Why is CGI in the Movies Still So Hard?

College of Natural Sciences | Point of Discovery

As the summer movie season kicks into high gear, we talk with a scientist about some of the challenges in simulating the way everyday objects behave on the big screen through computer generated imagery (CGI). Etienne Vouga's computer simulations have helped bring to life a wizard's hair in The Hobbit and clothing in Tangled.

New Method of Producing Random Numbers Could Improve Cybersecurity

With an advance that one cryptography expert called a "masterpiece," University of Texas at Austin computer scientists have developed a new method for producing truly random numbers, a breakthrough that could be used to encrypt data, make electronic voting more secure, conduct statistically significant polls and more accurately simulate complex systems such as Earth's climate.

A.I. Expert Weighs in on Historic Computer vs. Human Contest

AlphaGo, a program that plays what many consider the most difficult of board games, Go, has just won the first of five matches against the world's top human player. The series is scheduled to continue through March 12. Developed by Google's DeepMind subsidiary, AlphaGo has already beaten the European Go champion. A few days before the latest competition, we asked Risto Miikkulainen, an artificial intelligence researcher at the University of Texas at Austin, for his thoughts on this historic contest.

Peter Stone Earns Autonomous Agents Research Award

Professor Peter Stone has been selected as the recipient of the 2016 ACM/SIGAI Autonomous Agents Research Award. Stone's work is exceptional in both its breadth and depth in multiagent systems. Some of his most influential work has been in reinforcement learning and multiagent learning as applied to robot soccer, autonomous traffic management, and trading agents.

Nomadic Computing Speeds Up Big Data Analytics

University of Texas researcher designs novel way to analyze bigger datasets using supercomputers and machine learning algorithms.

How do Netflix or Facebook know which movies you might like or who you might want to be friends with?

Here’s a hint: It starts with a few trillion data points and involves some complicated math and a lot of smart computer programming.

Computer Science vs. Cancer: How Precision Medicine is Turning the Tables on Cancer

There are few things as full of anxiety, heartbreak, and anguish as finding out that you or someone you love has cancer. Unfortunately, it’s not at all uncommon. By the American Cancer Society’s estimates it is expected that in the year 2015 alone, there will be 1.6 million new cancer diagnoses and nearly 600,000 deaths—or roughly 1,600 people every day. But statistics are hardly necessary to realize the enormity of the problem. So far, the road to a cure has been long and complicated and with what’s seemed like no end in sight—until recently.


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