Engineering Design and Virtual Environments


Elaine Cohen

School of Computing

University of Utah





Advances in diverse technologies are rapidly expanding the frontiers of how we design geometric models and interact with them in 3D space. This transformation is being driven by the convergence of significant developments in geometric modeling, immersive technology and haptics, software methodology (like agent technology), computer graphics, telecollaboration, and intensive, as well as mobile, computing.  We are striving for highly supportive environments to design and produce physical objects.  The research results are elevating and highlighting problem solving capabilities in a way that substantially reduces errors and improves product performance through superior analysis, simulation, and immersive experience to provide a deeper understanding of complex but subtle, cross disciplinary interactions, along with other important trade-offs.


I will review our research in many areas in relation to building richer design and manufacture environments, with particular emphasis on model recovery for producing critical parts from incomplete information.  Moreover, I will show how techniques and innovations emanating from this area can apply to other applications, like urban warfare and other critical military needs.



Brief Biography:


Elaine Cohen is a Professor in the School of Computing at the University of Utah, where she is cohead of the Geometric Design and Computation Research Group.  The team is actively working in broadly related areas like geometry modeling, computer graphics, immersive environments, haptics, and virtual prototyping, but driven by  problems in engineering design and manufacure,  Much of her work involves mathematical splines, an area in which she has done fundamental work for 25 years and recently coauthored a comprehensive advanced reference and textbook (Geometric Modeling with Splines: An Introduction) that develops splines as a unifying approach to this area.


Currently, Professor Cohen serves as a member of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Academy of Science.  In addition to her strong research focus, she has directed a summer computing institute for high school students and served as a Computer Research Association Mentor for undergraduate women.