Ibraheem Alhashim, who will convocate in June 2016, is seen here with his daughter on a recent trip to Japan.

Computing science doctoral student receives top dissertation award

April 10, 2016

Ibraheem Alhashim has received the Alain Fournier Ph.D. Dissertation Annual Award, 2015

His dissertation, supervised by professor Richard Zhang, proposes a new way to model and make 3D objects.

Many industries use 3D modelling software, from gaming and entertainment to architecture and industrial design. In addition, the development of 3D printing has opened up a whole new realm of manufacturing possibilities – from printing compact foldable furniture, to creating human body parts.

In the era of open-source sharing, millions of these models are found in online databases, or libraries, which allow people from around the world to upload, store and share files.

But many of these models have unlabelled parts, which makes it difficult to identify, analyze and match them with other models in order to create a 3D object.

Alhashim’s work addresses this problem by trying to make sense of these unlabelled parts, or more specifically, “find a good match between two structurally different shapes,” says Alhashim.

He also examines how to simplify the computer generation of new shapes – a new office chair, for example – from a set of existing shapes with minimal user effort.

“This could be useful for automatically populating virtual worlds or helping designers be more creative by producing and showing possible shape variations,” he says.   

Of his dissertation win, he says: “I am truly honored and humbled to receive this award. I am also extremely grateful for the opportunity to work at SFU with some of the smartest people in this area, to whom I largely owe this success.”

Alhashim has co-authored, among others, two SIGGRAPH papers, two SIGGRAPH Asia papers, and journal articles in Computer Graphics Forum and The Visual Computer. His dissertation supervisor was professor Richard Zhang.

The Alain Fournier Ph.D. Dissertation Annual Award rewards an exceptional computer graphics Ph.D. dissertation defended in a Canadian University over the previous year. The winning dissertation is selected through a juried process by a selection committee consisting of accomplished researchers in computer graphics.