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Eurographics Medal 2020: Thomas Ertl

Eurographics is very pleased to award the Eurographics Medal 2020 to Thomas Ertl for his outstanding contributions to computer graphics and visualization and for his leadership in shaping the field at large.

Thomas Ertl is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Stuttgart where he founded the Institute for Visualization and Interactive Systems (VIS) and the Visualization Research Center (VISUS). Thomas Ertl received a MSc in computer science from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a PhD in theoretical astrophysics from the University of Tübingen. Since 1999 he has been a full professor of computer science at the University of Stuttgart. From 2015-2018 he served as Vice President of Research of the University of Stuttgart and since 2019 he has been the Spokesperson of the Cluster of Excellence on Data-Integrated Simulation Science.

His research interests include visualization, computer graphics and human computer interaction in general with a focus on volume rendering, flow and particle visualization, parallel and hardware accelerated rendering, large datasets and interactive exploration, visual analytics of text collections and social media with applications to geographic information and digital humanities. Important contributions include pre-integrated volume rendering, the optimized use of graphics hardware for the real-time exploration of time-dependent fields and molecular data sets, texture-based volume and flow visualization, and text analytics based on word clouds. Thomas Ertl has co-authored more than 500 scientific publications, including 80 articles in IEEE TVCG and Computer Graphics Forum. He has advised more than fifty PhD students and hosted numerous postdoctoral researchers. More than ten of them now hold professorships, others moved to prestigious academic or industrial positions.

Thomas Ertl served on numerous program committees and as a papers co-chair for most conferences in the field. From 2007-2010 he was Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Graphics (TVCG) and in 2011/2012 he served as Chairman of the Eurographics Association. He was a member of the Computer Science Review Board of the German Research Foundation (DFG) (2012-2020), and he served on the ERC Advanced Grant Panel multiple times.

He received the Outstanding Technical Contribution Award and the Distinguished Career Award of the Eurographics Association as well as the Technical Achievement Award and the Visualization Career Award of the IEEE Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee. In 2007 he was elected as a Member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and in 2019 he was inducted to the IEEE VTCG Visualization Academy. He received Honorary Doctorates from the Vienna University of Technology in 2011 and from the University of Magdeburg in 2014.

Please join us in congratulating Thomas Ertl for an outstanding career in computer graphics and to the Eurographics Medal 2020.