Movie stars covet Academy Awards(reg), but few can claim one. Tom Williams has two on his shelf, one for "Scientific and Engineering," and another for "Technical Achievement." And if this fails to impress you, he also has more than 20 film credits, including: Terminator 2, Jurassic Park, The Mask, Forrest Gump, Jumanji, and Twister. Williams spent seven years at Industrial Light & Magic as a computer graphics supervisor, director of research and development, and executive in charge of digital effects. In this capacity, he supervised the development of breakthrough technology that resulted in the film effects that not only won him the Academy Awards, but would have been impossible to create using more traditional special effects. Just think about those dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. Engineers who have viewed any of the above movies can appreciate this engineering feet. Williams now heads long-range product development and research at Silicon Graphics' Alias/Wavefront subsidiary.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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