Eurographics-UK 1998 Conference

The 16th Annual Conference of the Eurographics UK Chapter
25-27 March 1998, University of Leeds, UK

The themes for the 1998 Eurographics UK Conference were Distributed Graphics, Graphics for Simulation, and Advanced Interfaces. The success of the conference, which attracted nearly 70 delegates, was due to the program Committee Helen Morphet (University of Manchester, Programme Chair), and the team of local organisers (Yasmin Aziz, Jason Wood, Nuha El-Khalili and Andrino Lopes and the team of audio-visual helpers) lead by Ken Brodlie (all from the University of Leeds).

The conference began with a day of tutorials and workshops relating to the conference themes. I attended the morning tutorial on '3D Graphics on the Internet With a Focus on VRML' by Stuart Lovegrove of the University of Leeds which gave an overview of VRML and a look ahead to the next generation of VRML. It concluded with a hands-on hands-on session using Silicon Graphic's CosmoWorlds VRML editor. In the afternoon I attended a tutorial on IRIS Explorer given by Jeremy Walton from NAG Ltd., which gave an overview of the use of this and other visualisation applications and was pleasently free of sales pitch. Other tutorials on 'Medical Visualization: A UK Perspective' by Andrew Grant and Nigel John from Silicon Graphics and 'A Designer's Approach to Web Page Creation' were also very well received.

The following day saw the start of the presentation of submitted papers. The 1998 conference had a mix of invited talks, refereed papers and shorter presentations, the latter in particular continuing Eurographics UK's aim to give researchers the opportunity to describe work in progress rather than completed research. These shorter presentations also give an opportunity for young researchers to gain experience of presenting a short paper, for novel or controversial ideas, perhaps not fully worked through, to be aired and for 'up-to-the-minute' work to be presented. The four invited speakers were all making major contributions to the development of the subject in the UK:

The number of papers necessitated parallel sessions so that difficult choices had to be made - the 329 page Conference Proceedings contains 30 full papers and 4 abstract. Extra copies of the Proceedings are available at £30 each from the chapter secretary (details at the end of this report). The Ken Brodlie prize of a cheque, a bottle of malt whisky and (for this year only) a portrait of the conference logo for the best submitted paper was awarded to M.R. Thompson, J.H. Maxfield and P.M. Dew from the Keyworth Institute of Manufacturing and Information System Engineering at the University of Leeds for their paper on 'Interactive Virtual Prototyping'. This described a virtual environment within which mechanical assemblies can be constructed by direct manipulation The problems of accurately positioning geometry within this virtual environment for construction was discussed leading to current research efforts to develop a virtual prototyping environment for industrial case-studies of significantly large size and complexity. The judges for the Ken Brodlie prize were particularly impressed by this work not only for its technical content but also for the way in which teams from both the Mechanical Engineering and Computing disciplines had worked together on the development of the system and its application to real-world problems.

The social program of the conference was also up to the standard of previous years. Wileys publishers sponsored a sherry reception prior to the dinner at the Hall of Residence on the first night; the second night's event was dinner at Tetley's Brewery Wharf which included a chance to see how the English pub has developed over the past centuries.

The event also included the Eurographics-UK Annual General Meeting. Next year's conference will take place at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University from 13-15 April. The call for papers will be available in the summer on the EG-UK Web page, as are many details of this year's event.

Paul Hatton
Senior Computer Officer, Information Services, The University of Birmingham

Copies of the conference proceedings (ISBN 0-952 1097-7-8) are available, price £30.00 (Sterling) from the chapter secretary:

Malcolm Austen
Oxford University Computing Services
13 Banbury Road

Tel: +44 (0)1865 273216
Fax: +44 (0)1865 273275

The Eurographics UK Chapter's 1999 Conference is being held at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge from 13-15 April 1999. The conference will consist of one day (Tuesday) of half-day tutorials and two days (Wednesday, Thursday) of invited and submitted speakers.

Please note that current information on the chapter and its activities is available on the EG-UK Web page.