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Outstanding Technical Contributions Award 2022 – Diego Gutierrez

Diego Gutierrez is a Professor at the Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain, where he founded and leads the Graphics and Imaging Lab.

His main areas of interest include several research areas: physically-based simulation of light transport, virtual reality, and computational imaging. His work is distinguished by his deep interest in pushing the boundaries in simulating light transport, for example by including the time dimension or targeting novel display technologies, and his quest to understand how state of the art computer graphics techniques relate to human perception.

Among his many contributions, he greatly advanced methods for global illumination and light transport simulation, in particular in rendering participating media and transient rendering. In his work on transient light transport, he addressed the fundamental problem of enabling effective simulation and analysis of light transport when the speed of light is no longer considered infinite. Diego proposed novel techniques for non-line of sight (NLOS) 3D reconstruction that were up to a thousand times faster than previous work. Most notably, in a breakthrough paper published in the journal Nature, Diego and his team showed that NLOS imaging can also be formulated using diffractive wave propagation. This approach yields a new class of imaging algorithms that mimic the capabilities of line-of-sight cameras, enabling applications that are not restricted to laboratory conditions.

He is also recognized for his work on modeling and representation of materials, material perception, and research on perception in computer graphics more broadly. The latter include: how stylization affects perceived realism; a novel similarity measure of illustration style; real-time perceptual rendering of human skin; a perceptual study and analysis of image retargeting techniques; and work on high-dynamic range imaging, tone mapping, and modeling contrast sensitivity. Diego also made fundamental contributions to research in virtual reality and light fields. For his work on intuitive editing of visual appearance, Diego also received an ERC Consolidator Grant in 2016.

In addition to his technical contributions, Diego is highly respected for his success in fostering thriving research communities. This includes not only his leadership of the Graphics and Imaging Lab at the University of Zaragoza, which has become a leading research group, but also his service to the broader community. Among many other roles, he served as the Editor in Chief of ACM TAP, as an associate editor for ACM TOG and Computer Graphics Forum, or as program chair for several international conferences.

In summary, Diego is a role model in the field by showing a breadth of research topics while maintaining a deep technical focus and making pioneering contributions to many areas, and by inspiring young researchers to continue pushing forward the state of the art in computer graphics.

EUROGRAPHICS is pleased to recognize Diego Gutierrez with the 2022 Outstanding Technical Contributions Award.