My Research

You can find my (semi-) up to date vita here.

Circle packing of Virginia
Figure 1. Circle packing of Virginia.

My work is characterized by problems that lie at the intersection of computer science and (constructivist) geometry. Areas that interest me include problems arising from the mathematics of origami design (what can be folded?), circle patterns and inversive geometry (cf. circle packing), and rigidity theory and folding (for example, protein folding), to name just a few. What drives me is a commitment to the classical ideals of Goodness, Truth, and Beauty. On top of that, geometry appeals to me because it is physical–by which I mean that you can build it and feel it and see it and play with it. In some sense this is what makes me a computer scientist over a pure mathematician. My approach is experimental–I’m just as likely to fire up GeoGebra or hack out some code in Atom when approaching a problem as I am to pull out a pad of paper and a pen.


Circle Patterns

Inversive geometry of circle patterns and circle polyhedra.


Circle packing of Bowers
Not quite a circle packing of me. From my CS 480 student's code (link soon).

Spring 2018

  • Discrete Structures II (CS 327)
  • Programming Languages (CS 430)

Prior Semesters

  • Fall ‘17. Discrete Structures II (CS 327)
  • Spring ‘17. Programming Fundamentals (CS 149)
  • Spring ‘17. Programming Languages (CS 430)
  • Spring ‘17. Computational Geometry (CS 480)
  • Fall ‘16. Data Structures and Algorithms (CS 240)
  • Fall ‘16. Applied Complexity Theory (CS 552)
  • Spring ‘16. Discrete Structures II (CS 327)
  • Fall ‘15. Data Structures and Algorithms (CS 240)
  • Fall ‘15. Programming Fundamentals (CS 139)


You can find my (semi-) up to date vita here.



  • John C. Bowers, Philip L. Bowers, and Kevin Pratt. Rigidity of Circle Polyhedra in the 2-Sphere and of Hyperideal Polyhedra in Hyperbolic 3-Space. Submitted, 2017. [ArXiV Preprint]
  • John C. Bowers and Philip L. Bowers. Ma-Schlenker c-Octahedra in the 2-Sphere. Submitted, 2016. [ArXiV Preprint]
  • John C. Bowers. Faster Reductions for Straight Skeletons to Motorcycle Graphs. Submitted, 2014. [ArXiV Preprint]

Technical Reports




  • In December 2017 my paper with [Philip Bowers], “Rigidity of circle polyhedra in the 2-sphere and of hyperideal polyhedra in hyperbolic 3-space” was accepted to appear in the Transactions of the American Mathematical Society.
  • In November 2017 I gave a talk title “Cauchy’s theorem and rigidity of circle polyhedra in the 2-sphere” at the Undergraduate Mathematics Colloquium at Washington and Lee University.
  • In September 2017 my paper with Philip Bowers, “Ma-Schlenker c-Octahedra in the 2-Sphere” appeared in the Journal of Discrete and Computational Geometry.
  • In September 2017 I co-organized the Virginia Soft Matter Workshop at JMU.
  • In August 2017 my paper with Philip Bowers, “Menger Redux: Embedding Metric Spaces Isometrically in Euclidean Space”, appeared in the journal American Mathematical Monthly.
  • In June 2017, I organized a workshop on Circle Packing, which is hosted here at James Madison University (June 6-9).
  • In summer 2017 I worked with a student as part of our Research Experience for Undergraduate’s (REU) program in computer science. The student blog for the REU program can be found here.
  • In March 2017 I am co-organizing a special session of the AMS southeastern sectional meeting in Charleston, SC. The title of the session is “Rigidity Theory and Circle Packing”.
  • In January 2017 I gave a talk on Cauchy Rigidity of Convex c-Polyhedra at the Joint Math Meeting in Atlanta. This is part of my ongoing on Circle Patterns work with Philip L. Bowers, who also gave a talk on part of our work at the meeting.



  • bowersjc@jmu.edu
  • 540-568-8771
  • 701 Carrier Drive, MSC 4103, Dept. of Computer Science, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA 22807
  • MW 2:30-5p


When I’m not doing computer science or mathematics, you are most likely to find me out on a backcountry mountain bike trail, riding bikes with my kids Pippin and Scout, cooking bacon, making coffee, or debating someone on the finer points of Thomistic metaphysics and theology.

My family and I are members of Blessed Sacrament in Harrisonburg, and occasionally make our way out to JMU CCM.