Ari Shapiro is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Southern California. He heads the Character Animation and Simulation research group at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, where his focus is on synthesizing realistic animation for virtual characters. For several years, he worked on character animation tools and algorithms in the R &D and software departments of top visual effects and video games companies such as Industrial Light and Magic, LucasArts and Rhythm & Hues Studios. He has worked on many feature-length films, and holds film credits in The Incredible Hulk and Alvin and the Chipmunks 2. In addition, he holds video games credits in the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed series.science from UCLA, and a B.A. in computer science from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Shapiro has published many academic articles in the field of computer graphics in animation for virtual characters, and is a nine-time SIGGRAPH speaker.