I was born in 1978, in the city of Heraklion, the capital of the Greek island of Crete. I started my higher education at the University of Crete, where I completed a B.Sc. in Computer Science in 2000. After my graduation, I completed my military duty at the Greek armed forces, serving for two years as a reserve infantry officer, and was discharged in 2002 with the rank of 2nd lieutenant. In conjunction with my militrary service I completed a second B.Sc. degree in Mathematics, from the University of Crete. In the fall of 2002 I was admitted to the PhD program in Computer Science at Stanford University, under the SAP Labs Stanford Graduate Fellowship. I completed my dissertation in 2007, under the supervision of Ron Fedkiw. Between 2007-2010, I was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of California Los Angeles, with a joint appointment to the Mathematics and Computer Science departments. My faculty supervisors at UCLA were Joseph Teran, Demetri Terzopoulos and Stan Osher. In addition to my academic work, I have served as a consultant for Intel Corporation (between 2005 and 2007), SimQuest LLC (in 2008) and Walt Disney Animation Studios (since 2008).