Alumna Aleka McAdams on award winning team for the 2020 Oscars, Scientific and Technical Achievement

Aleka McAdams, an alumna of UCLA Mathematics, is part of the award winning team that accepted a 2020 Oscars for Scientific and Technical Achievement.

McAdams and her team received the Technical Achievement Award for the Walt Disney Animation Studios Hair Simulation System at the virtual ceremony this past Saturday, February 13, 2021.

“The WDAS Hair Simulation System is a robust, predictable, fast and highly art-directable system built on the mathematics of discrete elastic rods. This has provided Disney artists the flexibility to manipulate hair in hyper-realistic ways to create the strong silhouettes required for character animation and has enabled a wide range of complex hairstyles in animated feature films.”

McAdams is a Senior Software Engineer at Walt Disney Animation Studios on the Simulation team.  She received her Ph.D. in applied mathematics at UCLA in 2011 and was a student of Joseph Teran. Her work is primarily in physics-based simulation for movie special effects.

Below is a short video of McAdams and her team accepting the award. More information can be found on the Oscars website:

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