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En Route to UC San Diego, Chinese Undergraduate Wins Award at SIGGRAPH 2017 – in Absentia

UC San Diego Ph.D. student Tiancheng

Incoming CSE Ph.D. student Tiancheng (Kevin) Sun

This fall, an undergraduate alumnus from China’s Tsinghua University will be joining the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) department and the computer vision and graphics group of CSE professor Ravi Ramamoorthi. The student, Tiancheng (Kevin) Sun, will also be active in the Center for Visual Computing that Ramamoorthi directs.

Sun is making a splash even before arriving in San Diego to start the Ph.D. program. He was named winner in the undergraduate category of the ACM Student Research Competition at the 44th SIGGRAPH Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques. At the July 30-August 3 SIGGRAPH conference and expo this week in Los Angeles, Sun presented a poster on “Attribute-Preserving Gamut Mapping of Measured BDRFs.” The poster itself was based on a paper published recently at the 2017 EuroGraphics Symposium on Rendering, which took place in June, and in the Computer Graphics Forum(Vol. 36, Issue 4, July 2017, pp. 47-54).

UC San Diego Tiancheng gamut mapping

Overview of two-step gamut mapping method detailed in Tiancheng Sun’s work that won the SIGGRAPH Student Research Competition in Los Angeles in early August

The Chinese student was first author on the paper and poster, together with Ph.D. student Ana Serrano and professors Diego Gutierrez and Belen Masia (in the Graphics and Imaging Lab of Spain’s University of Zaragoza). Sun was a summer intern in the Spanish lab last summer (and later a collaborator). He also did a recent internship in the Visual Computing Center of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.

While still an undergraduate, Sun was admitted to a special Computer Science undergraduate program established by Tsinghua’s Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences (IIIS). The program is known at the “Yao Class” because the institute is led by ACM Turing Award laureate Andrew Yao (who received the top award in Computer Science in 2000).

At SIGGRAPH, Ana Serrano presented the poster because Sun – who completed his B.S. at Tsinghua in July – is still waiting to undergo his background check for a U.S. visa.

Having won the SIGGRAPH student contest, Sun now qualifies to compete in ACM’s overall Student Research Competition, alongside other undergraduate student winners at ACM-sponsored conferences that offer student research competitions.

When he enrolls in UC San Diego this fall, Sun will benefit from a Jacobs Fellowship, the most selective university fellowship for incoming Ph.D. students. Meanwhile, he is building a research library of light-field imaging and displays, to include relevant papers and a roadmap to this area of potential future research. (Sun says his primary research interests are computational imaging and display.)

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