Donald P. Greenberg

Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Computer Graphics
Director: Program of Computer Graphics
Director: NSF Science & Technology Center for Computer Graphics and Scientific Visualization
Ph.D. Cornell University, 1968

Professor Greenberg is one of the foremost pioneers in the emerging field of computer graphics, having served as a leading researcher and teacher in the field since 1965. His research is primarily concerned with physically based image synthesis and with applying graphic techniques to a variety of disciplines. His specialties include color science, parallel processing, and realistic image generation. His application work now focuses on medical imaging, architectural design, perception, digital photography, and real-time photorealistic image generation.

Consistent with the interdisciplinary nature of the field of computer graphics, he is a member of Cornell’s faculty in the Johnson Graduate School of Management, the Department of Computer Science, and the Department of Architecture. In recent years he has taught courses in computer graphics, computer-aided architectural design, digital photography, and disruptive technologies.

Professor Greenberg was the founding director of the NSF Science and Technology Center for Computer Graphics and Scientific Visualization, now in its tenth year. He is the director of the Program of Computer Graphics and former director of the Computer-Aided Design Instructional Facility at Cornell. He has published d more than 200 articles on computer graphics, and many of his students have been highly recognized in the field, including several who have received the SIGGRAPH Achievement Award and others who have received Hollywood Oscars.

In 1987, he received the ACM Steven Coons Award, the highest honor in the field, for his outstanding creative contributions in computer graphics. He also received the National Computer Graphics Association Academic Award in 1989. In 1997, he received the ASCA Creative Research Award in Architecture. An Honorary Doctoral Degree from New Jersey Institute of Technology was presented to him in 1999.

Professional Activities

Member: National Academy of Engineering.

Fellow: International Association of Medical and Biological Engineering; Association for Computing Machinery.


Education Panel: Teaching 3D Graphics. 1999 ACM Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics (13DG’99), Atlanta, GA, April 1999.

Disruptive Technologies in Computer Graphics: Past, Present & Future.

10th Eurographics workshop on Rendering (EGRW’99), Granada, Spain, June 1999.

How Computer Graphics are Changing the Internet & Education. Hudson Institute, Cyber Rendezvous Conference, Jackson Hole, WY, September 1999.

Computer Graphics – Progress, Problems & Potential. Computer Science Colloquium, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, October 1999.

Computer Graphics – the State of the Art. Managing the Next Generation of Manufacturing Technology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, November 1999.

Virtual Universities: Real Boundaries. Symposium honoring Dale Raymond Corson, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, December 1999.

The Future of Architectural Design Education. College of Architecture, Art, and Planning Advisory Council Meeting, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, April 2000 (with M. Piccolotto).

Working Today on Tomorrow’s Design Software. AEC/IS Roundtable, Washington, DC, June 2000.


“A Lab Ahead of its Time: Cornell Graphics Lab Sets High Standards.” Architectural Record (June 2000), 198–204 (with B.J. Novitsky and M.A. Piccolotto).

“Image-Based BRDF Measurement Including Human Skin.” Rendering Techniques ‘99, Springer Verlag (Wien) (August 1999), 131–144 (with S.R. Marschner, S.H. Westin, E.P.F. Lafortune, and K.E. Torrance).

“Disruptive Technologies in Computer Graphics: Past, Present, and Future.” Rendering Techniques ‘99, Springer Verlag (Wien) (August 1999), 1–3.

“Direct Illumination with Lazy Visibility Evaluation.” Computer Graphics (SIGGRAPH ’99 Conference Proceedings), (33)4 (August 1999), 147–154 (with D. Hart and P.M. Dutre).

“A Perceptually Based Physical Error Metric for Realistic Image Synthesis.” Computer Graphics (SIGGRAPH ’99 Conference Proceedings), (33)4 (August 1999), 73–82 (with M. Ramasubramanian and S.N. Pattanaik).

“A Framework for Realistic Image Synthesis.” Communications of the ACM, (42)8 (August 1999), 44–53.