Hoffmann Honored by the Solid Modeling Association
At the recent SIAM Conference on Geometric and Physcial Modeling (October 24-27, 2011), Professor Christoph Hoffmann was honored with the Pierre Bézier Award "for rigorous codifications and extensions of solid modeling theory, for concepts and techniques that improve its robustness and versatility, and for contributions to geometric constraint solving." The award recognizes his pioneering contributions to his field.
Hoffmann’s work in solid modeling began in 1984 at Cornell where he articulated the robustness problem in collaboration with John Hopcroft and Michael Karasick. This work also contributed basic techniques for dealing with the problem. The work begun at Cornell also included using implicit algebraic surfaces as shape elements in solid modeling for the first time. His monograph Geometric and Solid Modeling: An Introduction, published in 1989, synthesizes the state of the art at that time. An electronic version of the book is available on the web and continues to be used by students and researchers.
In the 1990s, Hoffmann worked on geometric constraint solving and its applications in solid modeling. Collaborating with students and researchers across the globe, the work found numerous applications and became the dominant approach to constraint solving, adopted by systems such as Dassault’s CATIA. Also in the 1990s, Hoffmann worked out the semantics of feature operations in solid modeling and exposed the crucial importance of the persistent naming problem. Persistent naming is at the heart of platform based engineering and defines the semantics of families of shapes. Both lines of work continue with former students and accomplished researchers.
In the awards lecture at the 2011 conference, Hoffmann sketched a framework for CAD interoperability, addressing a crucial obstacle in discrete manufacturing. The approach features a procedural, query-based paradigm developed in collaboration with Vadim Shapiro and Vijay Srinivasan, two long standing collaborators.
Congratulations to Professor Hoffmann on receiving this recognition!