Opening Keynote

Marc Olano

Associate Professor
Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Title: Bridging the gap between academic research and game development


Games are one of the primary users of real-time 3D graphics, but there is an oft-noted gap between published research and game development needs. This talk will look at how the differing goals, motivations, and economics of academia and the games industry drive academic research and game development in different directions. It will also explore the area of overlap, how to build stronger ties between them, and when to let them go, all backed up by personal examples and experience.


Marc Olano has been doing research on uses of graphics hardware for real-time 3D graphics and non-graphics applications for over 25 years. He is currently is an Associate Professor in the CSEE department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, director of UMBC's game development track and the new 3D photogrammetric scanning facility, and is on the advisory boards for the 324-node high performance computing facility and PI2 Cave-style VR facility. He is also Editor in Chief of the Journal of Computer Graphics Techniques, an open-access journal dedicated to practical graphics research.

Dr. Olano received his PhD from the University of North Carolina for the first high-level shading language for graphics hardware, now one of the defining features of all graphics accelerators. After his PhD, he worked at Silicon Graphics on some of the earliest commercial efforts to develop programmable graphics hardware. Since coming to UMBC, his work has focused on applications of this now ubiquitous hardware for computation, visualization and, of course, games. In support of the games aspects of that research focus, he spent a year at Firaxis games working on Civilization V, is in the middle of a year at Epic Games working with the Unreal Engine 4 rendering team, and has also worked with Activision, 2K, and Oxide Games.


Matt Pharr


Title: Mobile VR: Challenges and Opportunities


The rise of VR over the past few years has given graphics the chance of having a wider relevance than it has before; high-quality interactive graphics is integral to successful VR experiences, and widespread adoption of VR would bring interactive graphics to a much wider audience than has cared about graphics before.

However, it's unlikely that VR will reach billions of people though high-end Windows PCs; mobile battery-powered devices are the most likely vehicle. With mobile devices come mobile-class GPUs, which are roughly an order of magnitude less powerful than discrete GPUs. However, these GPUs must still drive similar display resolutions at the same high frame rates that are required for VR on PCs; this presents a formidable challenge. In this talk I'll discuss these issues -- including challenges faced by developers and mobile GPU architects -- and suggest areas where the research community could contribute to mobile VR's success.


Matt is currently working on projects related to virtual reality in the Daydream group at Google. Previously, he worked on computational photography in Google[x].

Before Google, Matt founded Neoptica (acquired by Intel) and Exluna (acquired by NVIDIA). During those years he worked on both offline and real-time rendering and also spent a fair amount of time developing programming models and compilers for various "interesting" architectures (GPUs, heterogeneous CPU+GPU systems, and then CPU SIMD units.)

Matt's book on rendering, Physically Based Rendering, is widely used in university courses and by graphics researchers and developers. He and his co-authors, Greg Humphreys and Pat Hanrahan, were awarded an Academy Award in recognition of the book's impact on CGI in movies. Never before has a book received an Academy Award. The third edition of the book was released in Fall of 2016.

Industry Talks

Jihun Yu
Babis Koniaris
Disney Research
Mahesh Ramasubramanian
Sheldon Andrews
CM Labs Simulations

Important Dates

Registration Website


Join our Mailing List

Sponsored by: