I am a Juniorprofessor (assistant professor) at Otto-von-Guericke Universität Magdeburg where I am affiliated with the Institute for Simulation and Graphics. My research centers around the development of quantitatively effective image synthesis techniques, for examples for augmented reality and visualizations in architecture and design. I also work on other questions in computer graphics, computational science, and applied mathematics, such as the processing of geometry and the simulation of fluids.

- March 2017: Work by Philipp Petersen, Martin Schäfer and myself on bendlets, a new shearlet-like transform whose frame functions are sheared, to adapt to the local normal direction of a curve, and also bent, to adapt to the local curvature, was accepted to Applied and Computational Harmonic Analysis.
- March 2017: We are offering a team project on advanced rendering in spring.
- March 2017: We are teaching Mathematical Methods for Computer Graphics in spring.
- November 2016: My 'Antrittsvorlesung' took place on Nov. 30th at 1 pm in G29-301 (slides).
- October 2016: Clauson Carvalho da Silva joined my group as a Ph.D. student. Welcome!
- September 2016: I was visiting George Drettakis' group at INRIA Sophia-Antipolis (slides).
- September 2016: I gave a talk at Nvidia reseach about my work. Slides are available here.
- September 2016: I will be teaching a course on GPU programming this fall.
- September 2016: Acagamics and myself are offering a course on advanced game development this fall.

My research is centered around the development of quantitatively effective image synthesis techniques that ensure computational efficiency, such as optimal or close to optimal convergence rate, and reliable error bounds for the computed image. These techniques are of importance for example for augmented reality, where virtual and real content are superimposed and inconsistencies or delays are immediately apparent, and for visualizations in design and engineering, where informed design decisions are only possible with reliable imagery. My work towards this objective leads me to many interesting questions at the intersection of computer science, mathematical physics, and applied mathematics.

As a basis for quantitatively effective image synthesis techniques I developed in the last years novel foundations for light transport simulation. An important aspect of this programme was a formulation of light transport theory using the language of geometric mechanics. This elucidates the structure of light transport theory and clarifies its connections to other models of light in physics. I also developed a reformulation of the correspondence between pointwise samples, i.e. the information available from ray tracing, and continuous functions, such as the images we would like to compute. The central ingredient for this reformulation are reproducing kernel bases that provide a rigorous yet numerically practical characterization of point samples.

Building on these foundations, I recently developed an image synthesis technique that employs, in a precise technical sense, a (quasi-)optimal number of samples on the image plane. Important questions I am currently addressing are how this technique can be extended to the full light transport problem, how the curse of dimensionality can be broken using non-probabilistic techniques, and how optimal techniques can be obtained for dynamic scenes.

Next to image synthesis, I am also interested in the simulation of phenomena such as fluids and elasticity, and in questions in applied mathematics and mathematical physics.

Representative publications:

C. Lessig, M. Desbrun, and E. Fiume, A Constructive Theory of Sampling for Image Synthesis Using Reproducing Kernel Bases, ACM Trans. Graph. (Proceedings SIGGRAPH 2014), 33(4), 1–14, 2014.

C. Lessig and A. L. Castro, The Geometry of Phase Space Lifts: From Maxwell's Equations to Radiative Transfer Theory, in Geometry, Mechanics and Dynamics: the Legacy of Jerry Marsden, Springer, 2014.

C. Lessig, Modern Foundations of Light Transport Simulation, Ph.D dissertation, University of Toronto, Toronto, 2012.

C. Lessig, T. de Witt, and E. Fiume, Efficient and Accurate Rotation of Finite Spherical Harmonics Expansions, J. Comp. Phys., 231(2), 243–250, 2012.

C. Lessig and E. Fiume, SOHO: Orthogonal and Symmetric Haar Wavelets on the Sphere, ACM Trans. Graph., 27(1) 2008.

2016 - present

Juniorprofessor (assistant professor) at Otto-von-Guericke Universität Magdeburg

2013 - 2016

Post-doc with Marc Alexa in the computer graphics group at TU Berlin

2012 - 2013

Post-doc with Mathieu Desbrun in the Department of Computing+Mathematical Sciences at the California Institute of Technology

2007 - 2012

Ph.D. student with Eugene Fiume at the University of Toronto (Thesis: Modern Foundations of Light Transport Simulation)

2005 - 2007

M.Sc. student with Eugene Fiume at the University of Toronto (Thesis: Symmetric and Orthogonal Wavelets on the Sphere)

2005 - 2007

Summer intern in the developer technology group at NVIDIA working with Mark Harris

2001 - 2005

Current (Spring 2017)

Team Project: Post-Processing for Rendering, OVGU Magdeburg.

Current (Spring 2017)

Mathematical Methods for Computer Graphics, OVGU Magdeburg.

Fall 2016

GPU Programming, , OVGU Magdeburg

October 2015

Mathematical Methods for Computer Graphics, University of Toronto.

