Source: ACM SIGGRAPH Citation
SIGGRAPH is pleased and honored to present the 1985 Coons Award for Computer Graphics to Pierre Bezier. In the field of computer aided design and computer graphics, Dr. Bezier has been a pioneer whose stature can only be compared with Coons’s. As a contemporary of Coons’s, he enjoyed a relationship with him based on mutual affection, admiration, and deep respect.
Coons and Bezier were the two great pioneers in Computer Aided Design. Coons specialized in interpolation schemes (the Coons Patch), and Bezier specialized in approximation schemes. His Bezier curves and surfaces became an example and inspiration for further work.
Bezier’s work is significant for several reasons: (1) He was one of the very first in CAD to come to grips with the problem of specifying the shape of a free-form curve or surface. No one else had a method that guaranteed an absence of undulations or other undesirable surprises in form. His approximation methods have fundamental advantages for
free-form shape specification and the study of those advantages inspired a large and important body of subsequent work. (2) As a director of Renault he was able to affect and influence Renault in a way that made it a world leader in computer aided design. Therefore he is not only a leader in terms of theory and new algorithms, he is also a leader in terms of influencing the “real world.” (3) He wrote a book on numerical control which has become a standard reference for anyone working in the field of free-form curves and surfaces. (4) His work inspired people to discover a connection between raster graphics and free-form surfaces. (5) He was a professor at the Ecole des Artes et Metiers in Paris, where he also participated in training students in this new subject matter as well as writing scholarly articles. This role was carried out simultaneously with being a director of Renault in Paris. (6) He has maintained a position of visibility and leadership in the world community of computer graphics and CAD/CAM. References to his work are ubiquitous in graphics books and classes. Indeed, implementing some of his schemes is a routine lab exercise given in graphics classes throughout the world. (7) In addition to his professional identities as a director, a scientist, an engineer, and a professor, he is also a bona fide designer who profoundly understands the issues of style, form, and function so important for the development of user-friendly systems. It is this additional gift that made his results so important.