'Computing Through Time' (IEEE Computer, 2018).

Dr. Ergun Akleman is a professor in the Departments of Visualization & Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University. He is also a cartoonist for science magazines such as IEEE Computer, and previously for Girgir, Çarşaf, Firt and other magazines from his home country Turkey.

Early life and career
Akleman was born in 1959 in Canakkale, Turkey. He grew up in Ayvacik, a town in the Çanakkale Province of the Marmara region of Turkey. His family moved to Istanbul in 1971. In 1976, he started his education at Istanbul Technical University. He first enrolled at the Mechanical Engineering department, and then moved over to Electronic Engineering in 1978. He receiving his BS degree in 1981, and then continued with a Master in Computer and Control Engineering, while working as Graduate Teaching Assistant at the same university. During his university years, he drew cartoons for the humor magazines Gırgır (edited by Oğuz Aral), Çarşaf and Firt, starting in 1976. Between 1981 and 1982, he worked for another humor magazine, Ses Atmaca, followed by stints as a cartoonist and humor writer for the daily newspaper Millyet in 1983-1984.

Akleman's first cartoon published in Firt magazine (1976).

Move to the USA
In 1984 he received a PhD scholarship from the Turkish Ministry of Education, and continued his Master at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1986. He received his PhD degree in 1992. In the meantime, he continued his work as an editorial cartoonist for Technique, the newspaper of Georgia Tech (1985-1986), and back home for both the political journal Yeni Gundem and the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet. He eventually returned to Turkey, where he worked as an assistant-professor in the computer science department of Yildiz Technical University. He also taught at the Computer Science departments of Bosphorus and Marmara Universities. In 1995 he returned to the USA as an assistant-professor in Visualization Programming at the architecture department of Texas A&M University. He was promoted to associate professor in 2001 and then to full professor in 2007. He is one of the founders of the department Visualisation, and still works for Texas A&M University as of 2020.

One of Akleman's cartoons for Girgir (1978), based on an idea by Mehmet Cagcag.

Akleman has had more than 150 publications in leading journals and conferences in a wide variety of disciplines, from computer graphics, computer-aided design and mathematics to art, architecture and social sciences. While his daily work is focused on mathematics research and moviemaking, he is also a professional cartoonist who published more than 500 cartoons. He has a bi-monthly column called 'Computing through Time' in the flagship magazine of the IEEE Computer Society, IEEE Computer. He has written and illustrated several children's books in Turkish. He also writes monthly popular science articles with his own illustrations.

As a researcher, his most significant and influential contributions have been in shape modeling and computer-aided sculpting. He developed a powerful manifold mesh modeling system called TopMod. Many talented artists have created sculptures using the software, many of which can be watched on YouTube. Akleman teaches both technical and artistic courses in Visualization, Computer Science and Engineering, Architecture and Computer Science and Engineering. Most of his former students have eventually went to work in leading companies such as PIXAR, Disney, DreamWorks, Digital Domain, Google, Amazon and Facebook.

Latter-day cartoon from a popular science magazine.


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