University of Toronto professor takes home Steacie Prize

by Liam Britten

For the second year in a row, the Steacie Prize for Natural Sciences has gone to a University of Toronto professor. This year it was Aaron Hertzmann, a professor at the Department of Computer Science, who took home the award in recognition for his work linking three separate research areas within computer science — computer graphics, machine learning and computer vision — to resolve a wide range of computer graphics problems.

“I am fascinated by the simple tasks that we as humans do easily and unthinkingly, but are extraordinarily difficult for computers,” said Hertzmann in a press release. “I especially focus on things with a visual component.”

Hertzmann has collaborated with heavyweights in computer animation. He was an advisor to Chris Landreth, an Academy Award-winning animator and director, on non-photorealistic animation methods for the 2009 short film The Spine. He has also worked for Pixar Animation Studios, where he has served as a visiting research scientist.

The Steacie Prize, with a value of $10,000, is awarded annually for exceptional research contributions from a scientist or engineer aged 40 or younger.

To view a video produced by Hertzmann that illustrates some of the principles of his work, click here.

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Liam Britten

Liam Britten

Liam Britten is a writer and editor with a journalism background operating out of Vancouver. In addition to his work at Techvibes, he has been published in student publications across Canada, as well as local newspapers such as The MapleRidge-Pitt Meadows TIMES and The Langley Advance. An aficionado for the finer things in life — such as video games and sports — Liam is plugged into the tech... more

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