Seminars at the Faculty of Informatics

From garments to granules: principled simulation of collisions and contact

The Faculty of Informatics is pleased to announce a seminar given by David Harmon

DATE: Tuesday, March 20th, 2012
PLACE: USI Università della Svizzera italiana, room SI-006, Informatics building (Via G. Buffi 13)
TIME: 16.30

Physical simulation is the re-creation of natural phenomena on a computer for analysis, industrial design, and entertainment purposes.
One particularly challenging, and important, phenomena is the simulation of collisions and contact. The interactions between and within clothing, grasping robotic arms, and molecular structures, for example, must be explicitly described mathematically in order to capture this behavior during simulation. Deficiencies in current algorithms often prove to be the bottleneck in the simulation design process.

In this talk I will present my work on building a sound computational foundation for the simulation of impact and contact in deformable bodies, resulting in an algorithm that is guaranteed to "just work". I set out three fundamental requirements: safety, that no unphysical interpenetration can occur, correctness, that physical laws are observed, and progress, that consistent advancement in simulation time can always be made. I will show an algorithm that is the first to provably satisfy all three requirements, greatly improving the reliability of physical simulations. I will demonstrate this method's applicability with animations of challenging contact scenarios in a variety of computer graphics and engineering applications.

David Harmon is a post-doctoral researcher at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University. He is a 2010 recipient of a CRA Computing Innovation Fellowship, awarded to research the modeling of collisions and contact in geometric modeling applications. David completed his Ph.D. in Computer Science at Columbia University, which he attended on a 2005 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

HOST: Prof. Kai Hormann

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