Mathieu Desbrun


circa 2003, photo by Santiago Lombeyda

Advanced Researcher at Inria
Professor in Computer Science
at Ecole Polytechnique

Office 141, Alan Turing Building  - Inria + LIX (UMR 7161)

1 rue Honoré d'Estienne d'Orves
(Ecole Polytechnique campus)
91120 Palaiseau, France




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, spent a sabbatical year at ShanghaiTech in the School of Information Science and Technology, and was elected as ACM Fellow in 2020. He is now working at LIX as both an advanced researcher at Inria Saclay, and a Professor at Ecole Polytechnique. He started the Geomerix research team with three local colleagues to focus on geometric numerics, covering data analysis, machine learning, and simulation.


Pubs word cloud

Papers, Code, and Other Outputs

This publication page contains author's versions of most (all?) papers and chapters published thus far, along with code, demos, videos, and supplemental material associated with each project. For a comprehensive list (sorted in various ways), you may want to check out my Google Scholar page instead, or this HAL page.



Fellow badge

International Research Community Involvement, Past and Present

Chair of the ACM SIGGRAPH Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation award committee (2020-now); Chair of the International Advisory Board for SIST, Shanghaitech; Courses chair, ACM SIGGRAPH Asia 2021; 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, Cargese), 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.
Elected ACM Fellow in 2020, and an ACM SIGGRAPH Academy member in 2021.


Inria logo



Our current collaborators include:
Yiying Tong, Fernando de Goes, Jin Huang, Xiaopei Liu, Francois Gay-Balmaz, Evan Gawlik, Pierre Alliez

Other past collaborators include:
Santiago Lombeyda, Eva Kanso, Eitan Grinspun, Jerrold E. Marsden, Peter Schroeder




My current work in the Geomerix team benefits from the generous support of:

Ansys, Dassault Systemes, Inria, CNRS.

My past work at Caltech was supported through the generous support of:

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

US Federal funding: National Science Foundation, Department of Energy;

US Foundations: Okawa Foundation, Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation;

US Corporate funding: HTC, Pixar, Disney, NVidia, Microsoft Research;

Inria for an International Chair in the TITANE group (2014-2019);

Shanghaitech for a Visiting Professor position (2019-2020).



Former Head of the Applied Geometry lab at Caltech

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

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: Computational Fluid Dynamics (variational methods for fluid dynamics, lattice Boltzmann, SPH), Discrete Elasticity (thin shells and deformable objects), etc.

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

Graphics: surface modeling (parameterization, grooming via connections, etc), mesh processing, compression, animation, etc.



Founding chair of Computing + Mathematical Sciences department

The Computing + Mathematical Sciences (CMS) department at Caltech was formed in 2009 to offer a 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. It covered applied mathematics, control & dynamical systems, and computer science at the time, before adding Information and Data Sciences.

Last change: Aug 2nd, 2022
Under eternal construction. No trees have been injured in the making of this page.
© desbrun / Inria / X / Caltech 2004-2022