CMU Silicon Valley welcomes Alvy Ray Smith

Date/Time: Sept 14, 2016, 1:30 pm (PT) / 4:30 pm (ET) 

Location: CMU Silicon Valley Campus: Bldg 23, Rm 118

Innovation: A Quick Guided Tour of Moore's Law and the Group Now Known as Pixar

I'll start from the first pixels in 1947 and proceed up the Moore's Law curve, the unceasing supernova dynamo of all things modern, to the current time with computers 10 billion times more powerful than they were when I did my first graphic in 1965. I'll SHOW the advances, both in stills and videos, using the group now known as Pixar as exemplary at every order-of-magnitude delivered by Moore's Law. I'll try to convey the profundity of Moore's Law and what it means for the 10-15 years (when computers will reach 1 trillion times more power), inducting on the 50 years of experience accumulated so far. I'll explain the secrets (they aren't really) of the success of the group. There will be juicy bits too: I'll tell parts of the story that is generally unknown or commonly misrepresented.

Dr. Alvy Ray Smith Cofounded two successful startups: Pixar - see Pixar founding documents - (sold to Disney) and Altamira (sold to Microsoft). First director of computer graphics at Lucasfilm. Smith was an original member of the Computer Graphics Lab of the New York Institute of Technology. First Graphics Fellow at Microsoft. At Xerox PARC for the birth of the personal computer. Received two technical Academy Awards, for the alpha channel and digital paint systems. Invented the first full-color paint program, the HSV (or HSB) color transform, and the alpha channel. Directed the Genesis Demo in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Hired John Lasseter and directed him in The Adventures of André & Wally B. Proposed and negotiated the Academy-Award winning Disney computer animation production system, CAPS. Instrumental, as a Regent, in initiating the Visible Human Project of the National Library of Medicine. Star witness in a trial that successfully invalidated five patents that threatened Adobe Photoshop. Active in the development of the HDTV standard. Smith holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University and an honorary doctorate from New Mexico State University. Member of the National Academy of Engineering. Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists. Published widely in theoretical computer science and computer graphics. Creator of many pieces of computer art, including Sunstone in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Holds four patents. Now writing a book, A Biography of the Pixel.