Name brand

Like a number of people in my field, I have developed techniques that ended up being named for me (through no fault of my own).

The other night, just as people we gathering for the SIGGRAPH conference, I was introduced by friends to somebody who decided to make an impromptu joke of the occasion. “Your parents must have had a great sense of humor,” he said, “to name you after a well known technique in computer graphics.”

It could have been an awkward moment, but life is too short for awkward moments. “That’s nothing,” I replied, “You should meet my brother Fourier.”

As it happened I had dinner with my Mom last night. I wanted to tell her the story, but as I began I realized she would have no idea who “Fourier” was.

So I adapted the tale to the audience. Everything was the same until my reply at the end, which had now become: “That’s nothing. You should meet my brother Kleenex.”

I am happy to report that my Mom found the entire episode very funny.

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