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Personal profile


Humans have an intuitive sense of spatial structures, computers just “see” zeros and ones. I find it endlessly fascinating to teach computers how to gain a human-like understanding of spatial data.

Research profile

Bettina Speckmann heads the Applied Geometric Algorithms group at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science of TU Eindhoven. Geometric algorithms is the field within algorithms research that is concerned with the design and analysis of efficient algorithms and data structures for problems involving geometric objects in 2-, 3-, and higher-dimensional space. The Applied Geometric Algorithms group mainly focuses on geometric algorithms for spatial data and applications of geometric algorithms in the areas of GIScience and Smart Mobility (including automated cartography and moving object analysis), geo-visualization, visual analytics, and e-Humanities. We frequently combine the rigorous methods from algorithmic research areas such as computational geometry - which give performance guarantees with respect to both the quality of solutions and the running time of algorithms - with efficient engineering to achieve results of both theoretical and practical significance.

Academic background

Bettina received her PhD from the University of British Columbia (Canada) in 2001. Afterwards she spent two years as a postdoc at the Institute for Theoretical Computer Science of ETH Zurich (Switzerland) before joining TU Eindhoven as an assistant professor  in 2003. She became associate professor in 2008 and was promoted to full professor in 2012. Since 2015 she is leading the Applied Geometric Algorithms group.

Bettina was a member of both the Young Academy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (2010-2015) and of the Global Young Academy (2011-2016). In 2011 she won the first Netherlands Prize for ICT Research. She served as PC co-chair for the 19th International Symposium on Graph Drawing (GD) in 2011, as PC chair for the 42nd International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP) – Track A in 2015, and as PC co-chair for the 34th International Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG) in 2018.

Affiliated with

  • Data Science Center Eindhoven

Partners in (semi-)industry

  • HERE Global B.V.
  • Fugro NL Land B.V.
  • Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) B.V.

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2000 2019

Algorithms for river network analysis

Sonke, W. M., 29 Aug 2019, Eindhoven: Technische Universiteit Eindhoven. 154 p.

Research output: ThesisPhd Thesis 1 (Research TU/e / Graduation TU/e)Academic

Open Access

Algorithms for visualization in digital humanities

Castermans, T. H. A., 29 Aug 2019, Eindhoven: Technische Universiteit Eindhoven. 185 p.

Research output: ThesisPhd Thesis 1 (Research TU/e / Graduation TU/e)Academic

Open Access

A practical algorithm for spatial agglomerative clustering

Castermans, T., Speckmann, B. & Verbeek, K., 2019, Proceedings of the Twenty-First Workshop on Algorithm Engineering and Experiments. Philadelphia: Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), p. 174-185 12 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Spatial Clustering
Inverse function
Hierarchical Clustering

Kinetic volume-based persistence for 1D terrains

Ophelders, T., Sonke, W., Speckmann, B. & Verbeek, K., 18 Mar 2019, p. 38:1-38:7 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic

Open Access

Locally correct Fréchet matchings

Buchin, K., Buchin, M., Meulemans, W. & Speckmann, B., 1 Jan 2019, In : Computational Geometry. 76, p. 1-18 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access


NWO Vici Award : Patterns in translocations

Bettina Speckmann (Recipient), 2012

Recognition: NWOViciScientific



Data structures

1/09/12 → …


Student theses

A feasibility study on CityGML for cadastral purposes

Author: Dsilva, M., 31 Aug 2009

Supervisor: Speckmann, B. (Supervisor 1) & Westenberg, M. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master


Algorithms for comparing moving complex shapes: higher-dimensional Fréchet distance

Author: Ophelders, T., 30 Sep 2014

Supervisor: Buchin, K. (Supervisor 1) & Speckmann, B. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master


Algorithms for finding a middle trajectory

Author: Vermeulen, T., 30 Nov 2013

Supervisor: Buchin, M. (External coach) & Speckmann, B. (Supervisor 1)

Student thesis: Master


Algorithms for flow maps

Author: van de Ven, B., 31 Jan 2008

Supervisor: Speckmann, B. (Supervisor 1)

Student thesis: Master


An automatic recognition method for building floor plans

Author: Jain, P., 31 Aug 2009

Supervisor: Westenberg, M. (Supervisor 1) & Speckmann, B. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master