Tableau Co-founder, Pat Hanrahan, Receives Prestigious Katayanagi Prize

By Andrew Beers October 4, 2013

The term “award-winning” software has been thrown about by just about every technology company in the industry, including Tableau. We’re lucky enough to have won quite a few awards for our products. But, I can tell you that it’s the individuals behind Tableau that work together to make our company great. And we’re extremely proud that one of co-founders, Professor Pat Hanrahan, has been recognized with one of the most prestigious awards in our field, the Katayanagi Prize in Computer Science.

Pat is one of our original three co-founders, along with Dr. Chris Stolte and our CEO, Christian Chabot. I met Pat nearly 20 years ago when I was a doctoral candidate at Stanford, where he was a professor working to advance the field of computer graphics, as he continues to do today. It was a privilege to work with such an esteemed scientist back then, and I feel doubly lucky to get to continue to work with him at Tableau.

In the famed Stanford computer labs, he and Chris Stolte, our co-founder and Chief Development Officer, took on the challenge of applying computer graphics to data analysis. Their research led to some groundbreaking technology and the formation of Tableau Software.

But even before Tableau, Pat was making contributions that helped shape the computer graphics landscape we know today. He was an early employee at Pixar Animation Studios and was the chief architect of the RenderMan revolutionary computer graphics software that allowed people to produce photorealistic imagery that made a huge impact on the motion picture industry. He received two Academy Awards for Science and Technology for his work at Pixar. He’s also received the Spirit of America Creativity Award, the SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award, the SIGGRAPH Stephen A. Coons Award and the IEEE Visualization Career Award. And he’s a member of the prestigious National Academy of Arts and Sciences.

On behalf of everyone at Tableau, I’d like to congratulate Pat on his latest award and thank him for inspiring our entire team to build great technology and solve interesting problems. His passion for combining technology and the graphic arts has helped drive what makes our software stand out from the rest.

For more information on the Katayanagi Prize , visit http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~katayanagi/.