Disney Research - Technology to Create the Magic

Prof. Markus Gross, Disney Reseach and ETH Zurich
Wednesday, November 8

Abstract: Disney Research's mission is to drive value for The Walt Disney Company by delivering scientific & technological innovation Company-wide. Our world-class research talent invents and transfers the most compelling technologies enabling the Company to differentiate its content, services, and products. Our world-class research teams in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Zurich focus on a variety of research applications including Visual Computing, Machine Intelligence, Robotics, Human Computer Interaction, and Digital Fabrication. In this talk, I will give an overview of the Disney Research organization, explain how we engage with business partners and transfer innovations into products and shows. Examples include novel technologies for life action and animation features, storytelling in virtual and augmented reality, the design of novel robotic systems, and machine learning for language processing and analytics.

Biography: Bio: Markus Gross is a Professor of Computer Science at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH), head of the Computer Graphics Laboratory, Vice President for Global Research and Development, and the head of Disney Research. His research interests include physically based modeling, computer animation, immersive displays, and video technology. Before joining Disney, Gross was director of the Institute of Computational Sciences at ETH. He received a master of science in electrical and computer engineering and a PhD in computer graphics and image analysis, both from Saarland University in Germany in 1986 and 1989. Gross is a fellow of the ACM and of the EUROGRAPHICS Association and serves on the boards of numerous international research institutes. In 2013 he received a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Konrad Zuse Medal of GI, and the Karl Heinz Beckurts prize.

Building Smarter Cars & Cities from Spatial Data

Bryan Mistele, Founder & CEO of INRIX
Thursday, November 9

Abstract: Cities are dynamic, constantly in motion, and transportation is fundamental to their social and economic development. However, the movement of people and freight has become increasingly complex with explosive population growth impacting the safety of citizens, and the ability to sustain a vibrant urban environment that is livable and provides an efficient transportation system.

The mega-trends of Autonomous, Connected, Electric and Shared vehicles (the 'ACES') are transforming transportation - these trends are changing how auto makers think of vehicle-based data, and how transportation agencies plan and operate using this data. In this talk, Bryan will discuss how big data and transportation intelligence is helping automakers and cities mine, manage, analyze and communicate more effectively to improve our society.

Biography: Bryan Mistele is the founder & CEO of INRIX, a leading provider of traffic information, connected car services and transportation analytics. He grew up in Detroit, spent time in Boston and now lives in the Seattle area. He got his Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering at the University of Michigan (go Blue!) and then an MBA at Harvard. Bryan worked at Ford Motor Company and Microsoft prior to starting INRIX.

When he’s not working at INRIX, he spends time with his family. His greatest interests are boating, politics and Christianity.