University of Leicester eBulletin

Fun and Games

October 2002
No 234

How research in Mathematics and Computer Science contributed to Hitman game

Research from the Mathematics and Computer Science Department of the University of Leicester has provided part of the foundation for a hit BAFTA-nominated computer game.

The BAFTA nominee for Best Computer Game was based on research from the University of Leicester Centre for Mathematical Modelling (MMC).

Hitman, developed by Thomas Jakobsen, the Head of Research and Development at the Danish gaming firm IO Interactive in 2001, used techniques developed by Professor Ben Leimkuhler, Director of the MMC, in its computational schemes for simulating the dynamics of rigid and flexible multi-body systems.

While originally aimed at molecular simulation, these same methods turn out to be important building blocks of modern computer gaming engines.

The techniques used in Hitman can be used to study biodynamics (such as the way people walk) for a range of physiological and artistic applications.

Professor Leimkuhler said:  A lot of the MMCs research is hard-nosed science and mathematics, but there is room for some fun, too!

Professor Leimkuhler and Mr Jacobsen are currently planning a conference to take place at the University of Leicester in 2003, on the theme of Movement Engines: Realistic Modelling of Complex Multibody Systems.

NOTE TO EDITORS:   Further information and images are available from Professor Ben Leimkuhler, University of Leicester Centre for Mathematical Modelling, telephone +44 (0)116 252 3884, email 

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Last updated: October 2002
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