Aaron Lefohn

Aaron Lefohn

Team Leader


Aaron Lefohn leads the Real-Time Graphics Research team at NVIDIA. Aaron has led real-time rendering and graphics programming model research teams for over a decade and has productized many research ideas into games, film rendering, GPU hardware, and GPU APIs.

His teams’ inventions have played key roles in bringing ray tracing to real-time graphics, combining AI and computer graphics, and pioneering real-time AI computer graphics. Some of the NVIDIA products derived from Aaron’s teams’ inventions include DLSS, RTX Direct Illumination (RTXDI), NVIDIA’s Real-Time Denoisers (NRD), the OptiX Deep Learning Denoiser, and more. The teams’ current focus areas include real-time physically-based light transport, AI computer graphics, image metrics, and graphics systems.

In the distant past, Aaron worked in rendering R&D at Pixar Animation Studios, creating interactive rendering tools for film artists, was part of a graphics startup called Neoptica creating rendering software and programming models for Sony PlayStation 3, and also led real-time rendering research at Intel. Aaron received his Ph.D. in computer science from UC Davis, his M.S. in computer science from the University of Utah, and also an M.S. in theoretical chemistry.