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The algorithm that won an Oscar

Hollywood likes a good explosion.  Now, with the help of an open source algorithm called Wavelet Turbulence, filmmakers can digitally create pyrotechnics that were formerly time-consuming and difficult to control.

UCSB’s Theodore Kim (along with three collaborators) picked up the Academy Award in Technical Achievement for Wavelet Turbulence. The algorithm uses a theory of turbulence developed in the 1940s by Russian mathematician Andrey Kolmogorov.

So far, it has been used in over 26 major hollywood productions including Avatar, Sherlock Holmes, Hugo, and Super 8 (pictured above).

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