Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - HRGP (Hardness Results in Geometry Processing)

The Marie Curie Career Integration Grant agreement HRGP 334283 was signed between Ecole Polytechnique and the European Commission in February 2013 and the grant was given Maks Ovsjanikov, assistant professor of Computer Science, in April 2013. This project has two main goals: from the scientific point of view, the primary objective is to explore “Hardness Results in Geometry Processing,” i.e. theoretical and practical results that would contribute to understanding the inherent difficulty of various problems in Geometric Data Analysis, such as shape matching. At the same time, the project is meant to support the integration of Maks Ovsjanikov into the academic world of the European Union, after having spent over 10 years in the United States.
Thanks to the funding provided by the CIG, Maks Ovsjanikov was able to initiate and conduct high quality research projects and also contribute to a large number of dissemination and public service activities, both within the European Union and throughout the world. Some of the notable achievements during this period include:
• In April 2017, Maks Ovsjanikov was elected a Eurographics Junior Fellow for the period 2017-2019.
• In May 2017, Maks Ovsjanikov successfully defended his Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches -- the highest academic title in France.
• In 2014, Maks Ovsjanikov received the Eurographics Young Researcher Award, “In recognition of his outstanding contributions to theoretical foundations of non-rigid shape matching, invariant feature descriptors and the analysis of intrinsic symmetries of shapes.”
• Got promoted to an Associated Professor position obtaining a permanent contract with Ecole Polytechnique, and at the same time became an associate member of the INRIA DataShape team, establishing a long-term collaboration.
• In the span of four years, Maks Ovsjanikov has co-authored 25 accepted research papers, including works that appeared in top conferences and journals in Geometry Processing and Computer vision, such as SIGGRAPH, Transactions on Graphics (TOG), CVPR, Symposium on Geometry Processing, and Computer Graphics Forum among others. His papers were cited over 3000 times (with H-Index 21) as of May 2017 according to Google Scholar.
• Served as one of the two Scientific Program co-chairs for the Symposium on Geometry Processing (SGP) 2016 held in Berlin, the Program co-chair for the 3D Object Retrieval Workshop, held in conjunction with Eurographics 2017 in Lyon, the Program co-chair for the NORDIA Non-Rigid Shape Analysis and Deformable Image Alignment Workshop at ECCV 2014 in Zurich and, as well as the Program co-chair of the Topology and Statistical Learning session to be held at GSI 2017.
• Served on the Technical Papers Committee on multiple conferences, including SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH Asia, Eurographics, Symposium on Geometry Processing, High Performance Graphics, and the Asian Conference on Computer Vision, among others.
• Co-organised multiple workshops and symposia at various venues a Dagstuhl Seminar on “Functoriality in Geometric Data” at Schloss Dagstuhl in January, 2017, a workshop at the Institute of Advanced Study in Hong Kong in April 2015, a tutorial on Symmetry detection at Eurographics 2013, a SIAM minisymposium in Hong Kong in 2014, and a course at SIGGRAPH Asia in Macau in 2016 and among others.
• Supervised a PhD student (Etienne Corman) who started in September 2013 and successfully defended his dissertation in December 2016, and obtained a post-doctoral position at Carnegie Mellon University in the U. S.
• Hired four post-doctoral researchers and three PhD students (with two currently in progress).
• Established several theoretical and practical results in geometric data analysis, including novel tools for the design of maps (correspondences) between shapes, tangent vector fields, and symmetry detection in images using Gestalt theory that all achieved state-of-the-art results in their respective areas.
The support provided by the European Council via the Career Integration Grant was invaluable in achieving these results. First, it provided the initial boost of funding, necessary for conducting successful research for obtaining equipment, participating in conferences and hiring personnel, including post-doctoral researchers and interns. Furthermore, having the recognition associated with the Marie-Curie program has helped to bring both credibility and visibility to Maks Ovsjanikov’s research activities. Finally, this support has helped to establish long-term scientific collaborations and contacts with many European institutions, which will be particularly important for the fellow’s lasting research career.

This project has had an impact particularly on the fields of Geometry Processing and Geometric Data Analysis. The functional framework for both computing mappings across shapes and for discretizing various continuous quantities on triangle meshes has been adopted by multiple research groups in the world, and extended to other settings including images and collections of man-made shapes. Indeed, this framework has been described as “a paradigm shift” by other researchers in the area in multiple recent publications. Moreover, one of the research articles co-authored by Maks Ovsjanikov, published at the SIGGRAPH conference was selected as one of 6 papers for the Technical Papers summary, among 480 submitted. Finally, Maks Ovsjanikov's work has been taken up by researchers in the fields of Geometry Processing with over 3000 citations to his articles as of May 2017.

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