CDFG members will be presenting 4 new papers at SIGGRAPH Asia 2020, spanning areas such as robot design, material appearance, and fluidic device optimization. Tao Du, Kui Wu, and Andy Spielberg will present their work on Functional Optimization of Fluidic Devices with Differentiable Stokes Flow. On the robotics side, CDFG members Allan Zhao, Jie Xu, Mina Konaković Luković, and Andrew Spielberg will present RoboGrammar: Graph Grammar for Terrain-Optimized Robot Design. Lastly, we present two papers focused on material modelling and appearance. PhD students Liang Shi and Beichen Li tackle digital material synthesis in their paper MATch: Differentiable Material Graphs for Procedural Material Capture, while researchers Michal Piovarči and Michael Foshey investigate physical material properties with their paper, Towards Spatially Varying Gloss Reproduction for 3D Printing.

For more information about these projects, please visit the project webpages linked above. We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming talks!


Mina Konaković Luković and Yunsheng Tian’s paper Diversity-Guided Multi-Objective Bayesian Optimization With Batch Evaluations has been accepted to NeurIPS 2020. In this paper, we propose a novel multi-objective Bayesian optimization algorithm called DGEMO that is used to automate the process of discovering the Pareto-optimal solutions for multi-objective problems, while minimizing the number of performed evaluations. Our algorithm predominantly outperforms relevant state-of-the-art methods on all the benchmark problems.


Andrew Spielberg’s paper A Simple, Inexpensive, Wearable Glove with Hybrid Resistive‐Pressure Sensors for Computational Sensing, Proprioception, and Task Identification has been published in Advanced Intelligent Systems. In this paper, Andy and his collaborators from Professor Daniela Rus’ lab presented a fully soft, wearable glove which is capable of real‐time hand pose reconstruction, environment sensing, and task classification. The design is easy to fabricate using low cost, commercial off‐the‐shelf items in a manner that is amenable to automated manufacturing. The system can reconstruct user hand pose and identify sensory inputs such as holding force, object temperature, conductability, material stiffness, and user heart rate, all with high accuracy. Check out this article at Advanced Science News to see more exciting applications unlocked by this new technology!


Two papers on the application of multi-objective optimization techniques in supervised learning and reinforcement learning have been accepted to ICML 2020: Prediction-Guided Multi-Objective Reinforcement Learning for Continuous Robot Control from Jie Xu, Yunsheng Tian, and Pingchuan Ma proposed an efficient evolutionary learning algorithm to find the Pareto set approximation for continuous robot control problems, and Efficient Continuous Pareto Exploration in Multi-Task Learning from Pingchuan Ma and Tao Du presented a novel, efficient method that generates locally continuous Pareto sets and Pareto fronts for multi-task learning problems. Details about the two papers will be available soon.


The paper Physical Realization Of Elastic Cloaking With A Polar Material was recently accepted to Physical Review Letters (PRL). In this paper, Wan Shou and Beichen Li collaborated with researchers at University of Missouri and Dalian University of Technology to propose a novel elastic cloak by designing and fabricating a new class of polar materials with a distribution of body torque that exhibits asymmetric stresses. The work sets a precedent in the field of transformation elasticity and should find applications in mechanical stress shielding and stealth technologies. Check out their paper to learn more about this breakthrough in material science!


Dr. Petr Kellnhofer’s work “Gaze360: Physically Unconstrained Gaze Estimation in the Wild” was accepted to ICCV 2019. In this paper, we present Gaze360, a large-scale gaze-tracking dataset and method for robust 3D gaze estimation in unconstrained images. Our proposed 3D gaze model extends existing models to include temporal information and to directly output an estimate of gaze uncertainty. Finally, we demonstrate an application of our model for estimating customer attention in a supermarket setting. This paper was was in collaboration with Professor Antonio Torralba’s group and Toyota Research Institute.


