Math Encounters: PIXAR’s Lead Researcher Tony DeRose on Math in the Movies

03/06/13 | 4:30-7:30pm

National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath)

11 E. 26th St. Map


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Afternoon Presentation 4:30 p.m. Refreshments, 5 p.m.

Evening Presentation 7:00pm Refreshments 6:30pm at MoMath, 11 E.26th St.

Founded as the computer effects division of George Lucas’s LucasFilms in 1979, backed by Steve Jobs in 1986, bought by Disney in 2006 and grossing more in one year than any other film studio in history, PIXAR’s math roots run deep. The Rat in Ratatouille, the fish in Finding Nemo, the robot in WALL-E, and the curly-haired redhead in 2012’s Brave were all created by mathematicians manipulating the most sophisticated tools on the cutting edge of computer technology, computational physics, geometry and approximation theory.

Join Tony DeRose, Senior Scientist and lead of the Research Group at PIXAR Animation Studios, as he uses examples from PIXAR’s feature films to provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the role math plays in the digital revolution taking place in film today. For example, for the curly red hair on the heroine in 2012’s Brave, PIXAR published a memo about the high-level math behind it that explained, “To satisfy the artistic requirement of maintaining the curl’s helical shape during motion, we proposed a hair model based upon an extensible elastic rod.” Tony will be introduced by Ira Flatow, Host and Executive Producer of National Public Radio’s popular Science Friday radio program (6:30 pm only). Math Encounters is a public presentation series celebrating the spectacular world of mathematics and presented by the Simons Foundation and the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath).

Venue Description: The country's only cultural institution devoted solely to mathematics, featuring state-of-the-art exhibitions and programming for all ages. By Subway: Take the #6, F, M, N, or R to 23rd Street, or the #6, N, or R to 28th Street. Please note the F, M, N, and R lines run closest to MoMath.

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