Keynote speakers will share their perspectives for building our most desirable technological future on all scales and advancing computer graphics and interactive techniques into the next half century.

Image credits from left to right: Jensen Huang, Dava Newman (image credit: Christopher Michel), Manu Prakash (image credit: Linda A. Cicero/Stanford News Service courtesy Foldscope Instruments, Inc.), and Dr. Mark Sagar

DENVER — SIGGRAPH 2024, the premier conference and exhibition on computer graphics and interactive techniques, announces that Jensen Huang, Dr. Dava Newman, Manu Prakash, and Dr. Mark Sagar will headline the Keynote Presentations. From the Microscopic to the Body, Built Environment, City, Planet, Cosmos, and even unmeasurable concepts like Imagination, the esteemed SIGGRAPH 2024 Keynote Speakers will share their perspectives for building our most desirable technological future on all scales and advancing computer graphics and interactive techniques into the next half century. The 51st annual conference returns to its Colorado roots — the SIGGRAPH concept came to fruition at The University of Colorado in Boulder — from Sunday, 28 July to Thursday, 1 August, 2024, in person at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, with a companion Virtual Access component.

“As SIGGRAPH emphasizes what the conference is and explores new territories, we are investing a lot of energy in bringing a wide array of world-class visionaries and leaders to be our Keynote Speakers,” SIGGRAPH 2024 Conference Chair Andres Burbano of the Open University of Catalonia said. “Jensen Huang will talk about the philosophy behind NVIDIA’s transformation from a company working in graphics to being the worldwide motor of artificial intelligence computing. Dr. Mark Sagar will share his expertise as a bioengineer who developed computational models of his work and changed the film industry, and has now brought them to life to impact how we interact in real time with artificial intelligence. Dr. Dava Newman will talk about the impact of computer graphics and interactive techniques in planning and executing interplanetary trips or missions — emphasizing one of Colorado’s largest industries, aerospace. And finally, Manu Prakash will share findings from some of his scientific experimental work in the microscopic domain developing tools that he is also active in implementing.” 

Beyond the Illusion of Life
Presented by: Dr. Mark Sagar
Monday, 29 July 2024
9–10:30 am MDT

The essence of animation is creating the illusion of life, convincing the audience that a character is alive and has its own feelings and thoughts. Is it possible to bring an interactive digital character to “life” who can “think,” “feel,” have experiences, and act with volition? What is it, exactly, to think, to feel, to experience? In his keynote, Dr. Mark Sagar will discuss his team’s biologically based approach, where they are developing a virtual nervous system analogous to our own, combining computational models of sensory, cognitive and emotional processes, language, behavior, and motor systems. These systems activate virtual muscles to animate a virtual face and body, sensing, learning, acting, and reacting in real time. The interoperation of these systems in face-to-face and shared interactions is exemplified in projects like BabyX, a simulated toddler which aims to enhance our comprehension of social learning and behavior — but it can also serve as groundwork for achieving human-like cooperation with future artificial intelligence. Dr. Sagar will elaborate how creating the inner life of a character is strongly linked with the “body,” one of the central thematic focuses of the conference.

Double-Academy Award winner Dr. Sagar is the co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Soul Machines and Director of the Laboratory for Animate Technologies at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute. He and his team are bringing technology to life, pioneering the creation of autonomously animated virtual humans with virtual brains and nervous systems — capable of highly expressive face-to-face interaction and real-time learning and emotional response — to create the next generation of human interaction with biologically inspired artificial intelligence. Dr. Sagar has a Ph.D. in engineering from the University of Auckland and was a postdoctoral fellow at MIT. He previously worked as the special projects supervisor at Weta Digital and Sony Pictures Imageworks and developed technology for the digital characters in blockbusters such “Avatar”, “King Kong”, and “Spiderman 2”. His pioneering work in computer-generated faces was recognized with two consecutive Scientific and Engineering Oscars in 2010 and 2011. Dr. Sagar was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2019 and was named New Zealand Innovator of the Year in 2022.

NVIDIA CEO Fireside Chat: AI and Graphics for the New Computing Revolution
Presented by: Jensen Huang
Monday, 29 July 2024
2:30–3:30 pm MDT

In this fireside chat, NVIDIA Founder and CEO Jensen Huang sits down with Lauren Goode, senior writer at WIRED, to discuss how accelerated computing and generative AI are transforming industries such as manufacturing and creating new opportunities for innovation and growth. The convergence of AI and advanced computing, from AI PCs to AI factories to digital twins, is driving this transformation. It’s the beginning of a new industrial revolution.

