Nastaran Tebyanian

Stuckeman School graduate student awarded Scientific Merit Award

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Nastaran Tebyanian, a Penn State Stuckeman School doctoral candidate in architecture with a focus on landscape architecture, recently won a Scientific Merit Award from the Journal of Digital Architecture for her article titled “Application of Machine Learning for Urban Landscape Design: A Primer for Landscape Architects.”

In her article, Tebyanian answers the question of how machine learning can be applied to urban landscape design problems. Her article introduces how the increasing emergence of large urban datasets from different sources such as environmental sensors, satellite imagery, internet and ubiquitous computing provides new ground to answer research questions and solve practical problems in different disciplines from business to design.

“While the main audience of my article is landscape architects and designers, this research hopes to start a cross-disciplinary dialogue between urban technologists and designers in order to ask the timeliest design/research questions and utilize the potentials of computational advancements to answer them,” Tebyanian said.

Tebyanian was also part of a small group that helped organize the conference after it was announced that it would be held virtually due to COVID-19. The conference, at which the awards are traditionally presented, was held virtually June 3-4.

“I think more important than the award is that I shared an article that I think can open a conversation about the application of machine learning in urban landscape design with the landscape architecture community,” Tebyanian said. “Most of the relevant studies on the application of machine learning for understanding urban landscapes exist outside of landscape architecture and design fields and thus lack the connection to design.”

A researcher with the Stuckeman School’s Harmer Center for Community Design, Tebyanian’s dissertation focuses on green infrastructure decision making under deep uncertainty. She is also part of the student cohort LandscapeU, a National Science Traineeship at Penn State that works on problems related to the food energy-water nexus in the Chesapeake Bay and globally.

She was honored with the same journal’s Scientific Excellence Award in 2016 for her article titled “Reflecting Time in Computer-aided Landscape Design and Analysis: Developing an Application or Modeling Seasonality and Resiliency in Mall Scale Landscapes.”

A native of Semnan, Iran, Tebyanian earned her Master of Applied Statistics from Penn State in May. She has a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Art University of Isfahan and a professional master’s in landscape architecture from Shahid Beheshti University, both in Iran.

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