Hi, my name is Steve Baek. I’m an applied geometer, professor, and entrepreneur interested in geometric data analysis. At the intersection of differential geometry and machine learning, I develop mathematical representations and algorithms for quantifying trends and patterns across geometric objects. My current and past research spans a variety of interdisciplinary subjects including analysis of geometric patterns in physical/biological phenomena (e.g. microstructure morphology of energetic materials, linkage between tumoral/peritumoral geometry and cancer outcome, etc.), statistical human body shape analysis, observation-based assessment of human performance/ergonomics, etc. I’ve been serving as a principal investigator of a variety of research projects sponsored by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Air Force, NASA, Department of Transportation, Hyundai Motor Company, and others.
I received my B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Seoul National University (SNU) in 2009 and 2013, respectively, both with the best thesis honor. I received the National Science and Engineering Scholarship and the Global Ph.D. Fellowship from the Korean Ministry of Education during my studies. Until 2015, I was a postdoc at the Institute of Advanced Machines and Design at SNU, during which I was awarded Presidential Postdoc Fellowship by the President of the Republic of Korea. I moved to the United States in 2015 to join the University of Iowa. Until 2021, I was an Assistant Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Iowa, with courtesy appointments in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Radiation Oncology, and Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences. I was also a faculty member of the National Advanced Driving Simulator. Currently, I’m an Associate Professor of Data Science at the University of Virginia and I direct the Visual Intelligence Laboratory. I’m also CTO and co-founder of Inseer, Inc. and VGA, LLC., Iowa-based startups specializing in computer vision and artificial intelligence.
Outside of my professional work, I love playing golf, baseball and tennis (in that order). Fun fact: I played in 2012 SNU League All-Star Games as a first baseman. I also enjoy photography and graphic design.
Ph.D. Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Seoul National University, Korea, 2013.
Thesis: Nonlinear Analysis of the Space of Human Body Shapes and Its Application to Parametric Human Modeling System (Best Thesis Award, Grand Prize from the ‘Society of CAD/CAM Engineers Graduate Thesis Awards’)
B.S. Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Seoul National University, Korea, 2009.
Thesis: A Modeling Method for 3D Face Model Using Single 2D Front-View Image (Best Thesis Honor)
Honors & Awards
- Defense Innovation Award from Defense TechConnect Innovation Summit and Expo, 2020.
- Old Gold Fellowship from the University of Iowa, 2018.
- Best Paper Award from International Conference on Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Constructed Infrastructure Facilities, 2017.
- Most Cited Articles in Computer-Aided Design since 2011, Elsevier, 2016.
- Best Paper Award from 2015 Annual Conference of the Society of CAD/CAM Engineers, 2015.
- Best Paper Award from 2014 Summer Conference of the Society of CAD/CAM Engineers, 2014.
- Bronze Prize from 15th Korea CAD/CAM Software Competition, 2014.
- Grand Prize from the 1st Delcam Korea & the Society of CAD/CAM Engineers Best Graduate Thesis Awards, 2014.
- Best Paper Award from 2014 Annual Conference of the Society of CAD/CAM Engineers, 2014.
- Best Student Paper from 2014 Annual Conference of the Society of CAD/CAM Engineers, 2014.
- Best Ph.D. Thesis from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Seoul National University, 2014.
- Presidential Postdoc Fellowship from the President of Republic of Korea, 2013–2015.
- Top 25 Hottest Articles Published in Computer-Aided Design in 2012, Elsevier, 2012.
- Bronze Prize from 13th Korea CAD/CAM Software Competition, 2012.
- Global Ph.D. Fellowship from the Korean Ministry of Education, 2011–2013.
- Best Paper of the Year from Transactions of the Society of CAD/CAM Engineers, 2011.
- Best Paper of the Year from Transactions of the Society of CAD/CAM Engineers, 2010.
- Bronze Medal from 2009 Korea Software Awards, 2010.
- Best Bachelor’s Thesis from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Seoul National University, 2008.
- Outstanding Design Award from Seoul National University Robot Competition, 2008.
- Best Product Development Award from Seoul National University CAD/CAM Contest, 2007.
- Award for Appreciation in 2007 School Retreat Program from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Seoul National University, 2007.
- Outstanding Design Award from Seoul National University Mechanical Design Contest, 2005.
- National Science and Engineering Scholarship from the Korean Ministry of Education, 2005-2009.
Click here to view full CV.
A comprehensive list of my publications is available here