Our very own Postdoctoral researcher Changil Kim is joining Facebook in Seattle as a research scientist in September, after spending two and a half wonderful years in our lab. During his time in our lab, Changil has actively contributed to many research projects, including motion magnification, replicating oil painting, speech to face, and video processing. Congratulations to Changil and wish him all the best in Seattle!


During the past week, Alex’s two recent papers on knitting Neural Inverse Knitting: From Images to Manufacturing Instructions (ICML 19) and Knitting Skeletons: Computer-Aided Design Tool for Shaping and Patterning of Knitted Garments (UIST 19) have received lots of media attention, including a recent interview from BBC. The story is also widely reported by TechCrunch, 7News Boston, Mashable, Fortune, VentureBeat, Engadget, ZDNet, Geek, Market Research Finance, Interesting Engineering, Fibre2Fashion, and MIT News.


Alex’s latest work Knitting Skeletons: A Computer-Aided Design Tool for Shaping and Patterning of Knitted Garments is officially accepted to UIST 2019. In this paper, Alex and Liane present a novel interactive system for simple garment composition and surface patterning. Both casual users and advanced users can benefit from their system. Check out these beautiful samples to explore the new possibility brought by their tool!


Jie’s SIGGRAPH paper Learning to Fly: Computational Controller Design for Hybrid UAVs with Reinforcement Learning has been covered by media outlets including EngadgetUASWeeklyMashableVentureBeatSlashGearRobotics Business ReviewEletronics360UberGizmoDroneLifeUnmanned AerialScience Daily, and AI News in the past week. If you are at SIGGRAPH, come to room 151 and check out Jie’s presentation today!


In our latest work published in Science Advances, our group presented an automated system that designs and 3-D prints complex robotic actuators which are optimized according to an enormous number of specifications. We demonstrate the system by fabricating actuators that show different black-and-white images at different angles. One of our actuators portrays a Vincent van Gogh portrait when laid flat and the famous Edvard Munch painting “The Scream” when tiled an angle. We also 3-D printed floating water lilies with petals equipped with arrays of actuators and hinges that fold up in response to magnetic fields run through conductive fluids.


Our latest work on human grasping “Learning the signatures of the human grasp using a scalable tactile glove” was published in Nature. In this paper, we use a scalable tactile glove and deep convolutional neural networks to show that sensors uniformly distributed over the hand can be used to identify individual objects, estimate their weight and explore the typical tactile patterns that emerge while grasping objects. Using a low-cost (about US$10) scalable tactile glove sensor array, we record a large-scale tactile dataset with 135,000 frames, each covering the full hand while interacting with 26 different objects. This set of interactions with different objects reveals the key correspondences between different regions of a human hand while it is manipulating objects. Insights from the tactile signatures of the human grasp—through the lens of an artificial analog of the natural mechanoreceptor network—can thus aid the future design of prosthetics, robot grasping tools, and human-robot interactions.


Our PhD student Jie Xu will present his latest work “Learning to Fly: Computational Controller Design for Hybrid UAVs with Reinforcement Learning” at SIGGRAPH 2019 this summer. In this paper, Jie proposed a novel neural network controller design for hybrid UAVs, an aerial robot that is challenging to control due to its complex aerodynamic effects. His method allows us to directly apply a controller trained in simulation to real hybrid UAV hardware without any modification. Checkout his website and the project page to find more!


Alex and Tae-Hyun’s latest paper on neural inverse knitting is accepted to ICML 2019. In this paper, they introduce the new problem of automatic machine instruction generation using a single image of the desired physical product. Check out the project page to learn more about the way they tackle the problem and see a dataset of real knitting samples!


After spending one and a half wonderful years in our lab, our very own Postdoctoral researcher, Tae-Hyun Oh, joined Faceboook AI Research, Cambridge, MA, which is located across the street. During his stay at MIT, Tae-Hyun has contributed to a wide range of research projects, including Motion MagnificationSoft SegmentationSpeech2Face, and Inverse Knitting. Congratulations to Tae-Hyun, and wish him the best of luck in the future!


