And the Oscar Goes To… a Mathematician?
When you sit down to watch The Oscars on Sunday, February 22, you’ll be witnessing history when a mathematician takes home one of those 13.5″ tall gold statuettes.
Math professor Robert Bridson from the University of British Columbia will receive an Academy Award for Technical Achievement, in particular, for his “pioneering work on voxel data structures and its subsequent validation in fluid simulation tools,” according to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Less technically, he figured out the mathematical software used to create breathtaking scenes for Gravity, Avatar, The Avengers, and The Hobbit.
Incidentally, Bridson is also the first person from Newfoundland to win an Academy Award. He said he hopes his win will inspire kids who like movies to consider a career in mathematics.
Bridson may be the first mathematician honored by the Academy, but his work is certainly not the first math to appear in a movie. The following gem, uploaded to YouTube by AlonzoMosleyFBI, shows 100 different movie clip in which each number 1‑100 is used in a quote. Awesome.