University of Southern California

Department of Computer Science

941 Bloom Walk, SAL 244

Los Angeles, CA 90089-0781



Home page:


PhD in computer science, ETH Zurich

MSc in computer science, Universität Karlsruhe (TH)

student exchange, ENSIMAG


assistant professor, University of Southern California

visiting professor, Weta Digital

research lead, Industrial Light & Magic

postdoctoral fellow, Columbia University

visiting postdoctoral researcher, Princeton University

visiting and postdoctoral researcher, EPFL

research intern, Industrial Light & Magic

visiting researcher, Stanford University

research assistant, ETH Zurich

visiting scholar, National University of Singapore


animation reconstruction - non-rigid registration - facial animation -  3-D acquisition - mesh processing - discrete geometry - visual arts

2006 - 2010

2001 - 2006 2002 - 2003

since 2013










Copyright © 2014 Hao Li

What up yo! This is Hao, I’m a German born punky of Taiwanese descent doing computer graphics. I’m a tenure-track assistant professor, fashion mödel, and zombie at the Computer Science Department of the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles. Here is our website and my official song! Before my faculty appointment, I was a research lead at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) where I developed the next generation real-time performance capture technology for visual effects. Prior to joining the force, I spent an exciting year as a postdoc at Columbia and Princeton Universities. I worked on geometric capture of human performances with Eitan Grinspun and Szymon Rusinkiewicz who helped me bridge the gap between data capture and physical simulation. Right after obtaining my PhD from ETH Zurich, I spent a few months at EPFL, visiting my PhD advisor Mark Pauly. During grad school, I spent a wonderful summer at ILM and another one at Stanford University visiting Leo Guibas. I got my Master’s degree in CS from the University of Karlsruhe in Germany and went to a French high school in a boonie town called Saarbrücken.

My algorithms on dynamic shape reconstruction and non-rigid registration are widely deployed in the industry, ranging from leading visual effects studios to defense projects and manufacturers of state-of-the-art radiation therapy systems. Hey, some of my stuff even works in industry! I’ve been named one of the world’s top 35 innovator under 35 by MIT Technology review in 2013 and NextGen 10: Innovators under 40 by C-Suite Quaterly in 2014. My research is also featured in the March 2014 issue of Wired magazine. I was awarded the SNF fellowship for prospective researchers in 2011 and Best Paper Award at SCA 2009. In collaboration with Artec Group, we developed, a free software that allows anyone to create their own 3D miniature from home. I’m also the creator of the dynamic geometry processing tool, BeNTO3D, and the original co-author of the Kinect-based facial performance capture software, faceshift. I’m member of the New York Academy of Sciences, ACM SIGGRAPH, and Eurographics Association. I have absolutely no clue why that actually matters, but who cares? Oh, and I’m also sometimes on TV! Ahahahaha!

Oh! Since I started as a CS prof. at USC last fall (2013), drop me a line if you love math/coding and are excited about doing research with me. I’m always looking for bright and talented PhD students and maybe Postdocs too. Together with my colleagues, Jernej Barbič and Paul Debevec, we form a world class computer graphics lab and establish tight collaborations with other top academic institutions and industry.

Industrial Light & Magic - Weta Digital - Disney Research - Adobe Systems - Artec Group - Pelican Imaging - Activision - Innored - 3Gear Systems - The Jig Lab - Tuxedo Agency - Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems - C-RAD - Aguru Images - XYZ RGB - MOVA LLC - Megvii - Marza Animation Planet - ManhattanMocap


“What the fuck have you guys smoked to come up with that shit? It’s fucking brilliant! It’s kinda weird too, I actually had a role in a film called Face/Off...”

Nick Cassavetes on our Face/Off live facial puppetry technology.

“Creativity, not money is used to solve problems.”

Robert Rodriguez

“I love your hair!”

Duncan Jones on my hair style.

Assistant Professor
of Computer Science

Or simply:


C-Suite Quaterly NextGen 10: Innovators under 40

TR35, top 35 innovator under 35 by MIT Technology Review

SNF fellowship for prospective researcher

SCA best paper award 2009





Dr. Chongyang Ma, postdoctoral scholar

Kyle Olszewski, PhD student

Ling-Yu “Cosimo” Wei, PhD student (Yao Class)

Pei-Lun Hsieh, PhD student

Liwen Hu, PhD student (MSc in 2013)

Justin Solomon, visiting PhD student (Stanford)

Dr. Qi-Xing Huang, visiting  postdoc (Stanford)









FS 2014

SS 2014



Department’s Transformative Committee

Co-Chair of Department’s Colloquium Committee

FS 2013

FS 2013

film credits








IARPA - Adobe - Nvidia - Intel - Embodee - Pelican Imaging -  Panasonic - USC IMSC