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

Curriculum Vitae

Click here to view full CV.


A comprehensive list of my publications is available here


See my Google Scholar Citation Record