I’ve just started reading Ed Catmull’s book, Creativity, Inc. Early on Ed explains that he came up with both the z-buffer and texture mapping techniques that had a profound impact on my childhood (Threewave CTF in Quake 1, anybody?). This reminded me of an anecdote the instructor of my second graphics class once shared.
Jarek Rossignac told us about his giving a talk during his tenure as a researcher at IBM. Jarek’s talk was about his research of subdivision of curves. After the talk, a gentleman struck up a conversation with him. That gentleman ended up being Pierre Bézier, the man who popularized the Bézier Curve.