Ryan Hardesty Lewis


Graduate Student, Cornell University (Tech)

1 E Loop Rd New York NY 10044



I'm a graduate student at Cornell Tech, pursuing a dual Master's degree in Information Systems and Information Science. My research interests lie at the intersection of machine learning, digital twins, and urban informatics, with a focus on developing ethically-aware AI systems for smart city applications.

Under the guidance of Dr. Junfeng Jiao at the Urban Information Lab, I have worked on several projects that leverage advanced analytics and information technologies to optimize urban design and planning. These include the development of a real-time fire tracking map for the City of Austin, a blockchain-based food charity marketplace to alleviate food deserts, and a large language model for computational tasks.

At Cornell Tech, I am involved in research at the Urban Tech Hub, where I contribute to the development of NLP tools and the optimization of 311 call responses using machine learning. I also serve as a teaching assistant for the Break Through Tech AI initiative, which aims to increase diversity in technology fields through targeted education.


I graduated from The University of Texas at Austin two years early with a BS in Mathematics and certificates in Elements of Computing and Computational Science and Engineering. During my time at UT Austin, I worked as an undergraduate research assistant at the Good Systems initiative, focusing on the ethical design and societal impact of AI and machine learning.


Voxel Earth
Voxelizing Google Earth for use in Minecraft and in urban analysis.

Showcased at SIGGRAPH Labs 2024

Crowdsourced Streetview
A social media scraper that auto-updates Google Streetview with the latest imagery.

SIGGRAPH Poster 2024

311 Analysis Dashboard
ML recommender system for 311 calls, focusing on predictive analytics.

Optimized over 2.7M calls

Houston Food Deserts
Blockchain-based food charity marketplace to tackle food deserts.

$750,000 NSF Grant

Fire and Smoke Digital Twin
Live fire mapping and smoke path prediction for urban safety.

$1.4M Collaboration

Large language model for computational tasks, competitive in academic testing.

Published Paper

Warehouse Transportation
API for route and vehicle configuration in logistics and transportation.

Optimized Logistics

Ethical Games in ML
Research in ethical game-oriented AI, focusing on moral agents in machine learning.

Published Paper

Git-based Cord
A git-based, decentralized messaging system with end-to-end encryption.

Decentralized Messaging

AR-enabled visual recognition app for recycling education.

Won 1st Place, Texas Immersive Buildfest


Most recent publications on Google Scholar.

  • Select
  • Preprints
  • ML
  • NLP
  • OT
  • Interpretabilty
  • Theses
  • All

Voxelizing Google Earth: A Pipeline for New Virtual Worlds

Ryan Hardesty Lewis

SIGGRAPH Labs. 2024.

Crowdsourced Streetview: Integrating Real-Time Imagery Updates into Google Streetview

Ryan Hardesty Lewis

SIGGRAPH Poster. 2024.

Fire and smoke digital twin–A computational framework for modeling fire incident outcomes

Ryan Hardesty Lewis, Junfeng Jiao, Kijin Seong, Arya Farahi, Paul Navrátil, Nate Casebeer, Dev Niyogi

Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 110, 102093. 2024.

ComputeGPT: A computational chat model for numerical problems

Ryan Hardesty Lewis, Junfeng Jiao

arXiv preprint arXiv:2305.06223. 2023.

Gamifying Ethics for AI

Ryan Hardesty Lewis

arXiv preprint. 2023.


I'm proud to have been given the opportunity to present my work or lecture in various talks and workshops:

"Modeling and Evaluation Workshop" - Break Through Tech AI Workshop, 7 October 2023
"Building Cities Twice: The Making of Digital Twins" - Smart Cities and Generative AI Symposium, 18 August 2023
"Fire and Smoke Digital Twin" - Good Systems Symposium Poster Session, 4 April 2023
"Analyzing Downwind Smoke Impacts with Fluid Models" - CHEER Climate Change and Health Symposium Poster Session, 22 February 2023


Some of our work has been featured in various news outlets:

Voxel Earth:
"Google Earth Transformed: Building a New World" - SIGGRAPH Blog, 4 June 2024
Read more
"These are the neighbourhoods in most urgent need of trees" - BBC Future, 16 April 2024
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"Tree Folio NYC Aims to Monitor Urban Forest in Real Time" - Planetizen, 11 January 2024
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"Researchers advocate for new tech to revolutionize NYC infrastructure, and it's likely not what you think" - The Cooldown, 7 January 2024
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"When It Comes to Urban Trees, More Isn't Always Better" - Bloomberg CityLab, 9 October 2023
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"Digital twins in the fight to mitigate urban heat islands" - Geo Week News, 5 September 2023
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"A 3D interactive map of the shade provided by every single NYC street tree" - The Washington Post, 26 August 2023
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"New Yorkers, how much shade does your street really have? This map will tell you." - Gothamist, 21 August 2023
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"Throwing shade: Model maps NYC street trees' cooling benefits" - Phys.org, 14 August 2023
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Fire and Smoke Digital Twin:
"How artificial intelligence is making cities smarter" - The Drag Audio Production House, 23 April 2024
"Project to Tackle Effects of Extreme Climate Unveiled by Doggett, UT and City of Austin" - UT News, 7 September 2023
Read more
"UT-Austin researchers partner with Austin Fire Department to predict, map smoke impact on communities" - The Daily Texan, 8 February 2023
Read more
Houston Food Deserts:
"University of Houston using Artificial Intelligence to combat food insecurity" - FOX 26 Houston, 9 April 2023
Read more
"University researchers are using AI to fight food insecurity" - FoodService Director, 4 April 2023
Read more
"Project Combats Food Insecurity Through Artificial Intelligence" - UH News, 3 April 2023
Read more


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