Computer Science Professor Terzopoulos Named a Royal Academy Fellow

May 1, 2014

By UCLA Samueli Newsroom

By Bill Kisliuk

Demetri Terzopoulos, Distinguished Professor and Chancellor’s Professor of Computer Science at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, has been elected a 2014 fellow of the prestigious Royal Society of London in recognition of his groundbreaking work in computer vision and graphics.

Fellowship in the Royal Society, the world’s oldest scientific academy in continuous existence, is granted to those who have made substantial contributions to their field in science, medicine or engineering. It is one of the highest honors a scientist can receive.

The Royal Society’s citation reads: “Demetri Terzopoulos is an internationally renowned researcher in both computer vision and computer graphics and his work has helped to unify these two fields. He co-invented the seminal ‘active contours’ algorithm, which is widely used in computer vision. He pioneered the development of deformable models and their application to vision and graphics, as well as to related domains such as medical imaging and computer-aided design. In the field of artificial life, his ground-breaking work combines biomechanics with theories of intelligence, including motor control, perception, behavior, cognition and learning, to yield remarkably realistic computer simulations of humans and other animals.”

Terzopoulos joined the UCLA faculty in 2005.

In 2006 he received a Technical Achievement Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his pioneering research on physics-based computer animation. IEEE recognized him in 2007 with its inaugural Computer Vision Distinguished Researcher Award for his work on deformable models and their applications. In addition to becoming a Royal Society Fellow, Terzopoulos is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), IEEE and the Royal Society of Canada, and he was a Guggenheim Fellow. He has been a member of the European Academy of Sciences and the New York Academy of Sciences, and is a Life Member of Sigma Xi.

“Election to the fellowship of the Royal Society is a great honor,” Terzopoulos said. “While the greatest reward for my work and that of my students is to make advances in our fields of interest, it is a thrill to be placed in such distinguished company.”

Founded in 1660, the Royal Society applies a rigorous peer-review process to elect a maximum of 63 fellows, foreign members and honorary fellows each year from a group of more than 700 candidates proposed by the fellowship. The Society has roughly 1,450 fellows, including 80 Nobel laureates.

The fellowship of the Royal Society has included Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Francis Crick and James Watson, Stephen Hawking and Tim Berners-Lee.

Terzopoulos is the seventh member of the UCLA faculty to receive the honor.

For more information about the Royal Society and a complete list of the 2014 fellows, visit

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