SRU’s Dailey turns 'brief thought' into conference
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - When Slippery Rock University computer science Professor David Dailey attended his first Graphical Web Conference in Tokyo in 2007 the thought of one day hosting the prestigious conference briefly crossed his mind. Fast forward eight years, and that 'brief thought' has resulted in SRU being selected as the conference host for Sept. 23-26, 2015, conference. The event is expected to draw some 200 of the leading minds in Web graphics from around the world to Pittsburgh.
"I was very impressed by the first conference I attended and in the back of my mind thought 'wouldn't it be great to bring this event to Slippery Rock University.' But, I soon realized Slippery Rock was probably just too small to host such a major event. Still, as I continued to attend the conferences - Paris, Zurich and Winchester, England - I saw the possibilities," Dailey, now conference chairman, recalls in explaining how SRU became more involved.
"In 2009, conference organizers asked if we, meaning SRU, would be willing to host the event and that put the ball in motion. We began planning and realized we could host the event which brings together some of the most involved leaders in the industry if we brought the conference to Pittsburgh," he said.
"After preliminary plans were in place, we reached out to the international and technology firms in Pittsburgh, including the Pittsburgh Technology Council and some venture capital firms, about their interest in hosting this important conference," Dailey said. "Everyone quickly saw the potential and soon some major sponsors and ideas began to fall in place."
This year's theme is "The Graphical Web: Motion, Meaning, Stories, Standards, Pictures for Everyone."
Daily, a globally recognized expert in the area of scalable vector graphics, said, "The annual, global conference showcases the many new open source technologies that have become available for presenting visual information on the Web."
Adobe Systems Inc., the multinational computer software company based in San Jose, Calif., and best known for its Adobe Suite of products, including Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Illustrator and a host of other graphic software packages, is the latest to sign on as a Gold Sponsor for the conference at Pittsburgh's Fairmont Hotel.
"We are certainly pleased Adobe has agreed to help sponsor the conference. They have been previous conference sponsors, which attests to the value they place on the conference," Dailey said. "They are joining Platinum Sponsor Google Inc., the worldwide Internet services provider based in California.
Pennsylvania State University's School of Visual Arts and SRU have signed on as Silver Level Sponsors. The World Wide Web Consortium, Pittsburgh Technology Council and the Khronos Group are serving as Media Sponsors.
"We are also pleased that Google's Alex Danilo will be delivering one of the keynote addresses. He will be coming in from Sydney, Australia, for the event," Dailey said.
Danilo has spent more than a decade on a various W3C working groups developing the standards used across the computer graphics industry. He has also created start up companies doing Web engines for mobile and embedded markets and has shown his Web technology-based projects at conferences all over the world.
He currently focuses on development of a rich-media capable SVG engine for cross-platform application areas especially in resource-constrained devices and in promoting the industry's HTML5 and Google's Chrome Internet browser system along with its ChromeCast and GeoAPIs, calling himself a "jack of all platforms."
A member of the Google team since 2012, Danilo served as architect of a number of different scalable vector graphic implementations for desktop and embedded application areas. His current focus is development of a rich-media capable SVG engine for cross-platform application areas.
Dailey, author of an SVG standards manual, said SVG is fast becoming the industry standard for how graphics are handed by computers. He noted Google has incorporated SVG operations into it new and developing systems, "making them work both intuitively and seamlessly. It is certainly the wave of the future."
SVG is a method of employing mathematical formulas that allow graphic images in computer work to enlarge to any size without loss of clarity. Before SVG was implemented, all computer graphics employed dots or pixels, which when enlarged - postage stamp to billboard size - created blurry, fuzzy, often unreadable images.
The new technology allows for near infinite size expansion, without loss of clarity.
This year's conference has expanded to include a graphics art component that will include artwork displays by graphic art artists, Dailey said. "The call for submissions has already been sent on the SRU campus and a general call, open to anyone in the world, has been distributed," Dailey said.
Conference topics include: art and design; integrated Web experience; webapps and user interfaces; the sciences; mapping; data visualization; 3D visualization; WebGIS/ Web Mapping; and all other uses of interactive open Web graphics. "We are also interested in technical presentations about the implementation and usage of open Web graphic technologies such as SVG, Canvas, WebGL, CSS and HTML5 audio/video," Dailey said.
Dailey will present on one of his favorite topics, SVG.
"A call for technological art from the Pittsburgh art community will be issued soon," he said. Selected submissions will be displayed at the Fairmont during the conference, others will be available online.
"This is an event that will attract the world leaders in graphic standards and those in the use of avant guard graphics on the web. It is truly the flagship of conferences," Dailey said.
"The art outreach is a major new initiative for the conference. We want to spotlight how art is being done in the world using the latest Web technologies, Last year, the theme was visual storytelling and how data visualization has taken over in journalism. This year, we are trying to focus on the artist's side of the Web. We will be looking at all the cool, artistic things people are doing with Web graphics in the arts.
"SVG is increasing being used in mainstream production websites and nearly all new sites on the Web use SVG heavily. The use of SVG is much more apparent, especially when you specifically look for it," he said.
Microsoft has elected to support SVG and those who monitor books on the Web have seen a dramatic increase in publications available related to SVG, Dailey said. "There were three new books just last year, where there had only been about two books in the previous 10 years," Dailey said. "Web developers who did not initially realize its possibilities are now using it. HTML will remain, but SVG will be the standard for graphics as the two blend seamlessly."
Deborah Whitfield, SRU professor of computer science, is again serving as treasurer of the event.
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