The

DEAN’S MESSAGE

DEPT. NEWS

Welcome to our August eNewsletter. As August ebbs and we anticipate the upcoming school year, we are taking advantage of the chance to reflect on the state of the college.

In looking at the reports from the last academic year, I am pleased to see positive results. Our service courses are in high demand, which has required us to open additional sections each semester over the past few years. In addition to that, we have had approximately 100 additional students choose our majors each year for the past three years. We are happy to report that our undergraduates have unprecedented mentoring and research opportunities available to them and they are taking advantage. We had 712 undergraduates participating in mentored research this past year, an increase from 665 in 2010 and 510 in 2009. Such a number is a significant accomplishment for us, and we are working to enable even higher participation through the endowment funds we are working to fill.

One of the avenues to see the results of these numbers is our annual Student Research Conference, held each spring. Students practice presentation skills and showcase

their fascinating work, under the mentoring eyes of the college’s able faculty. This spring we saw 316 presentations and over half of those were given by undergraduates.

Our incoming faculty members are also bringing new life into the college. Come fall semester, we will enjoy the additions of Meghan DeWitt in the math department and David Dahl in statistics, among others. We look forward to seeing how the unique experiences of these new faculty members will add to our college and help educate our students. Dr. DeWitt and Dr. Dahl are both featured in this edition of the eNewsletter.

Other events coming up include the Summerhays lecture, where David Grandy will speak on “Rethinking the Thoughts of God,” an annual event that addresses religion and science. Our college publication Frontiers magazine will come out in September, and I encourage you to read it, in print or on our website.

CPMS has a great academic year ahead and we look forward to sharing events and education with you.

Sincerely,







ANIMATION DAZZLES AGAIN

BYU animation and computer science students have done it again. Out of 94 films representing 43 countries at the AMC SIGGRAPH 2012 Computer Animation Festival, BYU won the prize for Best Student Project.

BYU animation and computer science students have done it again. With all the finesse of a Spanish hairdresser, the team created another award-winning short film titled, “Estefan.” The short tells the tale of a world-class hair stylist, who faces the ultimate challenge—a client with no hair. Estefan must create the perfect style for Clara in order to preserve his reputation as the best of the best.

AMC SIGGRAPH (The Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques) recently announced the winners of the 2012 Computer Animation Festival. Out of the 94 films representing 43 countries judged at the festival, BYU won the prize for Best Student Project.

Jeff Call, who graduated in April with a bachelor’s in animation and worked as director of the film said the six and a half minute film took a team of 12 to 30 students, at any one time, eighteen months to complete. Call said computer science students were a big part of the project—doing more than just coding.

“They helped us out by developing code and generally handling some of the computer system stuff that most of us animation majors have no idea how to do,” he said. “But they did more than just punch numbers. We had computer science majors helping us create effects like fire, water, cloth movement and dust particles, and then a few brave volunteers even did character animation on some of our shots.”

Call said his favorite moment of the year and a half long project was watching the beloved "Zorro of Hair” come to life.

“It was amazing to see a final 2D drawing of Estefan get created, it was incredible to see that drawing of Estefan become a 3D model, and it was breathtaking to see that 3D model of Estefan move as a character and have color and life to him,” he said.

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