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Jim was born in Spokane, WA. He received his Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Eastern Washington University and his master's degree in Computer Science from Washington State University. Jim's infuence on our feld started in 1971 when he joined the General Motors Research Laboratories. He became a computer graphics researcher and worked on computer graphics systems to support the then new computer-aided design process. In retrospect, this early work and an ACM SIGGRAPH publication on creating interactive graphical systems for CAD foreshadowed Jim's effort to create new ways to use visualization to understand complex data.