Geodesic Computation

William L. Anderson, President of Elements Research
URL: http://www.netcom.com/~elements/, E-mail: elements@ix.netcom.com
7:15pm - 8:15pm, February 10 (Tuesday)
Room 165, Bond Hall

ABSTRACT
A geodesic is the straightest possible path on a curved surface. Its computation can be applied in industrial and scientific problems, including navigation, machine cutting paths, robot motion, apparel manufacturing, business models, and astronomy. William Anderson wrote EleGeodesic software that solves the geodesic differential equation. This software has been applied to diverse problems, including tent manufacturing, shortest transition path in business models, and particle trajectories on multidimensional spheres and tori. Mr. Anderson will illustrate many applications and describe mathematical methods. He will also demo software that calculates geodesics and displays them using computer graphics (the following two graphs are examples). Mr. Anderson's software company Elements Research has operated in California and North Carolina since 1977. Since he is a 1968 Citadel graduate, he will briefly describe courses and computational machines available to math students in the mid-1960s.


Right: Geodesic on Ellipsoid Colored by Gaussian Curvature


Below: Geodesic Tape Windings To Construct Pipe Section