Fellow Awards Virtual Event

Visualizing a Better Future

Celebrating CHM Fellow Andy van Dam

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Visit here to watch the full program, pick and choose your favorite moments here, or read about event highlights in this blog.

Event Details

Do you watch animated movies or play video games? Do you click on a digital link or image to see more? Do you puzzle over the ethical use of computer technology?

If so, you can thank—in part—computer scientist and professor Andy van Dam.

Van Dam has devoted his life’s work to revolutionizing how people and ideas connect through computers, how people and computers connect through interactive graphics, how scholars connect through digital humanities education, and how technology and society can connect in ways that are good for humanity.

In his five-decade career, van Dam has:

  • Helped pioneer computer graphics and hypertext.
  • Coauthored with Jim Foley a field-defining book on computer graphics that for thirty years has been used by hundreds of thousands around the world.
  • Advanced digital humanities and other uses of computers in education.
  • Taught more than 10,000 students at Brown University. Eight became chairs of leading computer science departments, influencing generations of students. Many have impacted entertainment and business as leaders at Pixar, Microsoft, Adobe and other companies.

Van Dam Joins Other Pioneers

For a lifetime of contributions to computer graphics, hypertext, and education, van Dam will be inducted as a CHM 2021 Fellow, joining other visionaries such as NASA mathematician and "hidden figure" Katherine Johnson, World Wide Web creator Tim Berners Lee, and software pioneer Rear Admiral Grace Hopper.

Here’s what you’ll experience:

  • Be inspired by van Dam’s story, from surviving an internment camp to discovering his life’s work to his recent “Call to Arms” about the most critical tech issues today.
  • Hear personal stories and tributes from van Dam’s close colleagues and former students.
  • Watch computer graphics artists create new images and visualizations using state-of-the-art tools.
  • Explore current computing ethics issues from today’s thought leaders and experts.
  • Add your voice by participating in real-time polls or by recording a video tribute, call to action, or idea for inspiration.

5:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. PDT

5 p.m. PDT
Fellow Award Program with hosts Dan'l Lewin and Nancy Duarte

  • Professor and computer scientist Ed Lazowska and Andy van Dam reflect on Andy's life and achievements. 
  • Tributes by computer graphics pioneer and cofounder of Pixar Ed Catmull, Microsoft executive and venture capitalist Brad Silverberg, adjunct computer science professor at Brown University Norm Meyrowitz and business executive, professor and founder Ingrid Carlbom.

5:50 p.m. PDT
Fellow Award Presentation

  • Award presentation by computer architect pioneer John Crawford
  • Remarks by Fellow Andy van Dam

6:00 p.m. PDT
Exploring the Impact of Andy's Work

  • Tribute by graphics software architect and Academy Award winner David Simons
  • Graphics showcase with virtual and augmented reality creative director and artist Estella Tse and senior design evangelist and Adobe creative director Giovanni Nakpil

6:15 p.m. PDT
Ethics Panel Discussion 

  • Tech and society thought leader danah boyd and computer scientist and research leader Eric Horvitz in conversation with McKinsey Global Institute director James Manyika
  • Interact with attendees with live chat and a real-time poll

2021 CHM Fellow Awards

CHM is celebrating the 2021 Fellows in a yearlong four-part series of thought-provoking virtual events and engaging digital content that explore the story and impact of each honoree and the present and future of tech for humanity.

Learn more about this year's honorees and the 2021 Fellow Awards.


CHM offers several levels of individual and corporate sponsorships that include access to backstage events with our Fellows, options to host pre-and post-event lounges, and opportunities to share a written testimonial about a Fellow on our virtual platform. For more information about becoming a CHM Fellow Awards sponsor, please contact Michelle Mertz.

Headline Sponsor 

Education Sponsors 

Sep 23, 2021
5:00 pm

Add to Calendar 09/23/2021 5:00 pm America/Los_Angeles Visualizing a Better Future Celebrating CHM Fellow Andy van Dam Virtual Event

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