Zachary Ferguson, Ph.D.
  • Postdoctoral Associate
  • Algorithmic Design Group
  • Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Contact Info:
  • MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
  • The Stata Center, Building 32
  • 32 Vassar Street
  • Cambridge, MA 02139
Email: zfergus@mit.edu

About Me

I am a Postdoctoral Associate at MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and part of the Algorithmic Design Group. At MIT, I work with Professor Mina Konaković Luković and others on research in differentiable simulation and metamaterial design.

My research interests are in physical simulation, geometry processing, and computational design with a focus on developing robust differentiable simulation techniques and their applications to computational fabrication, biomechanics, and robotics. My research has been recognized by the Adobe Research Fellowship (2022), Dean's Dissertation Fellowship (2022–2023), and Jacob T. Schwartz Ph.D. Fellowship (2021).

I earned my Ph.D. in Computer Science from New York University in May 2023 advised by Professor Daniele Panozzo. As a member of the Geometric Computing Lab, I worked on research in computer graphics, physical simulation, and digital fabrication with the goal of designing robust algorithms that reduce the amount of interactive user work, allowing the automatic simulation of a large number of challenging designs and scenarios.

I earned my Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics from George Mason University in 2017. While there, I worked with Professor Yotam Gingold as an Undergraduate Research Assistant in the Creativity and Graphics Lab. Our work in texture mapping, 3D modeling, and numerical optimization culminated in the publication of "Seamless: Seam erasure and seam-aware decoupling of shape from mesh resolution" at SIGGRAPH Asia 2017.

News

September 1, 2023

I started as a Potdoctoral Associate in the Algorithmic Design Group at MIT working with Mina Konaković Luković.

May 18, 2023

I graduated from New York University with a Ph.D. in Computer Science. My thesis is titled "Provably Robust and Accurate Methods for Rigid and Deformable Simulation with Contact" and was advised by Daniele Panozzo. Thank you to all my wonderful collaborators, mentors, friends, and family for helping me along this journey!

April 28, 2023

I successfully defended my Ph.D. thesis. Thank you to my committee members, Daniele Panozzo, Denis Zorin, Teseo Schneider, Georg Stadler, and Lerrel Pinto, for their insightful questions and feedback. I look forward to sharing my thesis soon!

August 16, 2022

I have been invited to present my research, "Towards Robust and Accurate Simulation of Contacts," at the 18th International Conference on Multibody Systems, Nonlinear Dynamics, and Control (MSNDC) in Saint Louis, Missouri.

August 10, 2022

We will be presenting our course "Contact and Friction Simulation for Computer Graphics" at SIGGRAPH 2022 in Vancouver, Canada.

May 31, 2022

I will spend the summer as a research scientist intern at Adobe working with Danny Kaufman on a project in physical simulation.

January 6, 2022

I am very excited to announce that I have been awarded the Adobe Research Fellowship! It is a huge honor and I am deeply grateful to all those who have helped me to receive this award.

December 17, 2021

I have been awarded the GSAS Dean's Dissertation Fellowship for the 2022–2023 academic year. I look forward to completing and sharing my dissertation soon!

June 8, 2021

I will be interning in the Computational Geometry team at Carbon this summer. While there, I will work on the simulation and physical validation of lattice structures with contact.

April 30, 2021

I have been selected as a 2021 Jacob T. Schwartz Ph.D. Fellow! I'm deeply grateful for this honor.

September 9, 2020

Our paper, "DHFSlicer: Double Height-Field Slicing For Milling Fixed Thickness Materials", is accepted to SIGGRAPH Asia 2020 and will be presented virtually this December.

August 15, 2018

Our paper, "Stitch Meshing" was published in ACM Transactions on Graphics and presented at SIGGRAPH 2018 in Vancouver, Canada.

May 29, 2018

I will spend the summer as a research intern at the Creative Intelligence Lab, Adobe Research, in San Francisco. While there, I will work with Qingnan Zhou and Danny Kaufman on a computational fabrication project.

December 8, 2017

The slides from my SIGGRAPH Asia 2017 presentation of "Seamless: Seam erasure and seam-aware decoupling of shape from mesh resolution" are now available.

November 20, 2017

My first paper, "Seamless: Seam erasure and seam-aware decoupling of shape from mesh resolution", was published in ACM Transactions on Graphics and presented at SIGGRAPH Asia 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand.

August 19, 2017

I moved to New York to pursue a Ph.D. at New York University advised by Professor Daniele Panozzo.

May 20, 2017

I graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a minor in Mathematics.