Yuanming’s latest paper ChainQueen was accepted to ICRA 2019. In this paper, he presented a differentiable deformable body simulator that opens up lots of possibilities for efficient controller and geometry design algorithms in robotics. Check out this video to see what amazining work can be done using his simulator!


Liang Shi’s Siggraph Asia paper: Deep Multispectral Painting Reproduction via Multi-Layer, Custom-Ink Printing, has been covered by lots of media outlets including TechCrunchForbes 1Forbes 2Fast CompanyEngadgetThe TelegraphWIRED ItalyDaily MailMIT News3D Printing Media NetworkMIT Sloan Management ReviewNew Atlas, and many more! Please check out his website for paper and data, or come to his talk if you are also at Siggraph Asia this week!


Congratulations to our CDFG alumna Adriana Schulz, now an assistant professor at University of Washington, on getting the MIT EECS’s George M. Sprowls Awards for Best PhD Thesis in Computer Science!


Adriana’s latest SIGGRAPH paper Interactive Exploration of Design Trade-Offs was covered in MIT news and Tech Explorist yesterday. Check out this project webpage to know more, or come to her presentation today if you are also at SIGGRAPH!


After successfully defending his PhD thesis in our group, Dr. Subramanian Sundaram joined the Chen Lab at Boston University as a postdoctoral researcher last week. Good luck, Subra! Hope you are doing well across the river!


Dr. Bo Zhu, our postdoctoral researcher, will join the Computer Science Department at Dartmouth College as an assistant professor in the fall of 2018. Congratulations to Bo and wish him good luck!


Our postdoctoral researcher Adriana Schulz, who recently obtained her PhD from our group, will join the Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington as an assistant professor in the fall of 2018. Congratuations to Adriana and wish her all the best in the future!


Our PhD student Subramanian Sundaram successfully defended his PhD thesis “3D-printing Form and Function” this morning. His thesis committee members are Prof. Wojciech Matusik, Prof. Marc Baldo, and Prof. Vladimir Bulovic. Congratulations to Dr. Sundaram and wish him all the best in his future endeavors!


Adriana Schulz, who recently defended her PhD thesis in our group, will present her work Interactive Exploration of Design Trade-Offs at SIGGRAPH 2018. In this paper, Adriana and her coauthors presented a new method to interactively explore the Pareto front in the performance space of a design problem. This is joint work with Professor Eitan Grinspun at Columbia University and Professor Justin Solomon at MIT CSAIL.


Our PhD student Adriana Schulz is now Dr. Schulz. Dr. Schulz successfully defended her thesis, “Computational Design for the Next Manufacturing Revolution” yesterday. Congratulations!


Our postdoctoral researcher Petr Kellnhofer received this year’s Eurographics Annual Award for Best PhD Thesis for his strong technical contribution in perceptual modeling for stereoscopic 3D by running dedicated perceptual studies, deriving new perceptual models from his findings, and integrating these models in computer graphics algorithms. Congratulations!


Our Ph.D. student James Minor was recently awarded the NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) postgraduate scholarship for his academic excellence, research ability, and leadership abilities. This prestigious and highly competitive scholarship will support James financially for the next two years. Congratulations to James!


AutoSaw, a robotic carpenter developed in Adriana Schulz’s latest ICRA paper Robot Assisted Carpentry for Mass Customization, has attracted a lot of media attention from MIT NewsBBC NewsNew AtlascnetDesignboomBGRengadgetPopular MechanicsThe VergeBusiness Insider AustraliaInverseScience DailyIEEE SpectrumNew AtlasElectronics360, and many more!


After spending two wonderful years in our group as a Postdoctoral researcher, Melina Skouras is joining the IMAGINE team at Inria Grenoble as a tenured research scientist in December. Melina has helped many of us in various research projects with her knowledge and expertise. Congratulations to Melina on her next move in career!


