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Tom Duff

Library: Tom Duff

1952 -


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Thomas Douglas Selkirk Duff (b. December 8, 1952) is a computer programmer. He was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and grew up in Toronto and Leaside. In 1974 he graduated from the University of Waterloo with a B.Math and, two years later, got a M.Sc. from the University of Toronto.

He worked at the New York Institute of Technology Computer Graphics Lab and the Mark Williams Company in Chicago. Later he was with the Lucasfilm Computer Research and Development Division. While at Bell Labs Computing Science Research Center, he authored the well known "rc" shell for the (Unix-like) Plan 9 operating system. He moved to Pixar Animation Studios in 1996.

In 1995 he was awarded (with others) the Academy Scientific and Engineering Award for his work on digital image compositing. With Bill Reeves he designed the first version of Pixar's Marionette 3-D animation system, which won the same award in 1997.

While working at Lucasfilm, he created Duff's device, a loop-unrolling mechanism in C.

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