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Outstanding Technical Contributions Award 2013 – Jack (Jarke J.) van Wijk

Jack (Jarke J.) van Wijk is a full professor of Visualization at the Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands. He received a MSc with honors in Industrial Design Engineering in 1982 from Delft University of Technology. As part of his final project he developed a system to visualize the results of 3D simulations and he became fascinated by the combination of challenging puzzles and visual results offered by computer graphics and in particular visualization. He continued at Delft University of Technology to obtain his PhD with honors in Computer Science in 1986 on ray tracing and geometric modeling. After briefly working in the software industry, Jarke started at the Netherlands Energy Research Foundation (ECN) as a staff member in 1988. He contributed there to the development of custom graphical interfaces for a variety of applications, varying from energy research, molecular dynamics, finite element simulations to environmental simulation. He also did research on scientific visualization and computational steering. In 1998 Jarke was appointed at the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, becoming a full professor in 2001.

When Jarke became interested in flow visualization, he was inspired by the clear patterns shown by real world flow and he started to explore if moving textures, aligned by the flow, could be generated automatically. In 1991 he presented the Spot Noise technique for this. Other results in flow visualization were the use of oriented particles, implicitly defined stream surfaces, a probe for flow patterns, and clustering of flow fields. In 2002 he introduced Image Based Flow Visualization, a technique that can be used to generate moving textures, particles, streamlines, and topological decompositions for 2D flow fields in real-time using commodity graphics hardware. Later he showed how this technique could also be used to visualize flow on 2D surfaces embedded in 3D. Since 1998 his main focus shifted to information visualization. He has worked on tree visualization, graph visualization, and software visualization. Finding new visual metaphors, using techniques from computer graphics and geometric modeling is a leading theme in his work. Typical results include Squarified Treemaps and the Cushion Treemap technique, used in SequoiaView, a tool for the visualization of the contents of a hard disk. This in turn led to MagnaView, a spin-off company focusing on the visualization of business data. Recently, he became interested in visual analytics involving the visualization of trajectories and parameter spaces. Over the years Jarke has tackled several problems in mathematical visualization: from symmetric tilings of closed surfaces and Seifert surfaces bounded by knots and links to myriahedral projections of the earth.

Jarke has co-authored more than 130 scientific publications in visualization and computer graphics, which appeared in a variety of journals and conferences,  including Eurographics, CGF, EuroVis; IEEE TVCG, CG\&A, Visualization, InfoVis, and VAST; CACM, ACM SIGGRAPH, TOG, CHI, and TAP.
He obtained the best research paper award at IEEE InfoVis 2003 and at IEEE Visualization 2005. He was papers co-chair for IEEE Visualization, and IEEE InfoVis, IEEE VAST, IEEE PacificVis and EG/IEEE EuroVis. He received the IEEE Visualization Technical Achievement Award in 2007 for his work on flow visualization, and the 2009 Henry Johns Award of The Cartographic Journal. Several PhD students supervised by Jarke are now in prestigious positions worldwide.

Jarke has made several seminal contributions to the field of computer graphics and visualization which have shaped and significantly influenced the field. His work is broad and deep, spreading from mathematical beauty to real-time rendering, from user-centered design to fundamental considerations about our field.
Eurographics is extremely pleased to recognize Jarke J. van Wijk with the 2013 Outstanding Technical Contributions Award.