Jos Stam was born in the Netherlands and educated in Geneva, Switzerland, where he received dual Bachelor degrees in computer science and pure mathematics. In 1989, Stam moved to Toronto where he completed his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in computer science. After that he pursued postdoctoral studies as a ERCIM fellow at INRIA in France and at VTT in Finland. In 1997 Stam joined the Alias Seattle office as a researcher and stayed there until 2003 to relocate to Alias' main office in Toronto. Stam is now employed with Autodesk as a Senior Research Scientist as part of Autodesk's acquisition of Alias in 2006.
Stam's research spans several areas of computer graphics: natural phenomena, physics-based simulation, rendering and surface modeling, especially subdivision surfaces. He has published papers in all of these areas in journals and at conferences, most notably at the annual SIGGRAPH conference. In 2005 Stam was awarded one of the most prestigeous awards in computer graphics: the SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award. Stam also won two Technical Achievement Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: in 2005 for his work on Subdivision Surfaces and in 2007 for his work on fluid dynamics. He was also featured in a January 2008 Wired magazine article.