NSF Award Recognition: NSF 2001 Distinguished Teaching Scholars
Research Contributions: Dr.O'Rourke's research has concerned computational geometry and its application to computer graphics, robotics, and manufacturing. His most recent research is on folding and unfolding, with implications ranging from protein folding to sheet-metal bending. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Discrete and Computational Geometry and was a Program and Conference Chair of the First Symposium on Computational Geometry. He has published a monograph, a textbook, and co-edited a widely referenced handbook. He was the recipient of a Naitonal Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1984 as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Educational Contributions: Dr. O'Rourke has co-authored numerous publications with undergraduates, and teaches computer science courses on Computer Literacy, How the Internet Works, and Issues in Artificial Intelligence for non-science majors. His textbook, Computational Geometry in C, is used widely by undergraduates and practitioners in industry and he has played a leadership role in the Computing Research Association's Committee on Women.
Director's Award Project: Dr. O'Rourke is adapting the research on folding and unfolding in computational geometry for use by students and teachers from sixth grade through graduate school. The project provides and opportunity to demonstrate to students of all educational levels that computer science, mathematics and engineering are fun, comprehensible, and directly related to real-world problems.
from NSF Award Celebration, November 8, 2001