Research Interests

The goal of my research is to understand creativity in design more thoroughly and to develop computational design tools for architectural and urban 3D modeling. As a scientist, I would like to develop research projects sponsored by foundations such as NSF, and publish technical papers on the topics in the top science journals such as Siggraph and Eurographics. The following is a list of projects that I am interested in developing.

1) VR City Model Development for Visualization and Simulation
I am interested in the applications of VR environments for multi-variate visualizations and simulations. I would like to develop an interdisciplinary project to reconstruct 3D city models for use in various real-time interactive simulations. These projects involve collaborations with researchers in the domains such as Architecture, Urban Planning, Traffic Engineering, Geography, Computer Science, and Cognitive Science. The developed models would also be used for other projects and in classrooms as educational materials.
I led and completed the Digital Phoenix project as a PI of visualizing and modeling group for three years at ASU. In the project, we developed 3D digital model of Downtown Phoenix covering a 2 x 2 mile area with more than 700 buildings, 200 streets, and 100 intersections. In addition to the static objects, over 10,000 vehicles and light rail trains ran as artificial intelligent agents, dynamically controlled by more than 200 traffic signals placed in the real-time VR environment.
The project proposed here is an extension of the Digital Phoenix project model with more functions to simulate the evacuation of people and vehicles, water and flood impact, air pollution, heat island effect, sustainability, etc.

2) Procedural Architectural/Urban Modeling
I am interested in developing computational design tools for real time generation of architectural and urban models. One approach is to use procedural modeling technologies with scripting based on shape grammar. I have been involved in an NSF Creative-IT project and have developed computational tools to generate 3D geometry on free surfaces using procedural modeling guided with scalar, vector, and tensor fields. Another approach is to use image-driven technology encapsulating the procedural modeling steps. I developed a tool to rapidly generate VR city models from images and sketches using this approach. It generates 3D buildings with baked textures, terrain models from DEM data, and street networks with lane conditions for traffic simulations. I would like to do more scientific research in this area and plan to make the proposals to NSF and other science foundations.

3) Conference Development
Since 2007 I have been the chair of World16, a world-wide working group of sixteen researchers who are exploring VR city modeling and visualization. The objective is to develop a new research framework. We discuss new applications of VR city modeling and share knowledge and skills in this domain. I organized three symposiums and two workshops during the past three years. I would like to continue this effort and develop more international conferences with researchers involved in VR applications.