Associate Dean, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
Brigham Young University
BSCE ’75, MSCE '77, PhD '83

“My three years as a PhD student at Purdue laid the foundation for a very fulfilling career in academia. Dave Anderson’s CADLAB provided an exciting, cutting-edge environment in which I learned how to become an independent researcher. The excellent teachers I learned from at Purdue were great role models for my own classroom teaching.”

Dr. Thomas W. Sederberg is a professor of computer science at Brigham Young University and associate dean of the BYU College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Civil Engineering at Brigham Young University in 1975 and 1977 respectively, and in 1983 earned a PhD in mechanical engineering at Purdue, after which he joined the faculty of the civil engineering department at BYU.

Dr. Sederberg invented a technology called Free-Form Deformation which is used in most commercial animation and CAD programs. In 2003, he invented a technology called T-splines and co-founded T-Splines, Inc. to commercialize the technology. The company was acquired by Autodesk in 2012, and T-Splines is now making its way into Autodesk’s free-form surfacing software.

A new technology called Iso-Geometric Analysis (IGA) is beginning to revolutionize the field of computer aided engineering as a superior replacement technology for finite element analysis. The inventor of IGA views T-Splines as the best geometric representation for use in IGA. CAD models created using T-Splines can have IGA performed on them directly, with no need for mesh generation, yielding faster and more accurate results than conventional finite element analysis.

Dr. Sederberg's research is in the fields of computer graphics and computer aided geometric design. He is an associate editor of ACM Transactions on Graphics, and of Computer Aided Geometric Design journal. Early in his career, he received a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator award. He has also received several recognitions from Brigham Young University including the Steven V. White University Professorship, the Technology Transfer Award, and the Distinguished Faculty Lecturer Award. In 2006, ACM SIGGRAPH awarded him the Computer Graphics Achievement Award, and he received the Pierre Bezier Prize in 2013, honoring his research in computer aided design. He is listed in the Thomson Reuters publication, “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds 2014.”