Minchen Li 李旻辰

Assistant Adjunct Professor
UCLA Department of Mathematics

Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Computer and Information Science, 2020
M.Sc., University of British Columbia, Computer Science, 2018
B.Eng. (Hons), Zhejiang University, Computer Science and Technology, 2015

Research Focus: Numerical Optimization and Differentiable Simulation for
Computer Graphics, Computational Mechanics, and Robotics.

Email / Google Scholar / Research Gate / Github / Facebook / Instagram / Zhihu

Minchen is an Assistant Adjunct Professor at UCLA Department of Mathematics. He was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the SIG Center for Computer Graphics at the University of Pennsylvania after completing his Ph.D. in the same group, advised by Chenfanfu Jiang. Minchen is a winner of the 2021 ACM SIGGRAPH Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award, the 2021 Symposium on Computer Animation (SCA) Doctoral Dissertation Award, and the 2020 Adobe Research Fellowship. His Ph.D. dissertation features the invention of the Incremental Potential Contact (IPC) method, which presents a breakthrough in the notoriously challenging and long-standing problem of robust frictional contact simulation in nonlinear solid dynamics with guarantees of non-intersection, and has led to a series of follow-up works in both academia and industry. Minchen had four successive internships at Adobe Research, where he worked with Danny Kaufman, Timothy Langlois, and Vladimir (Vova) Kim. He received his M.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia in 2018, advised by Alla Sheffer.


The robustness, controllability, accuracy, scalability, and versatility of physical simulation methods are the decisive factors for their application in modern visual computing, manufacturing, and robotics industry. Yet very few methods possess a nice balance among all these features, which is far from satisfactory. My research aims at pushing the limit of physical simulation on all these aspects.

A Barrier Method for Frictional Contact on Embedded Interfaces

Jinhyun Choo*, Yidong Zhao* (equal contribution), Yupeng Jiang, Minchen Li, Chenfanfu Jiang, Kenichi Soga

In submission  


BFEMP: Interpenetration-Free MPM-FEM Coupling with Barrier Contact

Xuan Li*, Yu Fang* (equal contribution), Minchen Li, Chenfanfu Jiang

Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering (CMAME), 2021  


Codimensional Incremental Potential Contact

Minchen Li, Danny M. Kaufman, Chenfanfu Jiang

ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH), 2021  


Guaranteed Globally Injective 3D Deformation Processing

Yu Fang*, Minchen Li* (equal contribution), Chenfanfu Jiang, Danny M. Kaufman

ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH), 2021  


Intersection-free Rigid Body Dynamics

Zachary Ferguson, Minchen Li, Teseo Schneider, Francisca Gil-Ureta, Timothy Langlois,
Chenfanfu Jiang, Denis Zorin, Danny M. Kaufman, Daniele Panozzo

ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH), 2021  


Medial IPC: Accelerated Incremental Potential Contact With Medial Elastics

Lei Lan*, Yin Yang* (equal contribution), Danny M. Kaufman, Junfeng Yao, Minchen Li, Chenfanfu Jiang

ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH), 2021  


Soft Hybrid Aerial Vehicle via Bistable Mechanism

Xuan Li*, Jessica McWilliams* (equal contribution), Minchen Li, Cynthia Sung, Chenfanfu Jiang

IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2021  

Best Paper Award in Mechanisms and Design


Lagrangian-Eulerian Multi-Density Topology Optimization with the Material Point Method

Yue Li*, Xuan Li*, Minchen Li* (equal contribution), Yixin Zhu, Bo Zhu, Chenfanfu Jiang

International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering (IJNME), 2021  


Robust and Accurate Simulation of Elastodynamics and Contact

Minchen Li

Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 2020  


Incremental Potential Contact: Intersection- and Inversion-free, Large-Deformation Dynamics

Minchen Li, Zachary Ferguson, Teseo Schneider, Timothy Langlois, Denis Zorin, Daniele Panozzo, Chenfanfu Jiang, Danny M. Kaufman

ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH), 2020  


AnisoMPM: Animating Anisotropic Damage Mechanics

Joshuah Wolper, Yunuo Chen, Minchen Li, Yu Fang, Ziyin Qu, Jiecong Lu, Meggie Cheng, Chenfanfu Jiang

ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH), 2020  


IQ-MPM: An Interface Quadrature Material Point Method for Non-sticky Strongly Two-Way Coupled Nonlinear Solids and Fluids

Yu Fang*, Ziyin Qu* (equal contribution), Minchen Li, Xinxin Zhang, Yixin Zhu, Mridul Aanjaneya, Chenfanfu Jiang

ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH), 2020  


A Massively Parallel and Scalable Multi-GPU Material Point Method

Xinlei Wang*, Yuxing Qiu* (equal contribution), Stuart R. Slattery, Yu Fang, Minchen Li, Song-Chun Zhu, Yixin Zhu, Min Tang,
Dinesh Manocha, Chenfanfu Jiang

ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH), 2020  


Hierarchical Optimization Time Integration for CFL-rate MPM Stepping

Xinlei Wang*, Minchen Li* (equal contribution), Yu Fang, Xinxin Zhang, Ming Gao, Min Tang, Danny M. Kaufman, Chenfanfu Jiang

ACM Transactions on Graphics, 2020 (presentation at SIGGRAPH 2020)  


A Hybrid Material-Point Spheropolygon-Element Method for Solid and Granular Material Interaction

Yupeng Jiang, Minchen Li, Chenfanfu Jiang, Fernando Alonso-marroquin

International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering (IJNME), 2020  


Decomposed Optimization Time Integrator for Large-Step Elastodynamics

Minchen Li, Ming Gao, Timothy Langlois, Chenfanfu Jiang, Danny M. Kaufman

ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH), 2019  


Silly Rubber: An Implicit Material Point Method for Simulating Non-equilibrated Viscoelastic and Elastoplastic Solids

Yu Fang, Minchen Li, Ming Gao, Chenfanfu Jiang

ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH), 2019  


CD-MPM: Continuum Damage Material Point Methods for Dynamic Fracture Animation

Joshuah Wolper, Yu Fang, Minchen Li, Jiecong Lu, Ming Gao, Chenfanfu Jiang

ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH), 2019  


OptCuts: Joint Optimization of Surface Cuts and Parameterization

Minchen Li, Danny M. Kaufman, Vladimir G. Kim, Justin Solomon, Alla Sheffer

ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH Asia), 2018  


FoldSketch: Enriching Garments with Physically Reproducible Folds

Minchen Li, Alla Sheffer, Eitan Grinspun, Nicholas Vining

ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH), 2018  


Resolving Fluid Boundary Layers with Particle Strength Exchange and Weak Adaptivity

Xinxin Zhang, Minchen Li, Robert Bridson

ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH), 2016  


A Tutorial on Backward Propagation Through Time (BPTT) in the Gated Recurrent Unit (GRU) RNN

Minchen Li

Technical Report, 2016  


Prototyping Decomposed Cloud Software: A Case Study on 3D Skeletal Game Engine

Minchen Li, Wei Cai, Ke Wang, Hong Ji, Victor C.M. Leung

IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing Technology and Science (CloudCom), 2015  


MCG Test-bed: An Experimental Test-bed for Mobile Cloud Gaming

Wei Cai, Conghui Zhou, Minchen Li, Xiuhua Li, Victor C.M. Leung

ACM MobiSys Workshop on Mobile Gaming (MobiGames), 2015  



Instructor, University of California, Los Angeles

 • Math 151A: Applied Numerical Methods (Fall 2021)
 • Math 32A: Calculus of Several Variables (Summer 2021)


Teaching Assistant, University of Pennsylvania

 • EAS 205: Scientific Computing (Spring 2020)
   Instructor: Chenfanfu Jiang
 • CIS 563: Physics-Based Animation (Fall 2019)
   Instructor: Chenfanfu Jiang

Teaching Assistant, University of British Columbia


I love travel, photography, and films.