CS Professor Wojciech Jarosz has received an NSF CAREER Award! The NSF Program “offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research.”
Wojciech's research tackles problems in computer graphics concerned with capturing, simulating, manipulating, and physically realizing how light interacts with its environment. A core part of his research is developing more efficient ways to simulate the physics of light and how it bounces around in the world, with the goal of creating photorealistic computer-generated images. This becomes especially challenging in complex scenes consisting of not only solid objects but also materials like fog, clouds, or our own skin, each of which scatter light volumetrically in all three dimensions. This research draws on fields as disparate as nuclear engineering, atmospheric sciences, and art. Leading a team at Dartmouth's Visual Computing Lab, and previously at Disney Research, Wojciech's research has been incorporated into production rendering systems and has directly contributed to the rapid increase in visual complexity and realism in animated films and special effects in the last decade.
While computer graphics rendering can produce the realistic and beautiful imagery we see in movies today, the algorithms used are brittle and require tuning by skilled practitioners. In the NSF-funded research, Wojciech and his team will work to address this long-standing problem, with the goal of democratizing these tools so they are not restricted to computer graphics professionals.