Congratulations to Liang Shi on his newly accepted paper Near-eye Light Field Holographic Rendering with Spherical Waves for Wide Field of View Interactive 3D Computer Graphics at SIGGRAPH Asia this year! In this paper Liang and his colleagues at Nvidia present a light field-based CGH rendering pipeline allowing for reproduction of high-definition 3D scenes with continuous depth and support of intra-pupil view-dependent occlusion. Want to learn more? Please check out their project page and this cool video!


Our very own Desai Chen successfully defended his PhD thesis Multiscale Methods for Fabrication Design this afternoon. His thesis committee members are Professor Wojciech Matusik, Professor Justin Solomon, and Professor Markus J. Buehler. Congratulations to Dr. Chen, and wish him the best of luck for everything in the future!


Subramanian Sundaram’s recent work 3D-printed self-folding electronics was selected as Today’s spotlight on MIT front page this morning! In this paper, Subra and his colleagues built a prototype self-folding printable device that includes electrical leads and a polymer “pixel” that changes from transparent to opaque when a voltage is applied to it. Check out this video to learn more about this tiny and cute self-folding robot!


We are pleased to announce that Yuanming Hu is joining our group as a PhD student starting from September 2017. Yuanming obtained his Bachelor’s in Computer Science from Yao class at Tsinghua University. His research interests include physics-based simulation and rendering, as well as many other topics in computer graphics. Yuanming is also the author of Taichi, a popular open-source computer graphics software that implements more than 40 Siggraph/ToG papers. Welcome!


Bo Zhu’s paper Two-scale topology optimization with microstructures was featured at the front page of MIT News today! In this paper, Bo proposed a method that can efficiently genrate high-resolution 3D-printable structures with more than a trillion elements with just a regular computer.


Tae-Hyun Oh is joining our group as a new postdoctoral research starting from this summer. He received his PhD from KAIST where he worked with Prof. In So Kweon and Prof. Jinwoo Shin. He is a recipient of Microsoft Research Asia fellowship, gold prize of Samsung HumanTech thesis award, Qualcomm Innovation award, and top research achievement awards from KAIST. Welcome Tae-Hyun!


After several months of work, we are pleased to announce the release of the source code from our SIGGRAPH ASIA paper Computational Multicopter Design, which is now available on GitHub under the GNU General Public License v2:


Cables provide a natural, biomimetic means of actuating robots, but figuring out how to route them to get the motion you want can be unintuitive. Our methods automate this process, and make it easy to design puppets, animatronics, and robots, for novices and experts alike. See the full paper at SCA ‘17.


Desai Chen’s paper Dynamics-Aware Numerical Coarsening for Fabrication Design has received media attention from MIT NEWS,, and Science Daily. Desai will present his work at SIGGRAPH 2017 next week.


Tired of spending time meant for your mechanical design work actually just waiting for simulations to finish?


Last Sunday our PhD student Andrew Spielberg presented a talk on “Co-Optimization of Robots and Mechanisms” at this year’s RSS workshop on minimality ( In this talk, Andy presented recent work (ICRA ‘17) on the co-optimization of whole-body robot trajectories and design parameters from high-level task specifications.  Their method requires minimal user domain knowledge, requiring only a coarse guess of the target robot configuration sequence and a parameterized robot topology as input.  Further, this method considers the physical constraints afforded by the actuators, and selects the minimal actuators possible for task feasibility.  Following this work, he also presented methods for improving the fabricability of such mechanisms using cable-driven actuation (SCA ‘17).  Andy then presented work (IJRR ‘17) which makes this otherwise mathematically-intensive design process more intuitive for human users by presenting more intuitive, end-to-end CAD-like robot design software.  Finally, Andy discussed some of the most important open problems facing the automated robot design community moving forward.


Petr’s work 3DTV at home has been covered by many media outlets including TechCrunch, CNET, Yahoo News, Mashable, Engadget, Daily Mail, Digital Trends and MIT NEWS. Petr’s is going to present his work at this year’s SIGGRAPH. Looking forward to his presentation!


