"Almost every influential person in the modern computer-graphics community either passed through the University of Utah or came into contact with it in some way." From The Algorithmic Image: Graphic Visions of the Computer Age, by Robert Rivlin

Major contributions by Utah faculty and alumni



Time Line: Distinguished Utah faculty and alumni


David Evans, Computer Science Faculty 1965-1980

Ivan Sutherland, Computer Science Faculty 1968-1974

Robert Barton, Computer Science Faculty 1968-1973
  • Invented the first stack machine architecture.
  • Principal architect of all Burroughs computers.
  • Co-inventor of dataflow.

Tom Stockham, Computer Science Faculty 1969-1981
Alan Kay, Ph.D. 1969
John Warnock, Ph.D. 1969
Chuck Seitz, Computer Science Faculty 1970-1973
Ronald Resch, Computer Science Faculty 1969-1979
  • Pioneer in the field of computer art.
  • Built the first physical structure designed entirely with computer-aided geometric modeling software: a large Easter egg which is still standing in Vegreville, Alberta, Canada. Vegreville prides itself as "The Easter Egg Capitol of the World".
  • Had major art exhibits in national galleries of sculptures he designed and modeled using computers. The sculptures were appreciated by the art community without regard for the computer contribution.
  • Produced a computer animated film of a flight through a proposed architectural structure of my design. The design was an example of my geometric development of "the Space Curve as a Folded Edge". The method of making the animated film turned out to be of historic importance.

    20 years after the production of this animation I was called as an expert witness in "Ampex v. Abekas" (a patent infringement case between ADO Ampex the plaintiff and Abekas as defendant). The defense legal research team of Hopkins and Carley determined that I was the first person ever to demonstrate computer assisted "key frame animation" with the "Betweening" being done by cubic spline interpolation.

Alan Ashton, Ph.D. 1970
  • Former faculty at Brigham Young University
  • Founder of WordPerfect

Tony Hearn , Computer Science Faculty 1971-1981
  • Second department chairman, 1973-1981.
  • Developed the oldest algebraic mathematics package (REDUCE) still in active use.

Duane Call, Ph.D. 1971
  • Former faculty at Brigham Young University
  • Founder of Computer Systems Architects (CSA)
  • Designer of FPS-120 supercomputer, specializing in vector calculations

Henri Gouraud, Ph.D. 1971
  • Developed the Gouraud shading method for polygon smoothing - a simple rendering method that dramatically improved the appearance of objects.

Elliott Organick, Computer Science Faculty 1973-1985
  • Founder of SIGSCE (ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education).
  • Won Outstanding Contributions to Computer Science Education award from SIGSCE in March 1985.
  • Author of several widely used computer science textbooks, including A FORTRAN Primer (later revised as FORTRAN IV), Computer Science: A First Course, and Programming Language Structures

Bui Tuong-Phong, Ph.D. 1973
Ed Catmull, Ph.D. 1974
Jim Clark, Ph.D. 1974
Henry Fuchs, Ph.D. 1975
  • Federico Gil Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Research in high-performance graphics hardware; 3D medical imaging; head-mounted display and virtual environments.
  • Founder of Pixel Planes
  • More

Martin Newell, Ph.D. 1975, Computer Science Faculty 1977-1979
Frank Crow, Ph.D. 1975
  • Developed anti-aliasing methods for edge smoothing
  • Former faculty at University of Texas at Austin and Ohio State University
  • More

Martin Griss, Computer Science Faculty 1977-1983
  • Developed Portable Standard LISP (PSL).

Suhas Patil, Computer Science Faculty 1977-1981
  • Founder of CIRRUS Logic (originally known as Patil Systems)
  • Developed the first Petri Net-based circuit synthesis system for asynchronous circuit design.

James Blinn, Ph.D. 1978
  • Invented the first method for representing surface textures in graphical images.
  • Scientist at JPL, where he worked on computer animation of the Voyager fly-bys.
  • Produced a PBS series called The Mechanical Universe, which used animation to teach the basic principles of physics and mathematics.
  • Collaborates with Tom Apostle on Project Mathematics!, an educational video series about mathematics.

Jim Kajiya, Ph.D. 1979
  • Developed the frame buffer concept for storing and displaying single-raster images.

Robert Johnson, Computer Science Faculty 1987-1993
  • Invented the magnetic ink printing technology used on virtually every check we write.
  • Invented the Johnson counter logic circuit.
  • Former Vice President of Engineering for Burroughs.

Brian Barsky, Ph.D. 1981
  • Faculty member at University of California, Berkeley.
  • Fellow, American Academy of Optometry
  • Developed beta splines and methods to link computer graphics, geometric modeling, vision science, and optometry.

For information about the current faculty and research projects in the School of Computing at the University of Utah, click here.

DISCLAIMER: We have tried to be as accurate and fair as possible, but please let us know if you find any errors, notice important omissions, or have additional information that might benefit this page!

coleman@cs.utah.edu