Karl J. Obermeyer

Applied Mathematician & Software Engineer


I develop algorithms and software. Most of my experience has been in machine perception (esp. tracking), motion planning, and vehicle routing. To solve problems in these areas, I enjoy using a blend of controls, dynamics, computational geometry, numerics, combinatorics, optimization, statistics, and machine learning. I am currently working as a consultant, contractor, and open source contributor. In the past I have held various positions in government and industry. I was educated at CU Boulder (BS+MS in applied math) and UCSB (PhD in engineering).

Selected Publications

[BibTeX file]
[Complete List of Publications]
[Projects on GitHub]


  1. S. G. Manyam, S. Rathinam, S. Darbha, and K. J. Obermeyer. Lower Bounds for a Vehicle Routing Problem with Motion Constraints. International Journal of Robotics and Automation, 2015.
  2. J. Adaska, K. Obermeyer, and E. Schmidt. Robust Probabilistic Conflict Prediction for Sense and Avoid. American Control Conference, 2014. Note: Received best-in-session award. [pdf]
  3. K. J. Obermeyer, P. Oberlin, and S. Darbha. Sampling-Based Path Planning for a Visual Reconnaissance UAV. AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 2012. [pdf]
  4. K. J. Obermeyer, A. Ganguli, and F. Bullo. Multi-Agent Deployment for Visibility Coverage in Polygonal Environments with Holes. International Journal of Robust and Nonlinear Control, 2011. [pdf]
  5. K. J. Obermeyer, A. Ganguli, and F. Bullo. A Complete Algorithm for Searchlight Scheduling. International Journal of Computational Geometry and Applications, 2011. [pdf] [remarks]
  6. K. J. Obermeyer, P. Oberlin, and S. Darbha. Sampling-Based Roadmap Methods for a Visual Reconnaissance UAV. AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference, 2010. [pdf] [errata]
  7. K. J. Obermeyer. Path Planning for a UAV Performing Reconnaissance of Static Ground Targets in Terrain. AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference, 2009. [pdf] [vignette]
  8. K. J. Obermeyer, A. Ganguli, and F. Bullo. Asynchronous Distributed Searchlight Scheduling. IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, 2007. [pdf]


  1. K. J. Obermeyer. Visibility Problems for Sensor Networks and Unmanned Air Vehicles. PhD Dissertation, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2010. [pdf] [defense slides] [remarks/errata]


  1. K. J. Obermeyer and Contributors. VisiLibity: A C++ Library for Visibility Computations in Planar Polygonal Environments. 2008.


Aside from technical work, I like to play in the mountains, in water, or on water. Hiking and rock climbing are my favorites, but I have also been known to bike, ski, snowboard, ice climb, surf, sail, kayak, and dive. To celebrate victories, large or small, I sometimes compose and play music. Here's to completing this webpage:

Feel free to browse [my bookshelf].

Gratuitous Quotes

"There are 2 types of people in the world: proud Bayesians and closet Bayesians."
-Yaakov Bar-Shalom, c. 2001

"Set your heart on coding mindfully. Do it over and over again, and you will be filled with joy. The hasty coder is happy until their mischief turns against them, and the mindful coder may suffer until their goodness flowers."
-Buddha, c. 500 BCE

"Roughly 2 out of every 3 quotes you find on the internet are fabrications."
-Abraham Lincoln, 1862