Zhigang Deng, Ph.D.

Moores Professor of Computer Science
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 228
Houston, TX 77204-3010

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

Email (preferred way to contact me):
zdeng4 (at) central.uh.edu
OR zhigang.deng (at) gmail.com

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


Dr. Zhigang Deng is Moores Professor of Computer Science and the Director of Graduate Studies at the Computer Science Department of University of Houston. He earned Ph.D. in Computer Science at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Southern California in 2006. He also completed B.S. degree in Mathematics from Xiamen University (China), and M.S. in Computer Science from Peking University (China). Over the years, he had worked at or consulted for the Founder Group (China), AT&T Research, Tencent USA, and Qualcomm.

His current research interests are in the broad areas of computer graphics, computer animation, virtual humans, human computer conversation, and biomedical informatics. He is the recipient of many awards including Moores Professorship, CASA Best Paper Awards, IEEE CBMS Best Paper Award, ACM ICMI Ten Year Technical Impact Award, UH Teaching Excellence Award, ICRA Best Medical Robotics Paper Award Runner-up, and Google Faculty Research Award. His research has been funded by NSF, NIH, NASA, DOD, Texas NHARP, QNRP, and various industry sources (Google, Honda, Electronic Arts, Nokia, etc). Besides serving as the conference/program co-chair for CASA 2014, SCA 2015, MIG 2022, and PG 2023, he has been an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, Computer Graphics Forum, etc. His research work has been incorporated into many de facto graphics/animation packages (including Maya, and Houdini) and used in many game studios (e.g., Electronic Arts). He is an ACM Distinguished member and an IEEE Senior Member.

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

Butterfly Modeling and Simulation

An efficient and practical model to simulate butterfly flights including wing-abdomen interaction in various conditions and environments, based on parametric maneuvering functions and force-based models

Real-time Video-based Facial Performance Capture and Manipulation

Automatic algorithms to real-time capture 3D high-quality facial mesh sequences as well as video-based facial expression manipulation and face swapping

Analysis and Modeling Human Behaviors in Multiparty Conversations

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

Skeletal Rigging from Mesh/Point 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.

Crowd Simulation and Evacuation

New algorithms and systems to simulate crowds or group behavior in unexpected hazard situations, computational model of crowd emotion evolution, or simulated crowds by integrating physical strength consumption

Visual Traffic Simulation, Modeling, and Evaluation

Design of novel and efficient algorithms and systems to simulate large-scale realistic traffic in various road and urban settings, including mixed traffic, lane-changing, simulated traffic evaluation, and intersectional traffic simulation.

3D Face Modeling from In-the-wild Images or Video

Automatic methods to reconstruct 3D face models with fine-scale details from a single in-the-wild image or video, including automatically augment coarse-scale 3D faces with synthesized fine-scale geometric wrinkles.

Hexahedral Mesh Generation, Optimization, and Evaluation

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, and a volumetric partitioning strategy based on a generalized sweeping framework to seamlessly partition the volume of an input triangle mesh into a collection of deformed cuboids.

Interactive Complex Object Modeling from Multi-view Images

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

Latest News
Our paper "Tele-Mentoring Using Augmented Reality: A Feasibility Study to Assess Teaching of Laparoscopic Suturing Skills" published on the IEEE International Symposium on Computer-based Medical Systems (CBMS) 2023 received IEEE TCCLS Best Paper Award given by the IEEE Technical Committee on Computational Life Sciences.
I was invited to serve as the program co-chair for Pacific Graphics 2023 conference. Welcome to submit papers to PG 2023 at Daejeon, Korea!
I and colleagues (at UH ECE, U of Arkansas, and UT MD Anderson) was awarded an NIH R01 grant to work on AI-Doctor Collaborative Medical Image Diagnosis.
I served as the program co-chair of ACM SIGGRAPH Conference on Motion, Interaction, and Games (MIG) 2022, which held at Guanajuato, Mexico in November 2022. Here is the MIG 2022 website.
My co-authored ACM TOG paper "A Practical Model for Realistic Butterfly Flight Simulation" was presented on ACM SIGGRAPH 2022 Conference, which introduces the first-of-its-kind computational model to animate the flights of 3D butterflies.
I was named as an ACM Distinguished Member (2021 class). Here is its ACM Press Release, and UH News.
I was invited to serve as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics in 2021.
I was selected to receive the "Moores Professorship" at the University of Houston, starting from the academic year 2021. Here is its UH Computer Science News.
I was awarded a NSF IIS grant to work on understanding and modeling behaviors of small group conversations.
Two CGF papers are Top 10% downloaded CGF papers 2018 - 2019 (i.e., from Jan 2018 to Dec 2019).
I will give an invited plenary talk on AIVR 2020 (4th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality) in October at Kumamoto, Japan.
Our SSDR work ("Smooth Skinning Decomposition with Rigid Bones", Siggraph Asia 2012) has been incorporated into many mainstream graphics/animation packages, including Maya, Houdini, and Blender, and has been used in many game studios including Electronic Arts (EA) and Naughty Dog. The open-source code of our SSDR work can be found in this LINK. Also check out this UH News.
Our paper "Topologically Consistent Leafy Tree Morphing" won the Best Paper Award on the International Conference on Computer Animation and Social Agents (CASA) 2017.
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".