Bézier AwardTitle SMAWenping Wang

Wenping Wang, the 2023 Pierre Bézier Award Recipient

The 2023 SMA Bézier Award is awarded to Professor Wenping Wang in recognition of his outstanding contributions in geometric modeling and computing and his innovative impact in applied geometry.

Wenping Wang is professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University since 2020. He has been Chair Professor (2015-2020) and Head (2012-2017) in the Department of Computer Science at The University of Hong Kong. His research interests span several areas in computer aided geometric design, robotics, computer graphics and geometric modelling with over 300 technical publications.

Wenping Wang has made most fundamental research contributions in several areas of geometric modelling and computing. Exemplary we mention his contributions to B-spline curve fitting, architectural geometry, centroidal Voronoi tessellation for mesh generation and intersection of quadric surfaces:

B-spline curve fitting is a fundamental task in shape modelling. Previous methods were slow and not robust, and there was no effective way to determine the optimal number of B-spline control points for fitting a given shape. Wenping’s research has drastically advanced the state of the art of B-spline curve fitting by proposing the squared distance minimization (SDM) method published in ACM Transactions on Graphics (ToG) in 2006. Now his SDM paper is the most cited paper for B-spline curve fitting.

Collaborating with Helmut Pottmann and others, Wenping contributed to architectural geometry with three papers at SIGGRAPH 2006, 2007, and 2008. These works addressed long-standing problems in design and fabrication of freeform architectural surfaces. His 2006 SIGGRAPH paper, entitled “Geometric modelling with conical meshes and developable surfaces”, is the first work on architectural geometry ever presented at SIGGRAPH.

Centroidal Voronoi tessellation (CVT) is an optimal geometric structure widely used for various geometric applications, especially for generating high-quality finite element meshes in numerical simulation. The previously prevailing Lloyd’s method is notoriously inefficient for large-scale meshes. Joint with Bruno Levy, Yang Liu and others, Wenping established the surprising result that the CVT energy function is in fact second-order smooth in general in the paper “On centroidal Voronoi tessellation — energy smoothness and fast computation” (ToG 2009). Based on this result, his paper proposed an efficient quasi-Newton method for computing the CVT with super-linear convergence. This method is now the most cited method in CVT computation.

Wenping made practical and theoretical contributions to computing the intersection of two quadric surfaces. Collaborating with Jiaye Wang and Myung-Soo Kim, Wenping pioneered an algebraic approach to collision detection of ellipsoids by proposing a simple and elegant algebraic method (CAGD 2001). His algebraic approach has inspired much follow-up research in both computer graphics and computational material science.

Wenping Wang chaired over 20 conferences, and has served on the editorial boards of 8 journals. He founded GMP as a premier international conference on geometric modeling in 2000, and played a key role in founding Asiagraphics Association for promoting research in computer graphics and geometric modelling in the Asia-Pacific region.

Wenping has been a co-chair of the International Geometry Summit 2019 and 2023. He has co-chaired several conferences in applied geometry, such as Advances in Architectural Geometry, CAD&CG, Dagstuhl Geometric Modelling Workshop, GMP, SIAM CAGD, SIGGRAPH Asia, SMI, SPM, and Pacific Graphics. He contributed as an associate editor to major journals such as CAGD, TVCG, CG&A, ToC, CGF, CVM, and C&G.

Wenping has given over 40 invited and keynote lectures. As primary supervisor, Wenping has supervised and graduated 45 Ph.D. students on thesis topics in geometric modelling.

Wenping Wang is an IEEE Fellow (2017) and an ACM Fellow (2021). He received the John Gregory Award (2017) for his contributions in geometric computing and the Asiagraphics Outstanding Technical Contributions Award (2021).

INTERIA Web Design & Development