(This page was created many years ago, but still may be of interest.)
To current RPI students: There is light at the end of the tunnel. Here are 48 RPI grads who have done or are doing graphics-related work.
Salim Abi-Ezzi, PhD ECSE, is Director, R&D at VMware. "Salim had a long tenure in the domain of 3D graphics and multimedia. Salim has a Ph.D. in computer science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, five years experience at Sun Microsystems, and seven years at Microsoft where he worked on multimedia components for Internet Explorer including DirectAnimation and DirectX Transform. Salim has four patents and sixteen technical publications." - Connections 2002
Varol Akman, PhD ECSE, is chair of the Department of Philosophy, Bilkent University (Turkey).
Anthony Apodaca, Masters, CSYS, RPI, Director of Graphics Research and Development at Pixar Animation Studios. He is co-creator of the RenderMan Interface Specification (RISpec), which won an Oscar. His film credits include almost all of the titles produced by Pixar - Wikipedia.
Peter Atherton, PhD RPI, with Kevin Weiler, did the Weiler-Atherton concave polygon clipping algorithm, which has many web references. Atherton is now Senior Manager Industrial Partnerships at Sandia National Laboratories.
Karthik Bala, co-founder of Vicarious Visions. - https://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,59889/
Lazlo Bardos: "MapInfo was founded in 1986 by four Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute students and their advisor Michael Marvin." - GIS Development.
Jean Pierre Bordes Director of Application Engineering at AMD, formerly a Principal Engineer at NVIDIA. The company he help to start, Ageia Technologies, developed physics-engine hardware and software. They were bought by NVIDIA in 2008. - https://www.linkedin.com/in/jean-pierre-bordes-60124a8
Al Barr, PhD RPI, now on the faculty at Caltech, works "to enhance the mathematical and scientific foundations of computer graphics, extending it beyond mere picture-making to the point that reconfigurable models have great predictive power." - http://www.gg.caltech.edu/~barr/
David Breen, PhD RPI, Assoc Professor at Drexel in the Geometric Biomedical Computing Group, among many other things, co-authored Cloth Modeling and Animation. Home page. As of Dec 2014, he is also the Deputy Director of the NSF Center for Visual & Decision Informatics (CVDI), a joint center between Drexel and the University of Louisiana. - http://www.cs.drexel.edu/~david/
Al Bunshaft, masters RPI, is Managing Director of Dassault Systèmes' Americas organization, and is former Global Vice President of IBM PLM. - http://www.3ds.com/press-releases/single/dassault-systemes-names-al-bunshaft-managing-director-americas/
Lou Doctor, BS RPI, co-founded Raster Technologies Inc in the 1980s.
Graham Doig, RPI'79, is the Director, Information Technologies and Infrastructure at Rensselaer.
Andrew Dressel: another founder of MapInfo.
Bruce Edwards, RPI'82, wrote Implementation of a Ray-tracing Algorithm for Rendering Superquadric Solids.
John Fisher, RPI'73, (approx) is the Director of Information Security at Rensselaer.
Phillip Getto, Masters, RPI, now Chief Technology Officer, VP Engineering at OraMetrix, Dallas, TX
Michael B Gousie, PhD RPI, is on the faculty of Wheaton College (Mass).
John Haller: another founder of MapInfo.
Metin Inanc, PhD RPI, is a software architect at Vestel, and an adjunct at Ozyegin University.
Joaquim Jorge, RPI PhD, is now Associate Professor of Computer Science at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST/UTL), the School of Engineering of the Technical University of Lisboa, Portugal. He is Editor-in-Chief at Computers and Graphics Journal, among other accomplishments. - https://web.ist.utl.pt/jorgej/
Mohan Kankanhalli, PhD RPI, is on the faculty of the National University of Singapore, and is the Associate Provost (Graduate Education). - http://www.comp.nus.edu.sg/~mohan/
George Kyriazis, BS RPI, did/does graphics software for SGI, NVIDIA, Apple & AMD. - http://www.linkedin.com/pub/george-kyriazis/7/619/35.
Olin Lathrop, ME, EE RPI 1980, wrote The Way Computer Graphics Works, ISBN 0471130400, and is CTO of Embed Inc.
