Zhigang Deng

(Full) Professor, Ph.D.
   Director of Graduate Studies,
   Director of Computer Graphics
         & Interactive Media Lab,
Department of Computer Science,
University of Houston, Houston, TX

Phillip G. Hoffman Hall (PGH), Rm 219
Houston, TX 77204-3010

Tel: +1 713 743 1018
Fax: +1 713 743 3335

Email (preferred way to contact me):
zdeng4 (at) uh.edu

Mailing Address:
Phillip G. Hoffman Hall, Department of Computer Science,
3551 Cullen Blvd, Room 501,
Houston, TX, 77204-3010


I am a (Full) Professor of Computer Science at University of Houston (UH). I am also the Director of Graduate Studies at UH Computer Science Department and the Founding Director of the UH Computer Graphics and Interactive Media (CGIM) Lab. I earned Ph.D. in Computer Science at the Integrated Media System Center (NSF ERC) and Department of Computer Science at the University of Southern California in 2006. I also completed B.S. degree in Mathematics from Xiamen University (China), and M.S. in Computer Science from Peking University (China). Over the years, I've worked or consulted at the Founder Research and Development Center (China), AT&T Shannon Research Lab, and Qualcomm Research.

My current research interests are in the broad, interdisciplinary areas of graphics/animation, human computer interaction, virtual human modeling & animation, affective computing, and humanoid robots. I am the recipient of many awards including CASA Best Paper Award (2017), ACM ICMI Ten Year Technical Impact Award (2014), UH Teaching Excellence Award (2013), NSFC Overseas and Hong Kong/Macau Young Scholars Collaborative Research Award (2013), ICRA Best Medical Robotics Paper Award Runner-up (2012), and Google Faculty Research Award (2010). Besides the CASA 2014 conference general co-chair and SCA 2015 conference general co-chair, I currently serve as an Associate Editor of several journals including Computer Graphics Forum, and Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds Journal. My research has been funded by NSF, NIH, NASA, DOD, Texas NHARP, and various industry sources (Google, Nokia, NVidia, etc). I am a senior member of ACM and a senior member of IEEE.

Research Opportunities

I am constantly looking for new graduate or undergraduate students to join my group! Self-Motivated students with solid math, vision, or graphics background are encouraged to apply. If you are already a current MS or PhD student in UH Computer Science program and would like to work with me, please make sure to take COSC6372 and/or COSC6356 courses.

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selected current projects

Robust Structure Simplification for Hex Re-meshing

A robust and automatic algorithm to simplify the structure and reduce the singularities of a hexahedral mesh

Understand Human Behaviors in Multiparty Conversations

Quantifying, understanding, and modeling human behaviors and gestures when they are involved with multiparty conversations

Interactive Cage Generation for Deformation

An efficient complete pipeline to generate high quality cages for 3D models with arbitrary topological complexities, including high genus or complex models.

Interactive Mechanism Modeling from Multi-view Images

development of a novel interactive mechanism modeling approach based on multi-view images including interactive 3D modeling and stochastic motion parameter estimation.

Hexahedral Mesh Re-parameterization from Aligned Base Domains

A first and complete pipeline to optimize the global structure of a hex-mesh, by identifying and removing those valid removal base-complex sheets that contain misaligned singularities.

Robust and Accurate Skeletal Rigging from Mesh Sequences

Using the input of an animated mesh sequence, this approach can automatically extract its optimal skeleton structure, joint positions, linear blend skinning weights, and the corresponding bone transformations.

Two-layer Sparse Compression of Dense-Weight Blend Skinning

It introduces an efficient two-layer sparse compression technique to substantially reduce the computational cost of a dense-weight skinning model, with insignificant loss of its visual quality.

Smooth Skinning Decomposition with Rigid Bones

The SSDR model can effectively approximate the skin deformation of nearly articulated models as well as highly deformable models by a low number of rigid bones and a sparse, convex bone-vertex weight map.

Realistic Traffic Simulation

Design of novel and efficient algorithms and systems to simulate large-scale realistic traffic in various road and urban settings.

Creative Virtual Tree Modeling

A new method to efficiently generate a set of morphologically diverse and inspiring virtual trees through hierarchical topology-preserving blending, aiming to facilitate designers' creativity production.

Latest News
Our paper "Robust Structure Simplification for Hex Re-meshing" was accepted to ACM SIGGRAPH Asia 2017 Conference as a full technical paper.
Our paper "Topologically Consistent Leafy Tree Morphing" won the Best Paper Award on the International Conference on Computer Animation and Social Agents (CASA) 2017.
Our paper "eye contact based speaker identification in multiparty conversations" was accepted to ACM CHI 2017 Conference as a full research paper.
I am officially promoted to a Full Professor at UH Computer Science Department, Effective on 9/1/2016 (after working exactly ten years at UH).
I together with Prof. Chen receive a new DoD DURIP grant to build a scalable high-fidelity visual computing infrastructure at University of Houston.
I receive a Faculty Academic Excellence Award in recognition extraordinary academic achievements from the Department of Computer Science at University of Houston, during the Department's 2015 annual award recognition event.
I receive a new NSF research grant to work on "Digitally Mediated Multi-party Communication" which starts on 9/1/2015.
I am appointed as the new Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Computer Science at UH, which will be effective since September 2015.
Our paper titled "Hexahedral Mesh Re-parameterization from Aligned Base Domains" (with X. Gao and G. Chen) is accepted to ACM SIGGRAPH 2015 Conference as a technical paper.
I receive a Certificate of Excellence in recognition extraordinary achievements from College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at University of Houston, during the Provost's 2014 award recognition luncheon.
I am a co-recipient of "Ten Year Technical Impact Award" (on ACM ICMI 2014 Conference) for my co-authored ICMI 2004 paper "Analysis of Emotion Recognition using Facial Expressions, Speech and Multimodal Information".
I serve as a general co-chair of ACM SIGGRAPH/Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation (SCA) 2015 that will be held at Los Angeles, CA. Here is the official SCA 2015 website.
I co-instruct a half-day "Skinning: Real-time Shape Deformation" course (with A. Jacobson, L. Kavan, and J. Lewis) on the ACM SIGGRAPH 2014 Conference.
Our paper titled "Robust and Accurate Skeletal Rigging from Mesh Sequences" (with my PhD student Binh H. Le) was accepted to ACM SIGGRAPH 2014 Conference as a technical paper.