Department of 
Computer Science

David C. Evans, Computer Graphics Pioneer

David C. Evans

Major Contributions to the field of Computer Graphics:

  • Pioneer and educator in computer graphics.

  • Chairman of Computer Science Department at University of Utah.

  • Co-founder of Evans and Sutherland Computer Corporation to produce premier computer graphics display equipment.

  • 1989 Steven A. Coons Award for Outstanding Creative Contributions.

We are proud to name the new SGI Reality Monster "Evans" after David Evans. Evans is a man honored as a technical leader, an innovator, an advisor, and a mentor who inspired those around him and continued to provide vision and environment for great accomplishments in computer graphics.

David Evans began his career in computers around 1950. His early work involved incremental computers applied to numerical controls for the Bendix Corporation. There he also was Project Engineer for the Bendix G-15 computer, a 1956 personal computer with an interpretive programming system. Evans, however, was dedicated to developing computer systems for interactive personal problem-solving.

Thus, he turned his attention to timesharing and graphics. While a professor at the University of California at Berkeley in the early 1960s, he directed a laboratory that pioneered a successful multi-user timesharing system, named "GENIE." The Evans laboratory also explored interactive graphics based upon an IDIOM display attached to a Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-5 computer.

This early foray into computer graphics subsequently led to the golden era of computer graphics at the University of Utah and to the founding of the Evans and Sutherland Computer Company in Salt Lake City. The period from 1967 through at least 1975 was an extraordinary time for computer graphics at Utah. There was a rare confluence of faculty, students, staff, facilities, and resources to support vision research and hard work that produced remarkable developments in computer graphics. This research was responsible for the birth of continuous-tone computer graphics as we know it today.

Beyond his abilities as an educator are his achievements in the business world. With Ivan Sutherland he founded the Evans and Sutherland Computer Corporation to produce premier computer graphics display equipment. A large part of this company's business concerns real time simulation of scenes associated with aircraft flying and automobiles driving. These real time simulators area partial expression of David Evans' wish to contribute to all manner of simulation.

We believe it is only fitting that such an exceptional machine should bear the name of such a great and exceptional man.

Back to "Parallel Machines Commissioned" article

Photo and text used by permission of ACM SIGGRAPH (first published in Computer Graphics, Proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH 1989, p. 15-16)

For additional information, contact:
Claire L. Stone
Publications & Publicity Manager
(919) 962-1790

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Department of Computer Science
Campus Box 3175, Sitterson Hall
College of Arts & Sciences
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3175 USA
Phone: (919) 962-1700
Fax: (919) 962-1799

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Posted: 21 March 1999