Alec Rivers

(607) 279-8811
Based in Oakland, CA

Curriculum vitae
Professional experience
I currently work at Shaper, a startup company I co-founded that has developed innovative digital control technology for handheld power tools. An overview of the technology can be found in a New York Times article and on the project web page.

In 2013 I was awarded a PhD in Computer Science by MIT, where from 2008 I was a member of the Computer Graphics Group advised by Prof. Frédo Durand. My thesis was on digital fabrication technologies. I have also conducted computer graphics research at Cornell University under Prof. Doug James, at the University of Tokyo under Professor Takeo Igarashi, at Tsinghua University under Professor Bin Wang, at UC Berkeley in the graphics group, at the New York University Media Research Lab and at Disney Research Los Angeles. I have also been a computer science teacher at Stuyvesant High School in New York City. My CV is available here.
Research interests
I am interested in digital fabrication, computer vision, computer graphics, sketch-based modeling, non-photorealistic rendering, and physically-based animation. My PhD thesis was on augmented manual fabrication, and described approaches to deliver the benefits of both manual and digital fabrication by augmenting, rather than replacing, a human performing a manual fabrication task.


Alec Rivers, Andrew Adams and Frédo Durand,  Sculpting by Numbers, SIGGRAPH Asia 2012

  • Paper (PDF, 10MB)
  • Project page (with video)


    Alec Rivers, Ilan E. Moyer and Frédo Durand,  Position-Correcting Tools for 2D Digital Fabrication, SIGGRAPH 2012

  • Paper (PDF, 6MB)
  • Project page (with video)
  • "For the Home Workshop, a GPS for Power Tools", New York Times article


    Alec Rivers, Takeo Igarashi and Frédo Durand,  2.5D Cartoon Models, SIGGRAPH 2010

  • Paper (PDF, 2MB)
  • Project page (with videos and downloadable application)
  • Alec Rivers, Frédo Durand, and Takeo Igarashi,  3D Modeling with Silhouettes, SIGGRAPH 2010

  • Paper (PDF, 5MB)
  • Project page (with videos and downloadable modeler)

    Alec Rivers and Doug James,  FastLSM: Fast Lattice Shape Matching for Robust Real-Time Deformation, SIGGRAPH 2007

  • Paper (PDF, 5.4MB)
  • Project page (with videos and downloadable demo)
  • Older projects

    A physics engine based on FastLSM targeted at video games. Now supports fracturing of more rigid objects.

  • Project page (with videos and downloadable demos)

    A shared memory library targeted at simplifying multiplayer game programming.

  • Project page (with video and download)

    A programming library for independent games based on the 2D physics engine.

  • Project page (with manual and download)

    Physical War
    A side-scrolling action game with fun, fracturing 2D physics.

  • Project page (with download)
  • Sopwith IV
    A remake of the classic "Sopwith" series of games. My first serious project.

  • Game homepage (with instructions and download)