Luyu Liu

Hi, my name is Luyu Liu (he/his/him); the pronunciation is “Loo-yu Lieu” (listen in Google Translate). Please feel free to call me Luyu, even if you are my students!

I am a Ph.D. candidate in geographic information science (GIS) at the Department of Geography, The Ohio State University. I also work as a research associate in Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA) in OSU. I identify myself as a geographer, a GISer, and a mobility data scientist.

Research Interests

Empirically, my current research focus on public transit, micro-mobility, accessibility, and the social equity implications of human mobility. There are several questions I am interested in:

  • How can accessible information and communciation technoclogies (ICT) impact different population?
  • What is the role of emerging transportation modes and what are their relationship with traditional ones?
  • How to overcome car dependency in car-oriented cities?


My primary solutions to mobility issues are GIS and urban computing techniques; I also used statistics and geostatistics. I believe in big data and Occam’s razor: my methods are usually simplistic in nature and easy to understand, but manipulating enormous amount of data. Andrew Ng argued that ML community needs to be more data-centric and less model-centric. After spending many hours on machine learning techniques and neural networks, I totally agree with him. No results from any sophisticated models can outperform an accurately measured retrospective or real-time dataset. For same reasons, I am building a dissertation on how to advance mobility and accessibility research with real-time data, which are naturally of much larger volume and more heterogeneity.

I am also a keen supporter for web-based GIS, because it is convenient, accessible, and open-source friendly. I love making accessible or innovative web-maps in different contexts.

Beyond research

I love good humor, different subcultures, and Wikipedia. My recent obsessions are Bloodborne, rare vine hunting, and 2010s songs adapted to 1980s style. I love making friends and that’s the most important, so feel free to email me anytime, always glad to chat!