Father of Computer Graphics Gives ShanghaiTech Lecture

ON2018-05-17TAG: ShanghaiTech UniversityCATEGORY: Features

Ivan Sutherland, known as the "father of computer graphics" and winner of the 1988 ACM Turing Award, was invited to give the ShanghaiTech Lecture, along with his research partner and wife Marly Roncken.

Before he began his speech, Sutherland chatted with the audience, including college students from different colleges, high school students and corporate employees, to understand their professional backgrounds and interest. After an introduction by Vice President Li Ruxin, Ivan Sutherland and Marly Roncken began the first two-person speech in ShanghaiTech Lecture history, entitled Asynchronous Computing. Using humorous and vivid metaphors, the two guests alternately explained what Asynchronous Computing is, and how to replace the rigid clock of modern computers with more flexible self-timed regimes. Computers with the self-timed regimes will change the operating rhythm and transmission rhythm of the present computers, and will have an innovative impact on both computer architecture and software. Roncken and Sutherland revealed a marvelous model for such asynchronous systems whose actions are distributed in both space and time. The model gives equal status to the storage and communication done by its links and the flow control and computation done by its joints. Making links and joints equally important opens new vistas for research in both Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.

The Q & A session was lively, with audience members enthusiastically putting forward their opinions and questions on self-timed regimes. Roncken and Sutherland meticulously and patiently answered each question. Sutherland also expressed his hope that in this new and energetic university, more people will continue this meaningful work.

At the end of the speech, Li Ruxin, on behalf of ShanghaiTech University, thanked Marly Roncken and Ivan Sutherland for their wonderful speech gave them a commemorative ShanghaiTech Lecture plaque and many students and teachers took selfies with the speakers.

Marly Roncken,co-founder and director of Asynchronous Research Center (ARC) at Portland State University (PSU).

Ivan Sutherland, ACM Fellow, and a Member of both the US National Academy of Engineering and the US National Academy of Sciences, was the recipient of the 1988 ACM Turing Award, the 1998 IEEE John von Neumann Medal and the 2012 Kyoto Prize. Sutherland received his PhD from MIT in 1963, with a well-known thesis called “Sketchpad” for which he has been called the “father of computer graphics.” His career has included government service, private industry, venture capital and professorships at Harvard, the University of Utah, and Caltech. With his research partner and wife, Marly Roncken, he joined Portland State University in 2009 to found the Asynchronous Research Center (ARC). Ivan holds more than 70 US patents, and is author of numerous publications and lectures. Now 80 years of age, Ivan devotes his full time to research, lectures, and writing.

The ShanghaiTech Lecture, as the highest lecture series of the university, aims to provide a platform for the world's top experts and scholars to promote science, and to sow seeds of hope in its young students.