Bios of the Instructors

Bruce Blumberg is an Assistant Professor at the MIT Media Lab, where he has founded a new research group, ``Synthetic Characters''. The group focuses on the problem of building interactive animated characters for use in virtual environments such as immersive story-telling systems, games, and web-based worlds. His research is on the development of an ethologically-inspired architecture for building autonomous animated creatures which live in 3D virtual worlds. Blumberg did his doctoral work at the MIT Media Lab in the Autonomous Agents group under the direction of Professor Pattie Maes and received his PhD in 1996. He is one of the chief architects of the ALIVE project at the Media Lab. Previously he worked at Apple, Inc., as product manager for the LaserWriter, and at NeXT, Inc., where he was the first employee after the founders. He has presented papers at SIGGRAPH and at AI and ALife conferences.

Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Calgary. He has been conducting research in computer graphics since the late 1970s. In 1985, he originated a method for visualizing the structure and the development of plants based on L-systems, a mathematical model of development. He is a co-author of three textbooks and two monographs, Lindenmayer Systems, Fractals and Plants (Springer-Verlag 1989) and The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants (Springer-Verlag 1990), as well as approximately 50 technical papers. His current research includes the mathematical modeling and visualization of various aspects of morphogenesis. Professor Prusinkiewicz holds an M.S. and Ph.D., both in Computer Science, from the Technical University of Warsaw. Before joining the faculty of the University of Calgary, he was Professor at the University of Regina, and Assistant Professor at the University of Science and Technology of Algiers. He was also a Visiting Professor at Yale University (1988), at L'Ecole Polytechnique F\'ed\'erale de Lausanne (1990), and an invited researcher at the University of Bremen (1989) and the Centre for Tropical Pest Management in Brisbane (1993, 1994).

Craig Reynolds (SM '78 MIT; SB '75 EECS, MIT) recently joined the Feature Animation Division at DreamWorks SKG where he does R\&D primarily in behavioral animation. Previously he was a Member of the Technical Staff at the Silicon Studio division at Silicon Graphics, where he designed behavioral systems for autonomous agents in animation and interactive multimedia. His project at Silicon Studio was the ``Firewalker'' multimedia authoring system. He has been previously affiliated with Electronic Arts (1992-94), Symbolics Graphics Division (1982-91), and Information International Inc. (``triple-I'' 1979-82). He has screen credits on three feature films including TRON (1982) and Batman Returns (1992), and several animated shorts such as Breaking the Ice (1987) and {\it Ductile Flow. He has authored research publications in the fields of computer animation and evolutionary computation. His 1987 boids system, a decentralized model of bird flocking, has become a landmark of behavioral animation and Artificial Life research, and has inspired related work in robotics and theoretical biology. Reynolds is a member of ACM and SIGGRAPH.

Karl Sims studied Life Sciences as an undergraduate at MIT and later studied computer graphics at the MIT Media Laboratory. After developing special effects software for Whitney Demos Productions, and co-founding Hollywood based Optomystic, he collaborated with Thinking Machines Corporation for several years as an artist in residence and research scientist. He currently works as an independent in Cambridge, Massachusetts and continues to explore new techniques for creating images with computers. His works of computer animation include ``Panspermia,'' ``Liquid Selves,'' ``Primordial Dance,'' and ``Particle Dreams.'' His interactive installation ``Genetic Images'' was recently exhibited at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Demetri Terzopoulos (PhD '84 EECS, MIT; MEng/BEng EE, McGill U) is Professor of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto, where he heads the Visual Modeling Group and is an NSERC Steacie Fellow. Prior to joining the University of Toronto in 1989, he was a program leader at Schlumberger Corporation research centers in California and Texas. Upon completing his PhD in AI at MIT, he worked as a research scientist at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab. His published works comprise more than 150 scientific articles, primarily in computer vision and graphics, but also in computer-aided design, medical imaging, artificial intelligence, and artificial life, including 7 SIGGRAPH papers and the recent edited volumes ``Real-Time Computer Vision'' (Cambridge Univ. Press '94) and ``Animation and Simulation'' (Springer '95). He has given over 200 invited talks internationally, among them several distinguished lectures and keynote addresses. A Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, his contributions have been recognized with awards from the IEEE, the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, the International Digital Media Foundation, Ars Electronica, NICOGRAPH, and the University of Toronto. He serves on the editorial boards of Graphical Models and Image Processing, the Journal of Visualization and Computer Animation, Medical Image Analysis, and Videre a new e-journal of vision research. He has served on ARPA, NIH, and NSF advisory committees.

Daniel Thalmann is currently full Professor and Director of the Computer Graphics Laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland. He is also adjunct Professor at the University of Montreal, Canada. He received his diploma in nuclear physics and Ph.D in Computer Science from the University of Geneva. He is coeditor-in-chief of the Journal of Visualization and Computer Animation, member of the editorial board of the Visual Computer, the CADDM Journal (China Engineering Society) and Computer Graphics (Russia). He is cochair of the EUROGRAPHICS Working Group on Computer Simulation and Animation and member of the Executive Board of the Computer Graphics Society. Daniel Thalmann was member of numerous Program Committees, Program Chair of several conferences and chair of Computer Graphics International '93 and Pacific Graphics '95. He has also organized 4 courses at SIGGRAPH on human animation. Daniel Thalmann's research interests include 3D computer animation, image synthesis, virtual reality, artificial life and multimedia. He has published more than 200 papers in these areas, is coeditor of 20 books, and coauthor of several books including: Computer Animation: Theory and Practice and Image Synthesis: Theory and Practice. He is also codirector of several computer-generated films with synthetic actors including a synthetic Marilyn Monroe shown on many TV channels all over the world.