Mathieu Desbrun



circa 2003, photo by Santiago Lombeyda

Carl F. Braun Professor in Computing & Mathematical Sciences
Dept of Computing & Mathematical Sciences
MS 305-16
California Institute of Technology
1200 E. California Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91125
Tel : (626) 395 6230
Fax : (626) 792 4257
Assistant:  Diane Goodfellow,
diane _@_, (626) 395 6842




Brief bio

After obtaining a PhD in computer graphics in Grenoble, France, Desbrun joined Caltech as a postdoctoral fellow in 1998. He joined the CS department at the University of Southern California as an Assistant Professor in January 2000, where he remained for four years in charge of the GRAIL lab. He then became an Associate Professor at Caltech in the CS department in 2003, where he started the Applied Geometry lab and was awarded the ACM SIGGRAPH New Researcher award. He took on administrative duties after he became a full professor, becoming the founding chair of the Computing + Mathematical Sciences department and the director of the Information Science and Technology initiative from 2009 to 2015. More recently, he received an International Chair from France's Inria, has been the Technical Papers Chair for the ACM SIGGRAPH 2018 conference, and spent a sabbatical year at ShanghaiTech in the School of Information Science and Technology.











Head of the Applied Geometry lab

Our lab focuses on applying discrete differential geometry to a wide range of fields and applications. In particular, we approach computations from a geometric standpoint in order to provide differential, yet readily-discretizable computational foundations. Our efforts include:

·  Discrete Exterior Calculus: providing the means to handle basic computations without violating the symmetries and invariants that differential modeling leverages for predictive purposes.

·  Simulation techniques: from Computational Fluid Dynamics (variational methods for fluid dynamics) to Discrete Elasticity (thin shells and deformable objects), etc.

·  Meshing: 2D and 3D sampling, meshing, and remeshing for accurate simulations.

·  Graphics: surface modeling via mesh processing, compression, animation, etc…







Founding chair of Computing + Mathematical Sciences department


The Computing + Mathematical Sciences (CMS) department is home to outstanding students and researchers who share a passion for science and engineering, as well as a drive to investigate the most challenging, fundamental problems in computation. We cover applied mathematics, control & dynamical systems, and computer science.






International Research Community Involvement, Past and Present

Chair of the International Advisory Board for SIST, Shanghaitech; former Technical Papers chair, ACM SIGGRAPH 2018; member of the scientific committees for various conferences: Digital Geometry and Discrete Variational Calculus (2020, Luminy), Geometric computing days (2015, IESC, Cargèse), Discrete Curvature: Theory and Applications (2013, Luminy); director of the Information Science & Technology initiative at Caltech (2009-2015); ex-associate Editor of the ACM Transaction on Graphics journal; program committee member for the ACM SIGGRAPH conference and other international symposia; ex-chair of the Symposium of Computer Animation and the Symposium on Geometry Processing; review panelist for NSF and DOE programs; reviewers in various computational science and computer science journals.








Our current collaborators include:

Yiying Tong

Fernando de Goes

Jin Huang

Xiaopei Liu

Pierre Alliez

Santiago Lombeyda

Other past collaborators include:

Eva Kanso

Jerrold E. Marsden

Peter Schröder

Alan H. Barr

Eitan Grinspun






We wish to acknowledge the generous and constant support of:

·  The Carl F. Braun chair endowment at Caltech; the John W. and Herberta M. Miles chair endowment at Caltech

·  Federal funding: National Science Foundation, Department of Energy.

·  Funding from Foundations: Okawa Foundation, Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation.

·  Corporate funding: Pixar Animation Studios, Disney Animation Studios, NVidia, Microsoft Research.


We also acknowledge the INRIA for an International Chair in the TITANE group (2014-2019), and Shanghaitech for a Visiting Professor position in the School of Information Science and Technology (2019-2020).