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Ying Zhu

Associate Professor    

B.Eng., Computer Science, Southwest Jiaotong University, China, 1991
M.Eng., Computer Science, University of Electronic Science & Technology, China, 1994
Ph.D., Computer Science, George Mason University, 2000


Computer graphics, visualization, human-computer interaction, bioinformatics


My research areas include computer graphics, visualization, and human-computer interaction.

In computer graphics, I am interested in real-time 3D visual simulation. My goal is to develop novel techniques that help create realistic 3D graphics environments for training, education, and research. For example, I have developed new techniques for surgical simulation, flight simulation, and ground vehicle simulation. I have collaborated with biologists to develop a 3D graphics simulator that helps study the neural basis of adaptive behavior.

I am also interested in developing visualization techniques that help uncover hidden patterns in large data sets. Particularly I focus on integrating visualization methods with data mining or other artificial intelligence techniques. For example, we have developed techniques for visualizing neuron circuits, text readability, and patterns of online collaborations.

In the area of human-computer interaction, my past and current projects include augmented reality, graphical password, and large scale visualization wall. I am particularly interested in the problem of analyzing and managing the complexity of human-computer interactions.


D. Cofer, G. Cymbalyuk, James Reid, Y. Zhu, W. J. Heitler, and D. H. Edwards, AnimatLab: a 3-D graphics environment for neuromechanical simulations, Journal of Neuroscience Methods, Vol. 187, No. 2, 2010, pp. 280–288.

J. W. Chastine and Y. Zhu, The cost of supporting references in collaborative augmented reality, Proceedings of the 34th Graphics Interface Conference (GI), 2008.

X. Suo, Y. Zhu, and G. S. Owen, Measuring the complexity of visualization design, Proceedings of the 2007 Workshop on Visualization for Computer Security (VizSEC), Springer, 2007.

J. W. Chastine, K. Nagel, Y. Zhu, and L. Yearsovich, Understanding the design space of referencing in collaborative augmented reality environments, Proceedings of the 33rd Graphics Interface Conference (GI), ACM, 2007.

A. S. Aquilio, J. C. Brooks, Y. Zhu, and G. S. Owen, Real-time GPU-based simulation of dynamic terrain, Advances in Visual Computing, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS), G. Bebis et al. (eds.), Vol. 4291, pp. 891–900, Springer-Verlag, 2006.

J. W. Chastine, J. C. Brooks, Y. Zhu, G. S. Owen, R. W. Harrison, and I. T. Weber, AMMP-Vis: a collaborative virtual environment for molecular modeling, Proceedings of ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology (VRST), ACM, 2005.

X. Suo, Y. Zhu, and G. S. Owen, Graphical password: a survey, Proceedings of 21st Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC), IEEE, 2005.

J. X. Chen, H. Wechsler, M. Pullen, Y. Zhu, and E. MacMahon, Knee surgery assistance: patient model construction, motion simulation, and biomechanical visualization, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, Vol. 48, No. 9, September 2001, pp. 1042–1052.