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Robert Bridson, UBC mathematician, awarded Oscar for technical achievement

02/06/2015 01:30 EST | Updated 04/08/2015 05:59 EDT
UBC professor Robert Bridson still hasn't written the 'thank-you' speech he'll need when he receives his Oscar tomorrow.

"I've got 45 seconds. It pretty tough to fit that in," the mathematician told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff.

Bridson will receive a Technical Achievement Award for his work on a number of films over the past 13 years, including Gravity, Avatar, The Hobbit, and The Avengers.

On mobile? Click here to watch a scene Robert Bridson worked on for the film Gravity.

It may seem strange that a mathematician is key to so many major Hollywood productions, but Bridson said his expertise is in demand in a world where so many films rely on computer generation.

"Things have gotten very technical and more and more is being done digitally these days … it's just cheaper and better that way," he said.

"It has to look real, it has to behave real, and the best way to do some of those things is to go to the real laws of physics and math behind nature to simulate it."

Bridson hopes his award will inspire children with a passion for movies to consider a career in mathematics.

While Bridson lives and works in Vancouver, he's originally from Newfoundland, meaning this weekend he will become the first person from Newfoundland and Labrador to receive an Oscar.

To hear the full interview with Robert Bridson, click the audio labelled: B.C. mathematician to get an Oscar.

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