This year our group is going to present 6 papers at Siggraph 2017:


Our paper 3D-Printed Autonomous Sensory Composites has received a lot of media attention, including MIT News, TechCrunch, Engadget, Digital Trends, Yahoo!, 3ders, 3dprint, the science times, and many more! Check out the project page for details.


Congratulations to Subramanian Sundaram on his newly accepted paper “3D-Printed Autonomous Sensory Composites”, which was selected as the back cover image by Advanced Materials Technologies! Check out to find more!


Adriana Schulz’s paper “Retrieval On Parametric Shape Collections” was accepted by TOG, which will also be presented at SIGGRAPH this year. Congratulations and looking forward to her presentation!


New post-doctoral associate Petr Kellnhofer joined our group in January from MPI Informatik and Saarland University. Petr visited our group in 2016 and this time he will use the research and knowledge garnered during his successful PhD thesis work to enhance all of our research efforts. Welcome back Petr!


We are seeking a postdoctoral associate with a PhD in Electrical or Computer Engineering. To apply for this position please click here.


We have 2 papers accepted to Siggraph Asia this year: Computational Multicopter Design presents an interactive system for computational design, optimization, and fabrication of multicopters, and Stochastic Structural Analysis For Context-Aware Design And Fabrication proposes failure probabilities as a semantically and mechanically meaningful measure of object fragility.


Our UIST paper Foundry has received a lot of media attention (techcrunch, 3dprint, mit news, csail news, engadget, zdnet, fastweb, 3ders, 3dprintingindustryazomaterials)! Check our project page for details!


Changil Kim is joining our group as a new Postdoctoral researcher this fall. Welcome!


Jie Xu and Aric Bartle are joining our group as new PhD students this fall! Welcome, welcome!


Our SIGGRAPH paper Simit is in MIT news today!


Check out our 5 papers presented at this year’s SIGGRAPH: Perceptual Model, Simit, 3D TV screen, acoustic voxels and knitting compiler.


Check out our SIGGRAPH 2016 course on computational tools for 3D printing!


Our SIGGRAPH paper 3D TV screen received media coverage from MIT news today!


Sung-Ho Bae joins our group as a new postdoc this summer. Welcome welcome!


Our SIGGRAPH paper A Compiler For 3D Machine Knitting got media attention (!


Our very own David Levin joined the Dynamic Graphics Project at the University of Toronto as an Assistant Professor. Congratulations and best of luck!


We have two new papers accepted to ACM Siggraph Asia 2015, one to UIST 2015, and one to ACM Multimedia 2015.


We have three papers accepted to ACM Siggraph 2015: “Data-driven finite elements for geometry and material design”, “Fab forms: customizable objects for fabrication with validity and geometry caching”, “MultiFab: a machine vision assisted platform for multi-material 3D printing.” We will be also presenting a talk on “Interactive Robogami: Data-Driven Design for 3D Print and Fold Robots with Ground Locomotion” and a course on “Computational Tools for 3D Printing”.


New post-doctoral associates Melina Skouras from ETH Zurich and Bo Zhu from Stanford University join our group. We also welcome Petr Kellnhofer from MPI Saarbrucken.


Professor Matusik is a speaker at the MIT Europe Conference in Vienna - “From Digital to Real: Get Ready to Make Just About Anything in Your Own Home.” He is also interviewed by Wiener Zeitung.


Professor Matusik talks on “Abstrations for Multi-material Fabrication” at Yale, Cornell, CMU, and Stanford University.


New graduate students: Subra Sundaram, Alexandre Kaspar, and Wei Zhao join CDFG.


Our group has presented four publications at Siggraph 2014:


Professor Matusik is a keynote speaker at the Symposium on Computational Geometry this year. More information can be found on the SGP website.


Professor Matusik has given a talk at the MIT-Europe Conference. The conference this year focusses on advanced manufacturing and new urbanism.


Professor Matusik has delivered a keynote “From Virtual to Real” at Eurographics 2014.


Please welcome Yuwang Wang, our new visiting student from the BBNC lab at Tsinghua University.


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