Research Interests

​Dr. Smith’s research interests focus on the merging of computational science with a variety of domain driven research topics including disciplines such as archaeology, cultural heritage, digital humanities, geophysics, marine science, and urban reconstruction. Current research has focused on novel computer vision solutions that incorporate geographic information systems, scientific visualization, informatics, and simulation . In particular, recent research at VCC has led to the development of non-invasive remote sensing techniques (e.g. SfM, LiDAR) including aerial based scanning techniques using unmanned multi-rotor copters mounted with imaging sensors.

Selected Publications

  • A Benchmark and Simulator for UAV Tracking
    M. Mueller, N. Smith, B. Ghanem
    European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV 2016), (2016)
  • Reconstructing Building Mass Models from UAV Images
    M. Li, L. Nan, N. Smith, P. Wonka
    Computers and Graphics (Proceedings of CAD Graphics 2015), (2016)
  • Persistent Aerial Tracking System for UAVs
    M. Mueller, G. Sharma, N. Smith, B. Ghanem
    Proceedings of Intelligent Robots and Systems , (2016)
  • Digital Archaeology Field Recording in the 4th Dimension: ArchField C++ a 4D GIS for Digital Field Work
    N. Smith, M. Howland, T. Levy
    Proceedings of Digital Heritage International Congress (DigitalHeritage) , (2015)
  • The Art of Implementing SfM for Reconstruction of Archaeological Sites in Greece: Preliminary Applications of Cyber...
    T.E. Levy, M.L. Vincent, M. Howland, F. Kuester, N.G. Smith
    Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry 14 (4):125-133 , (2014)
  • Archfield: A Digital Application For Real-Time Acquisition And Dissemination – From The Field To The Virtual Museum
    N.G. Smith, T.E. Levy
    Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry 14 (4):65-74 , (2014)
  • Iron Age Ceramics from Edom: A New Typology
    N.G. Smith, T.E. Levy
    In New Insights into the Iron Age Archaeology of Edom, Southern Jordan, edited b..., (2014)
  • Integrated Data Capture, Processing, and Dissemination in the al-Ula Valley, Saudi Arabia
    N.G. Smith, L. Passone, S. al-Said, M. al-Farhan, T.E. Levy
    Near Eastern Archaeology 77(3): 176-181 , (2014)
  • Cultural Heritage Omni-Stereo Panoramas for Immersive Cultural Analytics - From the Nile to the Hijaz"
    N. Smith, S. Cutchin, R. Kooima, R. Ainsworth, D. Sandin, J. Schulze, A. Prudhomme, F. Kue...
    Proceedings of the 8th Int'l Symposium on Image and Signal Processing and Analys..., (2013)
  • ArtifactVis2: Managing real-time archaeological data in immersive 3D environments
    N.G. Smith, K. Knabb, C. DeFanti, P. Weber., J.P. Schulze, A. Prudhomme F. Kuester, T.E. L...
    ArtifactVis2: Managing real-time archaeological data in immersive 3D environment..., (2013)

Education Profile

  • PhD. in Anthropology, University of California, San Diego, 2009.
  • M.A. in Anthropology, University of California, San Diego, 2003.
  • B.A. in Anthropology with Concentration in Archaeology, University of California, San Diego, 2001.

Professional Profile

  • 2013-Present: Research Scientist, VCC, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

  • 2011-2013: Post-Doctoral Fellow UCSD/CALIT2, Advisor: Prof.  Thomas DeFanti

  • 2009-2011: Research Affiliate, UCSD Calit2/CISA 3

  • 2008: Calit2 Staff Researcher/Investigator. Calit2-CISA3, University of California, San Diego.

  • 2003-2004: Teaching Assistant. (HUM: Humanities, Fall-Spring 2003/2004), University of California, San Diego.

  • 2002-2003: Teaching Assistant. (ANGR 500: Field Archaeology and GIS, Fall 2002; Aztecs and their Predecessors, Winter 2003; ANLD3, Spring 2003), University of California, San Diego.

  • 1999-2002: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialist, GIS Lab in Geisel Library, University of California, San Diego.

Scientific and Professional Memberships



  • 2015 Best Paper Award in CAD/Graphics 2015

  • 2013 KACST Internal Research Projects Fund for RAPID, CoPI

  • 2013 KAUST Seed Fund for FalconViz, PI

  • 2011 NEH Digital Humanities Startup Grant Level II, CoPI

  • 2009 Chancellor’s Interdisciplinary Collaboratory Grant (Student Support)

  • 2006 NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, CoPI  

KAUST Affiliations

  • ​Visual Computing Center (VCC)

  • Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences & Engineering (CEMSE)