Jensen will speak with Lauren about the impact of robotics and AI in industrial digitization, illustrating how industry sectors are adopting autonomous operations and building city-scale digital twins to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Jensen will also answer some questions from the SIGGRAPH community.

Huang founded NVIDIA in 1993 and has served since its inception as president, chief executive officer, and a member of the board of directors. He has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering and is a recipient of the Semiconductor Industry Association’s highest honor, the Robert N. Noyce Award; IEEE Founder’s Medal; the Dr. Morris Chang Exemplary Leadership Award; and honorary doctorate degrees from National Chiao Tung University, National Taiwan University, and Oregon State University. Huang has been named the world’s best CEO by The Economist and Harvard Business Review, as well as Fortune’s Businessperson of the Year and one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people. He holds a BSEE degree from Oregon State University and an MSEE degree from Stanford.

Humanity Becoming Interplanetary: Exploring Space for Earth
Presented by: Dr. Dava Newman
Tuesday, 30 July 2024
9–10:30 am MDT

Dr. Dava Newman’s keynote presentation will cover the theme of “Humanity Becoming Interplanetary: Exploring Space for Earth.” Our amazing Webb Space Telescope discoveries to recent space science missions to Pluto and Jupiter, the discovery of thousands of exoplanets, and orbital missions to monitor Spaceship Earth provide a cosmic perspective. Humanity will become interplanetary and find life elsewhere; however, Mars is not “Plan B”. Spaceship Earth, our pale blue dot, is the most magnificent planet for humanity to thrive. Earth is speaking to us — are we listening? A visual, interactive Earth Mission Control is revealed that will help take actions to regenerate Earth’s oceans, land, and atmosphere subsystems. The “overview effect” from space lets us appreciate Earth’s interconnected systems through supercomputer data visualizations and hyper-local narratives of natural disasters with the goal to accelerate collective actions for a healthier future between humanity and our home planet.

Dr. Newman is the director of the MIT Media Lab, holds the Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics chair at MIT, and is a Harvard–MIT Health Sciences and Technology faculty member. She served as NASA Deputy Administrator (2015–2017). Nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate unanimously in April 2015, Dr. Newman was the third woman and first female engineer and scientist to serve in this role. During her tenure, she made significant impact on NASA’s human exploration, specifically developing and articulating the Human Journey to Mars plan, highlighting scientific missions, advocating for transformative aeronautics capabilities, developing and implementing a strategic innovation framework, and advocating for diversity and inclusion for NASA and the nation’s STEM initiatives. Dr. Newman’s research expertise is in aerospace biomedical engineering investigating human performance across the spectrum of gravity and AI/ML for the dual challenge of energy and climate. She is a leader in advanced space suit design, astronaut performance, climate modeling and visualization, leadership development, innovation, and space policy. Dr. Newman was the principal investigator on five spaceflight missions. 

The Often Unseen World
Presented by: Manu Prakash
Wednesday, 31 July 2024
9–10 a.m. MDT

In Manu Prakash’s keynote presentation, he will take attendees on a “microscopic” journey of the often unseen world — a delight of creatures most beautiful and marvelous with dazzling graphical feats. Come for the science, and stay for the community-enabled discoveries made around the world.

Prakash is an associate professor of bioengineering at Stanford University, a Senior Fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, a Pew Scholar, and the co-inventor of the Foldscope and co-founder of Foldscope Instruments. At Stanford, he runs a curiosity-driven science lab focused on using highly interdisciplinary approaches to understand how computation is embodied in biological matter. Prakash’s lab is dedicated to inventing, building, and scaling up “frugal science” tools to democratize access to science, including the discovery of the Foldscope, a foldable microscope made mostly of paper. He has a Bachelor of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology and a Master of Science and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Learn more about the SIGGRAPH 2024 Keynote Speakers by checking out the full program here. For more information about the conference, other programs, and opportunities to experience at SIGGRAPH 2024, or to register to attend in person or online, go to


ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting educators, researchers, and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources, and address the field’s challenges. ACM SIGGRAPH is a special interest group within ACM that serves as an interdisciplinary community for members in research, technology, and applications in computer graphics and interactive techniques. The SIGGRAPH conference is the world’s leading annual interdisciplinary educational experience showcasing the latest in computer graphics and interactive techniques. SIGGRAPH 2024, the 51st annual conference hosted by ACM SIGGRAPH, will take place live 28 July–1 August at the Colorado Convention Center, along with a Virtual  option.