degree,Superlative: Respect! 
A page to collect the people we stand in awe of:

Daniel Simon
Product design meets fantasy meets hyper-realism meets concept-cars meet star-wars meets ballpoint sketching. One guy who could amp many a brain into orbit.

Ron Fedkiw
P.hd Applied Mathematics,UCLA. Work includes Computational fluid dynamics, computational bio-mechanics,graphics et.alia

Jos Stam
One man has his fingers in all we love about Maya: subdivisions, fluids, simulation of natural phenomena, et alia. Principal researcher at Alias|Wavefront (now at Autodesk Inc) and a constant feature at SIGGRAPH since '90. SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award (2005) for his contributions to the field of computer graphics

Duncan Brinsmead
"Duncan Brinsmead is a principal scientist with Autodesk.... He is the creator of Maya Paint Effects, Maya Hair, Maya Toon, and also worked extensively on Maya Fluids and Maya nCloth."
His blog always features 'left-field' techniques of utilizing maya features. Knowing the logic behind the features, helps any architect attempting to appropriate Maya for design purposes, immensely .A one-stop blog for inspiration, tips, fundamentals et al.

Andy Murdock:lots of robots
A veritable one-man army in procedural character animation. LOR the movie, standing testimony to a sustained quest of the insatiable.

Pavel ohal
Another of them doing it solo. Maya Muscle, CG etc.