This volume derives from a workshop on differential geometry, calculus of vari- ations, and computer graphics at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, May 23-25, 1988. The meeting was structured around principal lectures given by F. Almgren, M. Callahan, J. Ericksen, G. Francis, R. Gulliver, P. Hanra- han, J. Kajiya, K. Polthier, J. Sethian, I. Sterling, E. L. Thomas, and T. Vogel. The divergent backgrounds of these and the many other participants, as reflected in their lectures at the meeting and in their papers presented here, testify to the unifying element of the workshop's central theme. Any such meeting is ultimately dependent for its success on the interest and motivation of its participants. In this respect the present gathering was especially fortunate. The depth and range of the new developments presented in the lectures and also in informal discussion point to scientific and technological frontiers be- ing crossed with impressive speed. The present volume is offered as a permanent record for those who were present, and also with a view toward making the material available to a wider audience than were able to attend.