Paul is a researcher at Adobe, working on 2D vector graphics, stylization, and non-photorealistic rendering (NPR). He received his A.B. in mathematics from Dartmouth College in 1979 and his Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford University in 1987, where his advisor was Brian Reid. His thesis was in the area of 2D vector graphics editing, but his most noteworthy accomplishment was writing the first version of the software that eventually became the X Window System. After Stanford, Paul worked for three years at Digital Equipment Corporation, where he became the chief architect for the Xt Toolkit for the X Window System.
Paul joined Adobe in 1990 and worked on the Display PostScript System and Unix applications for 5 years. He then joined the Adobe Illustrator team for versions 7, 8, and 9, acting as engineering lead for version 9. In 2001, he joined the graphics group in Adobe’s Advanced Technology Labs, under the leadership of Martin Newell. Paul is now a member of the Procedural Imaging Group, led by Radomír Měch which is part of the Creative Intelligence Lab, led by Gavin Miller. Among the features he has contributed to Illustrator are brushes (version 8), graphic styles (9), Scribble (CS), Live Paint (CS2), variable-width strokes (CS5), gradient strokes (CS6) and image brushes (CC). He also contributed Scribble and Puppet to After Effects (versions 6 and CS3), and worked on Characterizer for Character Animator (CC 2018) and Tapered Strokes for After Effects and Character Animator (CC 2020). In 2011 and 2012, Paul was co-chair of the annual symposium on Non-Photorealistic Animation and Rendering (NPAR) and in 2015 was co-chair for Adobe’s internal Tech Summit.
Paul has presented three sneaks at Adobe MAX: StyLit in 2016, PhysicsPak in 2017 and Project Stylish Strokes in 2021.
When not working, Paul enjoys riding roller coasters (more than 700 different coasters in 12 countries), collecting art toys, challenge square dancing, and going to live theater.