Bo Zhu

Postdoctoral Researcher, CSAIL, MIT
PhD, Computer Science, Stanford University
boolzhu [at]

About Me

I am a postdoctoral researcher at MIT CSAIL working with Prof. Wojciech Matusik. I received my Ph.D. degree from the Computer Science Department at Stanford University in June 2015, advised by Prof. Ron Fedkiw. Before that, I studied for my B.Eng. and M.Sc. degrees at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. I was a visiting researcher in Prof. Takeo Igarashi's group at JST, ERATO in 2010. My research interests mainly lie in computer graphics, computational physics, and computational fabrication.

I am joining the Computer Science Department at Dartmouth College as an assistant professor in Fall 2018. I am looking for postdoc researchers, Ph.D. students, and research interns with backgrounds in numerics, physics, graphics, and robotics. Feel free to drop me an email if you are interested.

Research Overview

I develop computational approaches to study complex natural systems and make novel robotic systems. By combining applied mathematics, continuum mechanics, numerical algorithms, and 3D printing techniques, I investigate and develop physical systems that are fluidic, soft, multi-scale, mixed-dimensional, and computation-driven. In particular, I seek to create computer algorithms to unveil the connections between geometry, topology, material, and dynamics of these complex systems.

The problems I study are visual and tangible, ranging from complex fluid phenomena that exhibit visually appealing characteristics to fabricated physical objects that can be grasped in one's hands. I create novel computational infrastructures to simulate phenomena observed in fluid mechanics experiments, such as ¡°water bell,¡± ¡°fishbone,¡± and ¡°membrane catenoid,¡± and those seen in daily life, such as paint, soap bubbles, and pizza cheese. On another front, I build large-scale topology optimization algorithms to develop functional, printable, and microstructural soft systems, such as a soft robotic gripper, with a particular focus on bridging the gap between the printing hardware and computer software.

Simulations, 3D Prints, and User Interfaces
Here list some vidoes introducing my previous work (click image to play). See my vimeo channel for more details.

Desai Chen, Melina Skouras, Bo Zhu, Wojciech Matusik. Computational Discovery of Extremal Microstructure Families. Science Advances 4(1), 2018. [paper] [youtube] [MIT News]

Bo Zhu, Melina Skouras, Desai Chen, Wojciech Matusik. Two-Scale Topology Optimization with Microstructures. ACM Transactions on Graphics, 36(5):164. (Presented at SIGGRAPH 2017). [paper] [supplementary] [youtube] [project page] [MIT News]

Adriana Schulz, Jie Xu, Bo Zhu, Changxi Zheng, Eitan Grinspun, Wojciech Matusik. Interactive Design Space Exploration and Optimization for CAD Models. ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH 2017), 36(4):157. [paper] [youtube] [project page] [MIT News]

Tao Du, Adriana Schulz, Bo Zhu, Bernd Bickel, Wojciech Matusik. Computational Multicopter Design. ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH Asia 2016), 35(6):227. [paper] [youtube] [project page] [MIT News]

Bo Zhu, Minjae Lee, Ed Quigley, Ron Fedkiw. Codimensional Non-Newtonian Fluids. ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH 2015), 34(4):115. [paper] [video] [vimeo]

Wen Zheng, Bo Zhu, Byungmoon Kim, Ron Fedkiw. A New Incompressibility Discretization for a Hybrid Particle MAC Grid Representation with Surface Tension. Journal of Computational Physics, 280:94-142, 2015. [paper] [video]

Bo Zhu, Ed Quigley, Matthew Cong, Justin Solomon, Ron Fedkiw. Codimensional Surface Tension Flow on Simplicial Complexes. ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH 2014), 33(4):111. [paper] [video] [vimeo] [project page]

Bo Zhu, Wenlong Lu, Matthew Cong, Byungmoon Kim, Ron Fedkiw. A New Grid Structure for Domain Extension. ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH 2013), 32(4):63. [paper] [video] [vimeo] [project page]

Bo Zhu, Michiaki Iwata, Ryo Haraguchi, Takashi Ashihara, Nobuyuki Umetani, Takeo Igarashi, Kazuo Nakazawa. Sketch-based Dynamic Illustration of Fluid Systems. ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH Asia 2011), 30(6):134. [paper] [video] [vimeo] [project page]

Bo Zhu, Xubo Yang, Ye Fan. Creating and Preserving Vortical Details in SPH Fluid. Computer Graphics Forum (Pacific Graphics 2010), 29(7):2207. [paper] [vimeo] [project page]
Bo Zhu, Xubo Yang. Animating Sand as a Surface Flow. Eurographics 2010 short paper. [paper] [vimeo] [project page]

Bo Zhu. Codimensional Fluid Simulation on Simplicial Complexes. PhD Thesis, Stanford University, 2015. [Thesis]

Media Coverage

Automating Materials Design. MIT News, Feb 2, 2018.

Designing the Microstructure of Printed Objects. MIT News, Aug 3, 2017.
Other media: science daily, space daily,, 3D print, neuro robotics magazine, robot globe, etc.

Reshaping Computer-Aided Design. MIT News, Jul 24, 2017.
Other media: science daily, engadget, 3D print,, etc.

Design Your Own Custom Drone. MIT News, Dec 5, 2016.
Other media: techcrunch, popular mechanics, engadget, robotics trends, etc.


I was a guest lecturer for MIT 6.837 ¡°Introduction to Computer Graphics,¡± MIT S.079 ¡°Computational Fabrication,¡± and Stanford CS248 ¡°Interactive Computer Graphics.¡± I was a teaching assistant of Stanford CS148 ¡°Introduction to Computer Graphics and Imaging¡± between 2012-2014 and CS248 between 2012-2013.

Last updated in October, 2017.