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Pixar’s Tony DeRose Reveals How Math Makes Movies

Lecture | September 11 | 7 p.m. |  Berkeley City College Auditorium


2050 Center Street, Berkeley

Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), Simons Foundation


“Math in the Movies.” Tony DeRose will illustrate the extraordinary contribution of mathematics to animated films. Pixar constructs movies entirely on computers, and math and science underlie the stunning visuals that are essential to their storytelling. Using numerous clips from such productions as Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, The Incredibles, Monsters, Inc. and Brave, DeRose will demonstrate how this done through advances made in computer technology, physics, geometry, and applied math. His talk is part of the “Not on the Test: The Pleasures and Uses of Mathematics” series of six public lectures in 2013–14, which are jointly presented by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) and the Berkeley City College (BCC).

Tony DeRose is a senior scientist and lead of the research group at Pixar Animation Studios. He received a bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of California, Davis, and a doctorate in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley. From 1986 to 1995, Dr. DeRose was a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington. In 1998, he was a major contributor to the Oscar-winning short film Geri’s game, in 1999 he received the ACM SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award, and in 2006 he received a Scientific and Technical Academy Award for his work on surface representations. In addition to his research interests, Tony is also involved in a number of initiatives to help make math, science, and engineering education more inspiring and relevant for middle- and high-school students. An example is the Young Makers Program that supports youth in building ambitious hands-on projects of their own choosing.


annepf@msri.org