My research straddles urban science, spatial data science, and cognitive science. I study computational methods to support human decision-making in cities and promote AI-driven, human-centered urban planning and design. For the first time in history, urban sensing in cities has enabled passive observations of human behaviours in urban space at an unprecedented spatio-temporal scale. Through a combination of spatial data science, spatial information theory, statistics and computer optimizations, I try to uncover the strengths and weaknesses in human and machine intelligence by observing and analyzing human behaviours in cities. I approach these topics with a range of empirical methods — data mining of passively collected urban big datasets, statistical testing and modelling, machine learning, and optimization methods. My work is driven by the complementary goals of trying to achieve a better understanding of human learning and inferences in space and trying to design collaborative mechanisms and systems between AI and human decision-makers in urban planning and design.
Yulun Zhou is an Assistant Professor in Urban Data Science at the Department of Urban Planning and Design, Faculty of Architecture, the University of Hong Kong. His work straddles urban science and artificial intelligence with publications on leading journals such as Environmental Science & Technology, Geoscientific Model Development, Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science, and Cartography and Geographic Information Science. He also serves as a reviewer for around ten journals such as Remote Sensing of Environment, International Journal of Geoinformation Science, Urban Studies, and Applied Network Science. Some of his recent work includes AI-driven climate-sensitive urban growth planning, vector-based asymmetric navigation in cities, and evaluating urban vibrancy using multi-source spatial big data. Before joining HKU, he briefly worked at the Hong Kong Center for Construction Robotics. He earned his Ph.D. from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and B.Eng. in Nuclear Science from the Institute of Modern Physics at Fudan University, Shanghai, China. He spent two of his Ph.D. years in Cambridge, MA working at the MIT Senseable City Laboratory and Harvard Healthy City Laboratory