures providing continuity in both the special and frequency domains. For the second problem, he developed a technique to use multiple cages for mesh deformation, solving the intrinsic continuity problem for current coordinate systems. For the last one, he developed a screen-space interpolation technique for accelerating the rendering of complex scenes. In every case he strived for providing practical solutions that could be used both in academia and in professional environments.

 

(2014) Alec Jacobson PhD thesis explored the problem of interactive shape deformation and proposed interfaces and algorithms for high-quality, real-time 2D and 3D deformation and animation. The methods developed in his thesis enable users to elastically manipulate shapes using skeletons, cages, regions and points on the shape as deformation handles in a unified framework. The deformations exhibit state-of-the-art quality while running at unprecedented frame rates thanks to a novel subspace optimization approach combined with automatic skinning. The computation of the skinning weights relies on a volumetric discretization of the shape, which is robustly enabled by an inside-outside segmentation approach that allows to consistently tetrahedralize even imperfect input meshes common in practical applications.

 

(2014) Cengiz Oeztirelli PhD thesis developed a novel surface definition that is efficient to compute and preserves sharp features and fine details even when the input data is heavily corrupted with noise and outliers, by reformulating the reconstruction problem with local kernel regression and utilizing robust statistics. He has also established the associated sampling conditions and proposed practical sampling algorithms, relying on a new connection between harmonic analysis and kernel methods. He has further introduced novel techniques for a unified analysis of general point distributions and synthesis algorithms that can generate multi-class distributions in general metric spaces with characteristics given or extracted from existing point patterns, based on correlations of pairs of points.