Great quote

I’ve been enjoying this year’s on-line Siggraph. The only parts that are reliably live are the panels and Q&A sessions. Most other things are prerecorded.

Today I watched a fascinating panel about the history of the New York Institute of Technology computer graphics lab. I knew these people back in the day, and it was an absolute delight to hear them collectively tell one of the most important origin stories in the field of computer graphics.

My favorite moment was when Ed Catmull quoted Alex Schure. Sure had founded and bankrolled the lab. He hired Ed to run it, and gave him fairly free rein to hire many of the people we now think of as great pioneers in the field.

Schure didn’t seem to know much about computer graphics, but to his great credit, he managed to keep all that great research financially afloat in those early years.

At one point, as a sort of aside, Ed shared this quote from Alex Shure. It’s a great quote. The proof of that is that I’m still scratching my head trying to figure exactly what it means:

“Our goal is to speed up time, eventually eliminate it.”
— Alex Shure

5 thoughts on “Great quote”

  1. Wow – was that panel recorded? I’d love to check it out.

    I considered taking a job at NYIT when I finished grad school, but Paul Heckbert talked me out of it.

  2. The job interview at NYIT was definitely a grad school highlight. They flew me out to Long Island, and put me up the day before in the de Seversky mansion. The suite’s bathroom alone was larger than my student apartment. I still remember walking out the the grand lawn in the morning, then sitting down to breakfast where the waiter greeted me by name.

    The rest of the day was spent talking to people who’s names I recognized from SIGGRAPH papers. This was, however, after Ed & Alvy had taken off to form Lucasfilm / Pixar, and I could sense the dream there was starting to fade.

  3. Yes – Paul (correctly, I feel) predicted the lab wouldn’t maintain its level of leadership after Ed & Alvy left.

    I exchanged email with him after my visit to NYIT, but it confirmed a sense I picked up while I was there.

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