Awards & Honors

Prof. Zhang Awarded PSC-CUNY Research Funding

We are pleased to announce that Assistant Professor Zihao Zhang has received a $6,000 Cycle 54 PSC-CUNY Research Award for 2023-2024 to conduct a research project on robotic cultivation, in collaboration with co-PI computer scientist Professor Susan L. Epstein from Hunter College and The CUNY Graduate Center.

The research is titled “Robots in the Garden: Convergent Research on Robot-assisted Cultivation.” Zhang and Epstein will conduct a series of robotic cultivation experiments in the Ecological Laboratory for Urban Agriculture (ELUA) at the Spitzer School. In 2022, funded by a CUNY-IRG grant, Zhang led an interdisciplinary team to establish the ELUA as an innovation hub for urban agricultural research. ELUA has two sites, one on the rooftop and another on the second floor outside the studios of the Spitzer School.

This grant will further the collaboration between landscape architecture and computer science. With the recent explosion of generative AI systems like ChatGPT and Midjourney, an interdisciplinary approach is needed to understand AI’s ramifications in the constructed environment. Prof. Zhang’s research will contribute to a critical understanding of an increasingly computerized environment.

The Professional Staff Congress – City University of New York (PSC-CUNY) Research Award Program was established as a major vehicle to encourage and support faculty research. PSC-CUNY seeks to enhance the University’s role as a research institution, further the professional growth and development of its faculty, and provide support for the established and junior scholar.

Congratulations to Prof. Zhang!