David Loffredo (PhD CS, 1998). Co-founder of STEP Tools, Inc. and now serves as its Vice President of Product Development. - http://www.linkedin.com/in/loffredo
Carl Machover, BS RPI, ran Machover Associates, a computer graphics consultancy, and wrote ''The CAD/CAM Handbook''. Unfortunately he passed away in March 2012. http://obits.dignitymemorial.com/dignity-memorial/obituary.aspx?n=Carl-Machover&lc=1312&pid=156333874&mid=5021637
Ken Martin (PhD CS, 1998) Chairman, CFO and co-founder of Kitware. - http://www.kitware.com/company/team/martin.html
Don Meagher, PhD RPI, founded the Octree Corp.
James Miller, PhD CS, 1997. He's at GE Global Research, working on medical image analysis. Earlier, he worked on ITK and VTK. - http://www.linkedin.com/pub/james-miller/6/230/850
Alan Mingo, RPI'84, is at IBM.
Steve Morein, BS RPI, Principal Architect at Synaptics. Formerly AMD Fellow, RSSI founder, etc. http://www.linkedin.com/pub/stephen-morein/19/a6a/42a
Chandra Narayanaswami, PhD RPI, Principal RSM, Chief Scientist and Senior Manager, IBM Commerce Research, "led the multi-site IBM Research effort on developing the high function wrist watch computer running Linux" - http://researcher.watson.ibm.com/researcher/view.php?person=us-chandras
Robert O'Bara (M.Eng. ECSE, 1988). He's now at Kitware and works on "geometric modeling, mesh generation, model and mesh visualization, and general scientific visualization techniques.". - http://www.kitware.com/company/team/obara.html
Sean O'Sullivan another founder of MapInfo.
Dragana Pavlovic, masters RPI, is Strategy Manager at Xerox, and formerly VP Control Systems Platform at Xerox.
Helio Pedrini, PhD ECSE, is on the faculty of the Institute of Computing at University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brasil, http://www.ic.unicamp.br/~helio .
Michael Potmesil, PhD ECSE, co-inventor of The Pixel Machine.
Curtis Priem, NVIDIA Chief Technical Officer, had been the architect for the first graphics processor for the PC, the IBM Professional Graphics Adapter, and more recently had developed the GX graphics chips at Sun Microsystems." - Firingsquad]. Priem'82 is now an RPI Trustee and a generous benefactor.
LTC Clark K Ray III, PhD 1994 ECSE, was on the faculty of the US Military Academy. His PhD was Representing Visibility for Siting Problems.
Prof David F. Rogers RPI'67, is the Director of Aeronautics, The United States Naval Academy, and author of several books on graphics. Bio.
Tobi Saulnier, BS, MS, PhD ECSE, founder and CEO of 1st Playable Productions. Mentioned in IEEE Spectrum, Dec 2007. - http://www.1stplayable.com/1st-playable--our-team.html http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/software/the-player
Will Schroeder (PhD Math, 1991). President, CEO and co-founder of Kitware.
Chris Stuetzle, PhD RPI, is on the faculty of Merrimack College.
David Tonnesen, MS RPI, currently at Digital Domain. http://www.linkedin.com/pub/david-tonnesen/0/89b/b1
Jay Torborg, BS RPI, co-founded Raster Technologies Inc in the 1980s. He was later Director of graphics and multimedia in Microsoft's Consumer Windows® Division, http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/press/1999/jun99/shadowpr.aspx
Kevin Weiler, PhD RPI, with Peter Atherton, did the Weiler-Atherton concave polygon clipping algorithm, which has many web references. He is now Sr. Engineering Mgr at Adobe Systems.
Peter Y. Wu, PhD ECSE, is an Assistant Professor, Information Science Program at the University of Pittsburgh.
William Yerazunis, MERL Research Lab Senior Principal Member Research Staff and Hardware Team Leader, PhD RPI 1987, among other things did the DiamondTouch, "a simultaneous, multi-user, touch sensitive input device". and haptic stylus - http://www.merl.com/people/yerazunis/
Ed Zander, BS (EE) RPI, among many other positions, was President and COO of Sun Microsystems, and then Chairman and CEO of Motorola.
Don't get overconfident. Theodore Cooper was also an RPI alum. He was chief engineer of the Quebec Bridge, the longest cantilever bridge in the world for many decades. It collapsed during construction in 1907, killing about 75 workers. Refs: http://www.mysteriesofcanada.com/quebec/quebec-bridge-collapse/ http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi220.htm . However, that was over 100 years ago.
Message to RPI any graphics alumnus/a not included here: Please accept my apologies and give me your info.