Fall/Winter 2015

Introduction to Scientific Computing, TU Berlin.

Fall/Winter 2014

Introduction to Scientific Computing, TU Berlin.

Spring/Summer 2014

Computer Graphics 2 (Geometric Representations), TU Berlin.

February 2014

Mathematical Methods for Computer Graphics, University of Toronto.

Fall/Winter 2013

Introduction to Scientific Computing, TU Berlin.

Spring/Summer 2013

Algorithms and Data Structures, TU Berlin.

Fall/Winter 2011

Computer Graphics 1, TU Berlin.

Spring/Summer 2011

Advanced Image Synthesis, TU Berlin.

The course on mathematical methods for computer graphics, which I taught in the last years at the University of Toronto, is an educational project of particular interest to me. Many students with an undergraduate education in computer science lack the mathematical background that is required for research in computer graphics (and related fields such as computer vision and machine learning) and these students hence have to pick up the mathematical tools and concepts required for their research during their Ph.D program. Currently this takes place in an ad-hoc and piecemeal manner. While this provides immediate motivation for the mathematics, it also makes it difficult for students to obtain a comprehensive understanding and to see common principles and structures—aspects that are essential to build on concepts. My course addresses this by teaching the mathematical foundations and methods that are required for computer graphics research. It thereby tries to make the underlying ideas apparent without neglecting abstraction and rigour.

As part of the Jerry Marsden memorial program at the Fields institute in Toronto I taught, together with Alex Castro and Henry Jacobs, an introductory course on geometric mechanics. Material from this course can be found here.

While I was at the University of Toronto I also co-supervised M.Sc. and Ph.D. students.

X. Wang, D. Lindlbauer, C. Lessig, and M. Alexa, Accuracy of Monocular Gaze Tracking on 3D Geometry, ETVIS 2015: Workshop on Eye Tracking and Visualization, 2015.

G. Mason, C. Lessig, and M. Desbrun, Discretization of Hamiltonian Incompressible Fluids, in 17th US National Conference of Theoretical and Applied Mathematics, 2014.

C. Lessig and A. L. Castro, The Geometry of Phase Space Lifts: From Maxwell's Equations to Radiative Transfer Theory, in Geometry, Mechanics and Dynamics: the Legacy of Jerry Marsden, Springer, 2014; also presented at the SIAM Annual conference 2013.

T. de Witt, C. Lessig, and E. Fiume, Fluid Simulation Using Laplacian Eigenfunctions, ACM Trans. Graph., 31(1), 1–11, 2012.

C. Lessig and E. Fiume, On the Effective Dimension of Light Transport, Comput. Graph. Forum (Proceedings of EGSR 2010), 29(4), 1399–1403, 2010.

C. Lessig and P. Bientinesi, On Parallelizing the MRRR Algorithm for Data-Parallel Coprocessors, in Proceedings of PPAM 2010: Part I, 396–402, 2010.

H.-F. Pabst, J. P. Springer, A. Schollmeyer, R. Lenhardt, C. Lessig, and B. Fröhlich, Ray Casting of Trimmed NURBS Surfaces on the GPU, in The 2006 IEEE Symposium on Interactive Ray Tracing, 2006.

C. Lessig, D. Nowrouzezahrai, and K. Singh, GPU-Accelerated Ray Casting of Node-Based Implicit Surfaces, in Siggraph 2006 Posters, 2006.

M. Moehring, C. Lessig, and O. Bimber, Video See-Through and Optical Tracking with Consumer Cell Phones, in Siggraph 2004 Sketches and Applications, 2004.

M. Moehring, C. Lessig, and O. Bimber, Video See-Through AR on Consumer Cell-Phones, in Third IEEE and ACM International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, 2004, pp. 252–253.

We show that radiance, the central quantity in classical radiometry, is only meaningful in the context of measurements but not when transport is considered. Read more.

We provide an introduction to the central concepts and ideas of geometric mechanics aimed at the non-specialist. Read more.

Based on the work by Ng et al. [2004], we explore the influence of sampling strategies and signal approximation on the quality of rendered images. Read more.

We explore the practicality of Spherical Radial Basis Functions for the representation of surface light fields. Different kernel functions and strategies for obtaining the basis representation of signals are explored. Read more.

We demonstrate ray casting of quadratic surface at real-time frame rates even for complex scenes. Our implementation shows that the technique can be easily integrated into existing modeling packages. Read more.

Model of a industrial milling machine which exploits the scripting capabilities of modern modeling packages to enable an interactive exploration of the machine. Read more.

We use the compute power of state-of-the-art GPUs to ray cast volume data sets from medical imaging. Improvements in recent hardware enable us to achieve significantly better performance than previous work. See more.

We built a virtual showcase for the Deutsche Museum in Bonn, which explains the most important aspects of photosynthesis. See more.