2008 Andries van Dam

Thomas J. Watson, Jr. University Professor of Technology and Education
and Professor of Computer Science
Brown University, Box 1910, Providence, RI 02912
phone: (401) 863-7640, fax: (401) 863-7657
email: avd@cs.brown.edu

Andries van Dam (Andy) has been on Brown's faculty since 1965, and was one of the Computer Science Department's co-founders and its first Chairman, from 1979 to 1985. He was a Principal Investigator and was the Director from 1996-1998 in the NSF Science and Technology Center for Graphics and Visualization, a research consortium including Brown, Caltech, Cornell, North Carolina (Chapel Hill), and the University of Utah. He served as Brown's first Vice President for Research from 2002-2006.

Professor van Dam received his B.S. degree with Honors in Engineering Sciences from Swarthmore College in 1960 and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1963 and 1966, respectively.

Recent Events

Celebrating CHM 2021 Fellow Andy van Dam Andy 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.

AREC Distinguished Lectures Series: Andy van Dam "Reflections on Hypertext, the Online World, and Societal Impact" Computer graphics legend, Andries (Andy) van Dam is co-designer of HES and FRESS, the first and second hypertext systems allowing information to connect through hyperlinks. Crucial to the development of modern markup and browsing technology, van Dam's work influenced how we use the web today. He founded the computer science department at Brown University and served as its first chair from 1979-1985. A pioneer in his field, he co-authored Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice, a textbook that defined computer graphics that remains the classic standard introduction into the field.
Credited with founding SICGRAPH, van Dam's distinguished career includes receiving the ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award, the SIGGRAPH Steven A. Coons Award for Outstanding Creative Contributions to Computer Graphics, the IEEE Centennial Medal, and honorary doctorates from Darmstadt Technical University, Swarthmore College, the University of Waterloo, and ETH Zurich.

ACM Hypertext 2019 Andy van Dam Keynote "Reflections on a Half-Century of Hypertext" Is It Time to Declare Victory and Go Home? Or "Hypertext: The Web wasn't the Beginning and the Web isn't the End" - Norm Meyrowitz

CSCI 1951V: Hypertext/Hypermedia: The Web Was Not the Beginning and the Web Is Not the End CSCI1951-V, "Hypertext/Hypermedia: The Web Was Not the Beginning and the Web Is Not the End," looks at hypertext systems that came before and after the World Wide Web as a basis for discussing what next generation hypertext systems could look like. Students will be doing writing assignments, reading, annotating, and writing technical papers, participating in in-class brainstorming sessions, discussing materials in a roundtable format, and developing software prototypes with Javascript and the state-of-the-art MERN (MongoDB, Express, React and Node.js) stack. Students will learn not only about hypertext, but will use that knowledge to develop full-stack applications using modern technologies and high-level software architectures as they prototype systems of the future. The course will be capped at 35 students to facilitate participation and discussion.


His research has concerned computer graphics, hypermedia systems, post-WIMP user interfaces, including pen-centric computing, and educational software. He has been working for over four decades on systems for creating and reading electronic books with interactive illustrations for use in teaching and research.


The completely rewritten third edition of the widely used reference book Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice, co-authored with John F. Hughes, Morgan McGuire, David Sklar, James D. Foley, Steven K. Feiner, and Kurt Akeley, was released at ACM SIGGRAPH 2013 and is available from Amazon. Prof. Hughes wrote a description of the extensive changes and additions in the new version on the CS Blog: New Edition of Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice

Earlier editions include: Fundamentals of Interactive Computer Graphics, co-authored with J.D. Foley, was published by Addison-Wesley in 1982; the expanded successor, Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice, co-authored with J.D. Foley, S.K. Feiner, and J.F. Hughes, was published in June of 1990. An undergraduate version, by the same four authors and D. Phillips, Introduction to Computer Graphics, was published in 1993.

Pascal on the Macintosh - a Graphical Approach, co-authored with David Niguidula, was published by Addison-Wesley in 1987. Object-Oriented Programming in Pascal, A Graphical Approach, co-authored with D. Brookshire Conner, and David Niguidula was published in April, 1995. Frontiers of Human-Centered Computing, OnLine Communities and Virtual Environments, (with Rae Earnshaw, Richard Guedj, and John Vince [Eds]) was published in February 2001, and Object-Oriented Programming in Java: A Graphical Approach, co-authored with Kathryn E. Sanders was published by Addison-Wesley in 2005. van Dam has authored or coauthored over 100 papers, which are listed in his Curriculum Vitae.


CS123 - Introduction to Computer Graphics lectures are available for downloading in PDF format.
CS15 - Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming and Computer Science lectures are available for downloading in PDF format.


Among his awards are the Society for Information Display's Special Recognition Award (1974), the IEEE Centennial Medal (1984), the National Computer Graphics Association's Academic Award (1990), the ACM SIGGRAPH Steven A. Coons Award (1991), the L. Herbert Ballou University Professor Chair (1992), the ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award (1994), the Thomas J. Watson, Jr. University Professor of Technology and Education Chair (1995), the IEEE James H. Mulligan, Jr. Education Medal (1999), and the ACM SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contributions to Computer Science Education (2000).

In 1994 he became an IEEE Fellow and an ACM Fellow. He received an honorary Ph.D. from Darmstadt Technical University in Germany (1995), an honorary Ph.D. from Swarthmore College (1996), an honorary Ph.D. from the Faculty of Mathematics, University of Waterloo (2007), and an honorary Ph.D. from the Department of Computer Science, ETH Zurich (2008). In 1996 he was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering, in 2000 he became a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in 2002 he received the CRA Distinguished Service award and the Brown University Sheridan Teaching award, and in 2004 was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Professional Activities

In 1967, Professor van Dam co-founded ACM SIGGRAPH and from 1985 through 1987 was Chairman of the Computing Research Association. He has been Associate Editor of the "ACM Transactions on Graphics" (1981-1986), Editorial Board Member of "Computers and Graphics", Pergamon Press (1983 -1994), Advisory Editor, "Journal of Visual Languages and Computing", Academic Press (1989-1998), and Editorial Board Member of the "IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics", (1994-1998). From 1991 - 2006 he served on the Microsoft Research Technical Advisory Board (MSR TAB).


grandchildren, eating well, and outdoor sports--especially sea-kayaking, scuba-diving, mountain biking, skiing and backpacking.

Andy -- Switzerland -- August 2016

CS15, CS123