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Eurographics Medal 2020: Francois Sillion

Eurographics is very pleased to award the Eurographics Medal 2020 to François Sillion for his outstanding contributions to computer graphics, for his role in developing computer graphics in France and Europe, and for his leadership in both academia and industry.

François graduated from the prestigious Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) in Paris in 1989, with a PhD specializing in computer graphics. As a researcher, he has held positions at Cornell University (USA), CNRS (France) and INRIA. His research interests include three-dimensional computer graphics, with an emphasis on lighting simulation and high-quality rendering, real-time visualisation of complex models, and expressive rendering. He has published extensively on these topics, and his books on “Radiosity and Global Illumination” (with Claude Puech) and “Digital Modeling of Material Appearance” (with J. Dorsey and H. Rushmeier) have become textbook classics.

He founded and led the ARTIS research project-team (common to INRIA, CNRS, Université Joseph Fourier and Grenoble INP) from 2003 to 2007. He has advised 17 PhDs, and has served as associate editor of “Computer Graphics Forum” and “ACM Transactions on Graphics, as well as many top-level conference program committees in Computer Graphics. He received the Eurographics Association’s Outstanding Technical Contribution Award in 2009.

At INRIA, he held a number of positions, from leader of the ARTIS project-team to director of the Grenoble Rhône-Alpes research center, to Deputy CEO for Science. In 2018 he served as interim CEO of INRIA. He developed support mechanisms for exploratory research and interdisciplinary projects following INRIA’s scientific strategy, and coordinated the research aspects of the French government plan for artificial intelligence in 2018.

In 2019 he founded, and directed until 2021, Uber’s Advanced Technologies Center in Paris, dedicated to digital technologies for advanced mobility, in particular in support of Urban Air Mobility. In 2022, he became the Chief Technology and Digital Officer at the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), supervising the wealth of technological and digital activities that make ambitious space projects a reality.

Please join us in congratulating François for an outstanding career in computer graphics and to the Eurographics Medal.