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The 9th Annual Pi Mu Epsilon Lecture was given on September 25, 2015 by Professor Michael Dorff from Brigham Young University

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How Mathematics is Making Hollywood Movies Better

What’s your favorite recent movie? Frozen? The Avengers? Avatar? Transformers? What do these and all the highest earning Hollywood movies since 2000 have in common? Mathematics! You probably didn't think about it while watching these movies, but math was used to help make them. In this presentation, we will discuss how math is being used to create better and more realistic movies. Along the way we will discuss some specific movies and the mathematics behind them. We will include examples from Disney’s 2013 movie Frozen (how to use math to create realistic looking snow) to Pixar’s 2004 movie The Incredibles (how to use math to make an animated character move faster). Come and join us and get a better appreciation of mathematics and movies.

Michael Dorff

About the Speaker

Michael Dorff is a professor of mathematics at Brigham Young University in Utah. He received his PhD in complex analysis from the University of Kentucky in 1997. He is the founder and director of the $2.6 million NSF-funded Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics (CURM). He has received several university and national teaching awards including a Mathematical Association of America's Haimo Teaching Award, the top U.S. award for teaching undergraduate mathematics, and BYU's top teaching award, the Maeser Excellence in Teaching Award, both in 2010. In 2012, he was honored with BYU's Egbert Teaching and Learning Fellowship and was named a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society. He is married with five daughters. His interests include reading, traveling, running, music, and soccer.

The Pi Mu Epsilon lecture series is made possible through the support of the UNL Mathematics Department, the Nebraska Alpha Chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon and the Nebraska Math Scholars program.

For more information contact Daniel Toundykov