Joseph O'Rourke (professor)

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Joseph O'Rourke is the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Professor of Computer Science at Smith College and the founding chair of the Smith computer science department.[1] His main research interest is computational geometry.

One of O'Rourke's early results was an algorithm for finding the minimum bounding box of a point set in three dimensions when the box is not required to be axis-aligned. The problem is made difficult by the fact that the optimal box may not share any of its face planes with the convex hull of the point set. Nevertheless, O'Rourke found an algorithm for this problem with running time .[2]

In 1985, O'Rourke was the program chair of the first annual Symposium on Computational Geometry.[3] He was formerly the arXiv moderator for computational geometry and discrete mathematics.[4]

In 2012 O'Rourke was named a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery.[5]


O'Rourke is the author or editor of:

  • Art Gallery Theorems and Algorithms (1987) ISBN 978-0-19-503965-8[6][1]
  • Computational Geometry in C 2nd Ed. (1998) ISBN 978-0-521-64976-6 [2]
  • Handbook of Discrete and Computational Geometry, with Jacob E. Goodman and Csaba Tóth. 3rd Ed. (2017) ISBN 978-1-49871-139-5
  • Geometric Folding Algorithms: Linkages, Origami, Polyhedra, with Erik D. Demaine (2007) ISBN 978-0-521-85757-4[7]
  • Discrete and Computational Geometry, with Satyan Devadoss (2011) ISBN 978-0-691-14553-2. [3]
  • How To Fold It: The Mathematics of Linkages, Origami, and Polyhedra (2011) ISBN 978-0-521-14547-3. [4]
  • Pop-Up Geometry: The Mathematics behind Pop-Up Cards (2022) ISBN 978-009-09626-3. [5]


  1. ^ "Joseph O'Rourke", Faculty directory, Smith College, retrieved 2020-02-20
  2. ^ O'Rourke, Joseph (1985), "Finding minimal enclosing boxes.", Int. J. Comput. Inform. Sci., 14 (3): 183–199, doi:10.1007/BF00991005, S2CID 8311538. As reviewed in Zbl 0582.68067
  3. ^ SoCG program committees, The Society for Computational Geometry, retrieved 2020-02-20
  4. ^ Halpern, Joseph Y. (November 1998), "A Computing Research Repository", D-Lib Magazine
  5. ^ ACM Fellows Named for Computing Innovations that Advance Technologies in Information Age Archived 2012-12-12 at the Wayback Machine, ACM, December 11, 2012.
  6. ^ Reviews of Art Gallery Theorems and Algorithms:
  7. ^ Reviews of Geometric Folding Algorithms:
    • Carbno, Collin (May 2009), "Review", MAA Reviews, Mathematical Association of America
    • Paquete, Luís (November 2009), European Journal of Operational Research, 199 (1): 311–313, doi:10.1016/j.ejor.2008.06.009{{citation}}: CS1 maint: untitled periodical (link)
    • mbec (2011), "Review", EMS Reviews, European Mathematical Society
    • Fasy, Brittany Terese; Millman, David L. (March 2011), SIGACT News, Association for Computing Machinery, 42 (1): 43–46, doi:10.1145/1959045.1959056, S2CID 6514501{{citation}}: CS1 maint: untitled periodical (link)

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