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Distinguished Career Award 2022 – Marie-Paule Cani

Marie-Paule Cani is a linguist for shapes, animation, and virtual worlds. As language allows people to exchange ideas and collaborate, Cani’s work enables computer artists, engineers, scientists, and the public to communicate geometry and motion using intelligent systems and computational tools.

Marie-Paule Cani is a Professor of Computer Science at Ecole Polytechnique, where she leads the Modeling, Simulation and Learning group at LIX, CNRS/Ecole Polytechnique. She received her M.Sc. from Ecole Normale Supérieure and University Paris XI, and her Ph.D. from University Paris XI in 1990. Her research interests include shape modelling and computer animation, where she has made multiple pioneering contributions.

From implicit surfaces to the animation of deformable bodies, Cani has proposed impactful models for representing shape and motion. She introduced novel ideas for modeling and animation of hair and garments, as well as natural phenomena; from lava flows to ocean waves to clouds. She is one of the pioneers of sketch-based modeling, applied to a variety of shapes such as garments, trees and developable surfaces. She consistently and continually suggested innovative methods for interaction and modeling, such as constant-volume sweeps for virtual clay deformation and crowd sculpting for modeling virtual environments.

In addition to her role at Ecole Polytechnique, Prof. Cani is the president of the scientific council of the French CS Society. Furthermore, she has served on multiple roles in the Computer Graphics Community, both at Eurographics and ACM SIGGRAPH. She was the president of the Eurographics Association between 2017 and 2018, was the director at large in the executive committee of ACM SIGGRAPH from 2007 to 2011 and was a member of the ACM Publication board from 2011 to 2014. Cani served as technical paper chair of SIGGRAPH 2017, was on the steering committees of SCA, SBIM and SMI, and on the editorial board of ACM TOG, Computer Graphics Forum, IEEE TVCG, Graphical Models and Computers and Graphics.

Cani has received several prestigious awards, including the Eurographics Outstanding Technical Contributions Award in 2011 and a Silver medal from CNRS in 2012. She was awarded the ERC advanced grant EXPRESSIVE (2012-2017), was elected for the Academia Europaea in 2013, for the ACM Siggraph Academy in 2019, and for the French Academy of Science in 2020. 

Our mind is boundless in its ability to visualize and design. Her work has created conduits for communicating visual ideas, used by a generation of researchers and practitioners. Thus, her research has enabled collaboration between creators, scientists, and engineers, and significantly advanced the field of computer graphics.

EUROGRAPHICS is extremely pleased to recognize Marie-Paule Cani with the 2022 Distinguished Career Award.