I was teaching my students about Delaunay Triangulation which is a method for dividing a surface into triangles. This triangulation method is the basis of most computer calculations that require a surface to be approximated as small elements. Here is an example
I pointed out that Delaunay's contribution was made in 1934. One student asked why Delaunay would be working on a computer method well before computers were invented. This is a good question that I was wondering if anyone on this site could answer.
The Wickipedia article on Boris Delaunay does mention that he worked on crystal structures so this may be a connection but that is just my speculation. It is interesting that his ideas should be so widely used in areas well outside his interests.
Why did Boris Delaunay work on the very modern topic of triangulation of surfaces when there were no computer methods in his day?