Paul Torrens

** Recruiting Ph.D. students for Spring and Fall 2022: we are using edge computing, motion capture, and high-fidelity immersive modeling to kick-start innovation in autonomous driving simulation: if you are interested please get in touch.**

Dr. Paul M. Torrens is a Professor in Tandon's Department of Computer Science and Engineering and the Center for Urban Science + Progress at New York University. 

Paul's research focuses on modeling and simulation (agent-based modeling for autonomous driving in particular) and location-aware technologies and Geographic Information Systems (especially next-generation systems for autonomy, edge computing, and spatial computing for mixed reality). Paul runs a large motion capture facility (the "Simspace") at NYU, where a lot of these technologies are put to work as engineered systems to support urban computing. Currently we are testing applications around shifting public behavior during the pandemic, behavioral simulation to make autonomous driving more responsive to pedestrians, and edge computing systems to help communities better understand their streetscapes.

motion capture

Torrens was the recipient of a Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation in 2007, and in 2008 George W. Bush presented him with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Research Interests: Modeling and simulation, autonomous driving, GIS, motion capture, urban computing

University College London 2004

Journal Articles


Torrens, P.M. (2017). "A computational sandbox with human automata for exploring perceived egress safety in urban damage scenarios". International Journal of Digital Earth (online first).


Torrens, P.M. (2016). "Computational streetscapes." Computation, 4(3): 37.

Torrens, P.M. (2016) “Exploring behavioral regions in agents’ mental maps”. Annals of Regional Science, 57 (2): 309-334.

Lin, H.; Batty, M.; Jørgensen, S.E.; Fu, B.; Konecny, M.; Voinov, A.; Torrens, P.M.; Lu, G.; Zhu, A-X.; Wilson, J.P.; Gong, J.; Kolditz, O.; Bandrova, T.; Chen, M. (2015) “Virtual environments begin to embrace process-based geographic analysis”. Transactions in GIS, 19(4): 493-498

Torrens, P.M. (2015) “Intertwining agents and environments”, Environmental Earth Sciences, 74: 7117-7131

Torrens, P.M. (2015) "Slipstreaming human geosimulation in virtual geographic environments". Annals of GIS, 21(4): 325-344


Authored/Edited Books



Benenson, I. & Torrens, P.M. (2004) Geosimulation: Automata-Based Modeling of Urban Phenomena. London: John Wiley & Sons



Other Publications



He, J., L. Hong, V. Frias-Martinez, and Torrens, P.M. (2015). Uncovering social media reaction pattern to protest events: a spatiotemporal dynamics perspective of Ferguson unrest. In Social Informatics, eds. T.-Y. Liu, C. N. Scollon and W. Zhu, 67-81. Berlin: Springer International Publishing


Torrens, P.M. (2015) “Geographical agents in three dimensions”. In Geocomputation: A Practical Primer, Singleton, A. & Brunsdon, C. (Eds.) London: Sage, pp. 21-39


Research Centers, Labs, and Groups