Papers

by Alvy Ray Smith

 

CA = Cellular Automata

CG = Computer Graphics

DNA = Scholarly Genealogy

 

Miscellaneous Others:

The Dawn of Digital Light

His Just Deserts: A Review of Four Turing Books

How Pixar Used Moore's Law to Predict the Future

Why Do Movies Move?

The Curious Door: Charles Dodgson & the Iffley Yew

Shuttering Mechanisms of Zoetrope and Zoopraxiscope

 

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The Dawn of Digital Light

in IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Oct.-Dec. 2016, vol. 38, no. 4, pp. 74-91.

Abstract. The pixel serves as a unifying concept bringing computer graphics and image processing, indeed all pixel-mediated fields, into a single world called digital light. This article utilizes known instances and original research to reunify the early history of digital light. It shows that the first pictures, video games, and computer animations were in fact created on the earliest computers..

 

His Just Deserts: A Review of Four Turing Books

in Notices of the AMS, Sept. 2014, vol. 61, no. 8, pp. 891-895.  A review of four books about Alan Turing. AMS = American Mathematical Society. Cover design based on the article, and About the cover for it.

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How Pixar Used Moore's Law to Predict the Future

in Wired Online, www.wired.com, Opinion, 17 Apr. 2013.

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Why Do Movies Move?

in This Explains Everything: Deep, Beautiful, and Elegant Theories of How the World Works. John Brockman, ed. New York: Harper Perennial, 2013. pp. 269-272.

Extract. Movies are not smooth. The time between frames is empty. . . . How can we explain this? . . . the explanation is rather important, and one of my favorites.

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The Curious Door: Charles Dodgson & the Iffley Yew

with Alison Gopnik, Knight Letter, Journal of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America, Winter 2011, vol. 2, issue 17, no. 87, pp. 17-24.

Abstract. We argue that an ancient yew in the graveyard of the 1170 church in Iffley, Oxfordshire, famous for the four-foot opening into its hollow interior, was the inspiration for the four-foot door in the tree in Alice's Adventures under Ground, the manuscript for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Archival photographs, parish records, current gravestones, Dodgson's diaries, and catalogs of his photographs contribute to the carefully argued thesis.

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Shuttering Mechanisms of Zoetrope and Zoopraxiscope

2015

Abstract. Careful simulations of the mechanisms of two early cinema machines, the zoetrope and the zoopraxiscope, reveal how the shuttering actually works.

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