Computational geometry: A retrospective

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

24 Scopus citations


Computational geometry is at a crossroads. New challenges and opportunities are likely to reshape the field rather drastically in the years ahead. I will survey some of its principal accomplishments, and in light of recent developments, I will discuss the profound transformations the field has begun to undergo. There are reasons to believe that computational geometry will emerge from this transition far richer and stronger but barely recognizable from what it was ten years ago. Over the last two decades the field has enjoyed tremendous successes. Some of them might be dismissed as the cheap payoffs to be expected from any field lacking maturity. But others are the products of indisputable creativity and should be held as genuirle scientific achievements. More important, the field is now able to claim a broad, solid foundation upon which its future can be securely built. To mature fully as an original subfield of computer science, however, computational geometry must broaden its connections to applied mathematics while at the same time pay more than lip service to the applications areas that it purports to serve. Happily, active efforts to meet these challenges are underway. Three recent developments are particular encouraging: one is the building of a theory of geometric sampiing and its revolutionary impact on the design of geometric algorithms. Another is the maturing of computational real-Algebraic geometry and computational topology both subjects are being revitalized by the introduction of geometric (as opposed to purely algebraic) methods. On the practical end of the spectrum, the emergence of a sub-Area concerned specifically with issues of finite precision and degeneracy in geometric computing is a most welcome development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 26th Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing, STOC 1994
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)0897916638
StatePublished - May 23 1994
Externally publishedYes
Event26th Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing, STOC 1994 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: May 23 1994May 25 1994

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing
VolumePart F129502
ISSN (Print)0737-8017


Other26th Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing, STOC 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software


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