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Leibniz Lecture in Canada by Leif Kobbelt on Geometry Processing on Different Levels of Abstraction

(25.05.18) Geometry Processing is the research field that deals with the algorithmic generation and optimization of 3D models. It is based on a broad portfolio of methods ranging from discrete differential geometry and mixed-integer optimization to (real-time) simulation and machine learning.

In his inspiring lecture at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, Leibniz Prize winner 2014 Professor Leif Kobbelt of RWTH Aachen explained how Geometry Processing can serve as an enabler for a larger number of diverse applications in areas such as CAD/CAM, architecture, engineering, as well as medicine and entertainment. Depending on the specific requirements in a given application, suitable geometric representations and operations need to be provided allowing for the highly efficient and robust processing of massively complex geometric shapes.

Kobbelt discussed a number of geometric model representations with different levels of abstraction where on the lowest level, geometric models can be as elementary as unstructured point clouds (raw coordinates) while on the highest level of abstraction, geometric models may be described by (procedural) rules how to construct an object from meaningful basic shape primitives. To generate these models and to effectively control their shape on the different levels of abstraction, model-based as well as data-driven approaches are employed.

Approximately 75 students and faculty members attended the lecture, which was jointly organized by the University of Alberta’s International Office and the DFG North America Office on the occasion of a joint two-day workshop held together with leading researchers and senior representatives from RWTH Aachen on “Data Science, Machine Learning and Computational Innovation”. As the Leibniz Lecture, the goal of the workshop was to initiate new collaborations between German and Canadian researchers. For this purpose the University of Alberta cannot only build on existing strong ties to German research, but it also positioned itself as a leading international research university, particularly in the engineering and computer sciences – the perfect setting for a lecture by world leading German computer scientist Leif Kobbelt.

Professor Leif Kobbelt of RWTH Aachen