The ACM has named Leonidas John Guibas as the recipient of the 2007 ACM/AAAI Allen Newell Award for his pioneering contributions in applying algorithms to a wide range of computer science disciplines. For 25 years, Guibas, professor of computer science and courtesy professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University, has been engaged in research on interactions with the physical world that have advanced the field of computational geometry and related areas. He established strong links that led to seminal contributions in computer graphics, computer vision, robotics, physical modeling, large-scale integrated circuit design, sensor and communications networks, and computational molecular biology.
The award, named for Allen Newell, a pioneer in artificial intelligence, is given to an individual selected for career contributions that have breadth within computer science, or that bridge computer science and other disciplines. The award is endowed by individual contributions and is jointly sponsored by ACM and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI).
Computational geometry emerged from the field of algorithms design and analysis in the late 1970s. Through the contributions of Guibas, who developed efficient algorithms for geometric problems motivated by sensing, modeling, reasoning, rendering, and acting on the physical world, computational geometry has grown into a recognized discipline with its own journals, conferences, and a large community of active researchers.
Among the varied applications of computational geometry are motion planning for robotics; occlusion culling (identifying and discarding non-visible objects) for computer graphics; geometrical location and search as well as route planning for geographic information systems; and geometry design and verification for integrated circuit design. Others uses include sensor networks used in environmental monitoring, manufacturing and business asset management; and automation in healthcare, transportation, and battlefield applications.
Guibas has been called the Miles Davis of computational geometry for his artistry and energy in applying concepts that transcend individual computer applications. He heads the Geometric Computation Group at Stanford and is a member of Stanford's Computer Graphics and Artificial Intelligence Laboratories as well as its Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering. He has published numerous books and papers, and lectured extensively on his varied interests, which include geometric algorithms and data structures, shape analysis and physical simulation with point-based representations, wireless sensor networks, and computational biology. At Stanford, Guibas has developed new courses in algorithms and data structures, computational geometry, geometric modeling and geometry processing, and sensor networks.
An ACM Fellow, Guibas received a Ph.D. degree from Stanford. Prior to joining Stanford in 1984, he held positions at Xerox PARC, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Digital Equipment Corporation Systems Research Center