News & Notes

"As many people in the past have said, they're heavy!" says Dr. Alex McAdams '06 of the Academy Award he and his team won for Disney's blockbuster movie, Frozen.

The Tiger Pep Band Director Emeritus is a senior software engineer at Walt Disney Animation Studios.

"On Sunday, Frozen beat out stiff competition to take home the Oscar for Best Animated Feature," reports Jeff Peterson at the Deseret News. "Its win marks Disney Animation Studios’ first-ever trophy in the relatively young category after six previous nominations in the 13 years since animated features were first recognized in a separate category."

Moviegoers who thought Elsa's flowing dress and fluttering curtains looked especially realistic might be able to thank McAdams' studies in mathematics and physics at DePauw University. His specialty at Disney is textile simulation, which requires in depth knowledge of the physics involved.

After graduating from DePauw, McAdams tested models for satellite failure for The Aerospace Corporation and began his movie-related simluation work as an intern for Weta Digital and Disney Animation. He completed his Ph.D. in applied mathematics at UCLA in 2011.