The Awards Banquet will be held at The Great Hall of China - Epcot Center
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 from 7:00 - 9:00pm
Guest Speaker: Dr. Eitan Grinspun, Associate Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University and Co-Director of the Columbia Computer Graphics Group
Title: From Sorcery to Science: Hollywood Physics as Computational Science
Biography: Eitan Grinspun is Associate Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University and Co-Director of the Columbia Computer Graphics Group. He was Professeur d'Université Invité at l'Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris in 2009, a Research Scientist at the Courant Institute from 2003-2004, a graduate student at the California Institute of Technology from 1997-2003, having completing an undergraduate in Engineering Science the University of Toronto. He was an NVIDIA Fellow in 2001, Everhart Distinguished Lecturer in 2003, NSF CAREER Award recipient in 2007, Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in 2010-2012, and one of Popular Science magazine's "Brilliant Ten Scientists" in 2011. Technologies developed by his lab are used in products such as Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator, at film studios such as Disney and Pixar, and in basic scientific research. He has been profiled in The New York Times, Scientific American, New Scientist, and mentioned in Variety. Recent film credits include The Hobbit, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin.
Abstract: Blockbuster films depend on computational physics. State-of-the-art visual effects rely on computational models of hair, fur, skin, cloth, fire, granular media, and liquids. This is scientific computing with a twist.
The focus is simulations that capture the qualitative, characteristic behavior of a physical system, even at very coarse discretizations. Our research group develops such numerical tools by using ideas from discrete differential geometry and discrete geometric mechanics. We build a discrete picture from the ground up, mimicking the axioms, structures, and symmetries of the smooth setting. The result is a discrete (hence immediately computable) model of the system, and in particular one that preserves conservation laws. Problems addressed via DDG include dynamic evolution of thin viscous fluid structures, granular media, and tightly knotted sheets of cloth. In this talk I will survey this approach to animating physical materials, and discuss how techniques developed originally for visual effects are beginning to have impact on consumer products, computational mechanics, and basic physical understanding.
The following awards will be presented during the Banquet: