UTCS Faculty Candidate - David Harmon/New York University, "From garments to granules: principled simulation of collisions and contact", ACES 2.302

Contact Name: 
Jenna Whitney
Mar 29, 2012 11:00am - 12:00pm

There is a sign-up schedule for this event that can be found at


Type o

f Talk: UTCS Faculty Candidate

Speaker/Affiliation: David Harmon/New Y

ork University

Talk Audience: UTCS Faculty, Graduate Students, Under

graduate Students and Outside Interested Parties

Date/Time: Thursday,
March 29, 2012, 11:00 am

Location: ACES 2.302

Host: Chandra Ba


Talk Title: From garments to granules: principled simulation of co

llisions and contact

Talk Abstract:
From garments to granules: princ

ipled simulation of collisions and contact

Physical simulation is the

re-creation of natural phenomena on a computer for analysis, industrial de

sign, and entertainment purposes. One particularly challenging, and impor

tant, phenomena is the simulation of collisions and contact. The interacti

ons between and within clothing, grasping robotic arms, and molecular str

uctures, for example, must be explicitly described mathematically in orde

r to capture this behavior during simulation. Deficiencies in current algor

ithms often prove to be the bottleneck in the simulation design process.

In this talk I will present my work on building a sound computational fo

undation for the simulation of impact and contact in deformable bodies, re

sulting 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 demonstr

ate this method''s applicability with animations of challenging contact sce

narios 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 o

f collisions and contact in geometric modeling applications. David complete

d his Ph.D. in Computer Science at Columbia University, which he attended

on a 2005 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.