Demetri Terzopoulos’s revolutionary research into computer graphics and computer vision — computer-based methods for extracting information from real-world images — has numerous practical applications, including automatic facial recognition, medical imaging and artificial intelligence.
He is recognised as the inventor of deformable models, shape-modelling algorithms that include the active contour model, or ‘snakes’ — a now widely used technique for defining the edges of objects in images. In addition, Demetri’s work forms the framework for physics-based modelling in computer animation, for which he won an Academy Award for technical achievement in 2006.
Demetri is also a pioneer of artificial life, an emerging field that combines theory from computer modelling and the biological sciences to simulate living systems in silico. His research has produced incredibly lifelike models of the movement, behaviour and learning of humans and animals — including artificial fish that swim, eat and even mate in a computer-generated underwater world.