Nadia Magnenat Thalmann

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Nadia Magnenat Thalmann
Nadia Magnenat Thalmann.jpg
Fields Computer scientist
Notable awards 2013 CGI Achievement Award
2012 Humboldt Research Award
2010 Honorary Doctorate from University of Ottawa
2010 Eurographics Distinguished Career Award
2009 Dr. Honoris Causa in Natural Sciences from the Leibniz University of Hanover
2009 Eurographics Medical First Prize

Prof Nadia Magnenat Thalmann is a Swiss Canadian computer graphics scientist, Director of the Institute for Media Innovation (IMI) in Singapore at Nanyang Technological University, and founder and head of the MIRALab Research Laboratory at the University of Geneva.


Thalmann has made early contributions in computer graphics during her PhD by simulating 3D electronic densities of the Schrödinger equation's approximate solutions (1977). Later on, she pioneered the modelling of realistic Virtual Humans, particularly producing the first simulation of a 3D version of Marilyn Monroe in the film Rendez-vous in Montreal (1987) and showing her work at the Modern Art Museum in New York in 1988 along with Canadian computer artists.

She published several landmark papers on facial and body deformation methods and cloth simulation. She made several original contributions in MRI segmentation methods correlated with clinical findings. She also modelled the simulation of Virtual Ballerinas where their hip cartilage deformations can be visualized while dancing. More recently, she has worked on the social autonomous robot Nadine[1][2] alike of herself that is able to speak, recognize people and gestures, express mood and emotions, and remember actions.


Nadia Magnenat Thalmann received a BS in Psychology, a BS in Biology and a Master in Biochemistry at the University of Geneva. She obtained a PhD in Quantum Physics in 1977 from the same University. She was a Professor at the University of Montreal until 1989 and then at the University of Geneva where she founded the laboratory MIRALab.

She is currently Director of the Institute for Media Innovation at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Thalmann has authored and co-authored more than 500 papers in the area of Virtual Humans, including social robots, VR, and 3D simulation of articulations (CV [3]). She has participated in more than 45 European research projects and led quite a few of them (CV pages [4]). Additionally, she is coordinator of the European project Multiscale Human.

Honors and Awards[edit]

Thalmann has received more than 30 honors and awards [5] such as "Woman of the Year",[6] for early original contribution in computer graphics in Montreal (1987). More recently, she was awarded a Doctor Honoris Causa in Natural sciences from the Leibniz University of Hanover (2009), an Honorary Doctorate of the University of Ottawa [7] (2010) and a Career Achievement Award from the Canadian Human Computer Communications Society [8] in Toronto (2012). She received the same year the prestigious Humboldt Research Award [9] in Germany given to academics whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future. She has also produced several award winning films, among them "Virtual Marilyn" at the Golden Camera Ceremony in Berlin. Her film "High Fashion in Equations" has won the CGI 2007 Best International Scientific Video award and was shown in SIGGRAPH Electronic Theatre.


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