Professor Demetri Terzopoulos was selected to receive the 2020 IEEE Computer Pioneer Award. The IEEE Pioneer Award is given to scholars “whose efforts resulted in the creation and continued vitality of the computer industry. The award is presented to outstanding individuals whose main contribution to the concepts and development of the computer field was made at least fifteen years earlier.” This is a preeminent IEEE computer society award that encompasses the Computer Sciences as a discipline.

Charter recipients of the IEEE Pioneer Award include trailblazers such as Howard Aiken (for computers), Gene Amdahl (IBM and other architectures), John Backus (Fortran), and Turing Award winners like Fred Brooks, Dijkstra, Corbato, Hamming, Iverson, and Knuth.  More recent recipients include Barbara Liskov and Ed Fiegenbaum–both Turing Award winners–and industry luminaries like Page and Brin (for Google), Linus Torvalds (for Linux), and Bjarne Stroustrup (C++).

Terzopoulos’ citation is “for a leading role in developing computer vision, computer graphics, and medical imaging through pioneering research that has helped unify these fields and has impacted related disciplines within and beyond computer science.”

Ivan Sutherland (Turing Award for graphics), David Evans (of the legendary Evans & Sutherland company that propelled graphics forward), and Herbert Freeman are previous IEEE Pioneer Award for computer graphics recipients.