SoC alum, Robert McDermott passes away

February 9, 2015


Robert McDermott, passed away on January 20, 2015. Robert received his PhD from University of Utah computer science department in 1980. His dissertation was entitled “Geometric Modelling in Computer Aided Design.” This involved the mathematics for the geometric model of the famous Ukrainian Pysanka (egg) monument that was designed by Canadian artist Paul Sembaliuk, and realized by Ron Resch, a Utah CS faculty member, along with Robert. This is regarded as the first physical structure designed entirely with computer-aided geometric modeling techniques. Robert taught computer graphics at Memorial University in Newfoundland and NYIT in New York before returning to the University of Utah in 1990 as a Research Scientist at our Center for High Performance Computing. He was also an adjunct professor in the School of Computing from 1990 until his retirement. Another of Robert’s accomplishments as a Utah grad student was that he, along with Bui Tong Phong, Jim Clark, and Raphael Rom were the students who digitized (by hand) Ivan Sutherland’s VW beetle which became the first physical model to be rendered as a computer graphics.


Robert was interviewed a couple of time for the Utah Teapot newsletter, those articles can be found here.

Utah Teapot Fall 2003
Utah Teapot Spring 2004

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