Andrew J. Willmott

Note: this site mostly dates from late 2000, when I graduated from CMU. I (finally) have a more recent site at

I'm a former SCS PhD student who's graduated and is currently working in the Bay Area. I've spent the last few years working for Maxis, a subsidiary of Electronic Arts. I worked on SimCity 4, Sims 2, and am currently working on Will Wright's next project, Spore.

NOTE: I really need to set up an external website rather than abusing my ancient CMU page, but, in the meantime, here are our SIGGRAPH 2007 sketch presentations, with some supporting info.

I'm interested in most aspects of computer graphics, but have largely worked in the area of global illumination. In particular, most of my research work has been on hierarchical methods for ray-tracing and radiosity. At CMU I worked on a comparison of radiosity algorithms, various ray-tracing projects, wavelets for triangular elements, and hierarchical radiosity using multiresolution models. My PhD advisor was Paul Heckbert.

Publications and other output:

See also my list of publications.
Some of the code I've produced includes:
  • Radiator: radiosity-based rendering and visualistion code
  • VL, a C++ vector/matrix class library.
  • A hierarchical grid ray tracer for Rhythm and Hues. I have some documentation which gives an idea of its capabilities.
  • A radiosity system for the game "redline" by beyondgames.
For more, see the software page and my internal documentation page.


[NZ FLAG] I'm married to the wonderful Alma Whitten.

I'm from Auckland, New Zealand. Occasionally I look like this.

One of my major hobbies is music: the listening to and the making thereof. I play the bass, and experiment with sequencers, drum machines and samplers. It keeps me sane(ish).

You can't go past this lot for an exquisite slab of etheria.[Bailterspace]

I had a bit of a bike accident in 1998.

Education: Auckland Grammar School. BSc in Physics, University of Auckland, 1991. MSc. in Computer Science, University of Auckland, 1993.  PhD., Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science in Pittsburgh, 2000, advised by Paul Heckbert


Various things that may be of interest: