Carlo H. Séquin

Award Recipient
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Carlo H. Séquin is a professor of Computer Science and the Associate Dean for Capital Projects in the College of Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his Ph.D degree in experimental physics from the University of Basel, Switzerland in 1969. His subsequent work at the Institute of Applied Physics in Basel concerned interface physics of MOS transistors and problems of applied electronics in the fi eld of cybernetic models. From 1970 till 1976 he worked at Bell Telephone Laboratories, Murray Hill, N.J., where he took part in the design, evaluation, and further development of Charge-Coupled Devices for imaging sensing and signal processing applications.

He was a member of the group that demonstrated the first solid-state CCD camera compatible with the U.S. commercial television format and he holds several patents related to that technology.

In 1975, together with M. F. Tompsett, he wrote the fi rst book on Charge Transfer Devices (Academic Press), which remained the single most relevant text on this subject matter for several years. At Bell Labs he also got introduced to the world of Computer Graphics in classes given by Ken Knowlton.

In 1977 he joined the faculty in the EECS Department at Berkeley. During his first 27 years at Berkeley, Dr. Séquin has supervised more than 20 Ph.D. dissertations and over 70 MS projects. He started out by teaching courses on the subject of very large-scale integrated (VLSI) circuits, thereby trying to build a bridge between the CS division and the EE faculty. In the early 1980’s, jointly with D. A. Patterson, they introduced the `RISC’ concept to the world of microcomputers. Dr. Séquin was head of the Computer Science Division from 1980 till 1983. Since then he has concentrated on computer graphics, geometric modeling, and on the development of computer aided design (CAD) tools. First his focus was on tools for the layout of integrated circuits and his students produced tools for placement, routing, and compaction. In 1987 he was heading the program committee for the design of Soda Hall, the new home of the Computer Science Division at Berkeley, and his attention shifted to 3-dimensional CAD models of buildings. He supervised the thesis work of S. Teller and T. Funkhouser from which the Berkeley Walkthru program emerged, an effective way to visualize complex buildings at interactive speeds. After the completion of the building, he worked with Y. Kalay in Architecture on improved CAD tools for the early phases of specification and conceptual design of large institutional buildings. Since 1995 Séquin has also collaborated with P. Wright in Mechanical Engineering on the CyberCut/CyberBuild projects which had the goal to streamline the path from a creative idea, via rapid prototyping, to a manufacturable product.

Séquin’s work in computer graphics and in geometric design have also provided a bridge to the world of art. In collaboration with a few sculptors of abstract geometric art, in particular with B. Collins, Séquin has found yet another domain where the use of computer-aided tools can be explored and where new frontiers can be opened through the use of such tools. Through many conference talks and workshops Séquin has been furthering the connection between Art and Mathematics. Since the late 1990s Séquin himself has created dozens of sculptural forms and realized them as small desk-top maquettes with layered manufacturing techniques and investment casting. His work has been exhibited in many group art shows and in the Art Gallery at the annual SIGGRAPH conference.

Dr. Séquin is a Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the ACM, and has been elected to the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences.


2003 Technical Achievement Award
“For outstanding contributions to design tools for computer architectures, computer graphics, industrial CAD/CAM and artistic expressionism.”
Learn more about Technical Achievement Award