Astronomer and Evolutionary Computation Designer Announced as VES Speaker

Category: News
Los Angeles, Calif. - The Visual Effects Society (VES) announced that Dr. Rich Terrile, NASA astronomer and evolutionary computer visionary, will be the featured speaker at the VES Production Summit 2010 on October 23rd. Dr. Terrile is the director of the Center for Evolutionary Computation and Automated Design at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Terrile uses techniques based on biological evolution and development to advance the fields of robotics and computer intelligence. He has a Ph.D. in Planetary Science from the California Institute of Technology and has developed missions to Mars and to the outer solar system. Terrile’s other areas of expertise include the development of medical instrumentation for neurosurgery and the study of planetary rings and geology. He has discovered four moons and is the first to photograph another solar system.

Eric Roth, VES executive director, states, "We're honored to have such a distinguished scientist as Dr. Terrile as our featured speaker. His real-world experience is what inspires so many of our members to get into our industry, and continues to provide fertile ground for creatively telling stories in all aspects of entertainment.”

Terrile is also a science and technical consultant for films, television, corporate, and financial customers including work with Academy Award-winning directors James Cameron and Steven Soderbergh. Several science shows including this year’s Discovery Science Channel series “Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman,” in addition to “Destination Mars,” and “The Astronomers – Prospecting for Planets,” have featured him and his work.

VES chair Jeffrey A. Okun adds, "Having a speaker of the stature of Dr. Terrile is essential to helping those of us in the entertainment field lift our heads out of our day-to-day work and envision possibilities that we have never considered before. It is all about gaining perspective and then applying it to our current vision of the work and the future. Our industry is in the throes of a technological tsunami that will effect both the business and the product and we need to look at innovative ways to define and create a viable future for ourselves. Dr. Terrile is a leader in this.”

The day will feature sessions on topics including technology, evolving roles, how to harness inspirational opportunities, and the global production marketplace, from the perspectives of everything from acquisition to distribution. The event will be held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Marina del Rey.


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