Nelson Max

Nelson Max is a professor at the University of California, Davis/Livermore, and a computer scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. His research interests are realism in nature images, molecular graphics, computer animation, and 3D scientific visualization. He served as computer graphics director for the Fujitsu pavilions at Expo 85 and 90 in Japan.

Nelson received his BA in math from Johns Hopkins, and his PhD in mathematics (topology) from Harvard University in 1967. He was previously on the faculty at CMU and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland (1976) and joined LLNL in 1977. His 1977 CG film Nelson Max, Turning a Sphere Inside Out (International Film Bureau, Chicago, 1977). is one of the classic early films in the discipline. At LLNL he also produced a series of molecular structure animations that have served to show the role of CGI in scientific visualization. The most famous of these are DNA with Ethidium and Doxorubicin/DNA. He was also instrumental in the succes of the IMAX movie The Magic Egg shown at SIGGRAPH 84 in Minneapolis. (Here is Paul Heckbert's personal account of the making of the film from NYIT's perspective.)


Nelson Max

Nelson Max in 1982 with Turning a Sphere Inside Out poster


More molecules

Frames from Carla's Island

More frames from Carla's Island

Example of sphere inversion (from the University of Minnesota)

Max's UC Davis web page