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A method for synthesizing the haptic response of nonlinear deformable objects from data obtained by offline simulation helps create surgical simulators with high-fidelity haptic feedback. Haptic displays provide users with artificially created tactile sensations. One important use of these displays is to recreate the experience caused by contact between a tool and an object. This capability can be useful in several applications, such as surgical simulators, because users experience an enhanced sense of realism when a haptic simulation is combined with a graphic simulation. Haptic displays require two essential subsystems: a haptic device, which typically has a handle connected to sensors and actuators, and a computational system that interfaces with the device.