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Dan Maas

Click here for Dan's interview!

¨  What inspired you to do science?
¨  Who was your favorite teacher?
¨  Who was a major inspiration for you and why?
¨  Do you ever want to go into video game animation?
¨  What does your family think of your work?
¨  Did you want to do anything other than what you are doing now?
¨  Do you use any of your least favorite subjects in your work?
¨  Did you skip any other grades?
¨  Why did you start doing digital animation?
¨  What is your favorite sport and why?
¨  What hobbies do you have as an adult?
¨  What do you like the least about your job?

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QUESTION:
What inspired you to do science?

ANSWER from Dan Maas on 9 November 2002:
I am really inspired by the combination of art and technology.  For instance, think of a Hubble Space Telescope picture of a distant galaxy - it is beautiful like a magnificent painting, but at the same time it represents an important piece of scientific information about our universe.  Or the Mars Rover video - it's fun to watch, but it's also very scientifically accurate.

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QUESTION:
Who was your favorite teacher?

ANSWER from Dan Maas on 9 November 2002:
I had many great teachers.  One of my favorites was Mr. Severin Drix, who teaches math at Ithaca High School.  He gave very rigorous introductions to trigonometry and logarithms - subjects which I use daily in my work.

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QUESTION:
Who was a major inspiration for you and why?

ANSWER from Dan Maas on 9 November 2002:
I had a few mentors in college and in the computer graphics industry who gave me advice and inspiration.  I owe a lot to Ron Thornton, president of Foundation Imaging (a company I mentioned in my
interview).  He set me up with a great internship opportunity there while I was in college.

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QUESTION:
Do you ever want to go into video game animation?

ANSWER from Dan Maas on 9 November 2002:
I haven't thought about video game work, but game technology is coming very close to movie technology these days, so it's a possibility for the future.

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QUESTION:
What does your family think of your work?

ANSWER from Dan Maas on 9 November 2002:
My family has been extremely supportive and appreciative of my work.

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QUESTION:
Did you want to do anything other than what you are doing now?

ANSWER from Dan Maas on 9 November 2002:
Oh yes - when I was very young I remember wanting to be an astronaut or airplane pilot.  Then later it was a film director or computer programmer.  I guess I ended up as sort of a mix of all those!

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QUESTION:
Do you use any of your least favorite subjects in your work?

ANSWER from Dan Maas on 9 November 2002:
Even though my current work is mostly mathematical, I benefited a lot from learning to read and understand new material quickly.  You can pick up those skills by studying almost any subject, even non-technical ones like literature or history (not to imply that literature and history aren't worth studying on their own!).

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QUESTION:
Did you skip any other grades?

ANSWER from Dan Maas on 9 November 2002:
Aside from the last two years of high school, I didn't skip any other grades.

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QUESTION:
Why did you want to start doing digital animation?

ANSWER from Dan Maas on 9 November 2002:
I started doing graphics to see if I could make the same kinds of effects I saw in the movies.  Of course my first attempts weren't very good, but after a few years of practice I slowly improved.

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QUESTION:
What is your favorite sport and why?

ANSWER from Dan Maas on 9 November 2002:
In college I studied Seido Karate with Senpai Olen Lane in Ithaca.  It was great physical training and also helped me learn discipline and focus.  I'm not training at the moment but I'm thinking about starting back up.

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QUESTION:
What hobbies do you have as an adult?

ANSWER from Dan Maas on 9 November 2002:
I don't have very much time for hobbies, but I do enjoy taking care of my two dogs (an energetic Black Lab and a sweet Golden Retriever).

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QUESTION:
What do you like the least about your job?

ANSWER from Dan Maas on 9 November 2002:
My least favorite part of my job is administration and other things that take time away from creative work.

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Last Updated:
31 December 2002
 

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