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David E. Breen

Associate Professor

Computer Science

David E. Breen is an associate professor of computer science in the College of Computing & Informatics at Drexel University. He has held research positions at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, the California Institute of Technology, the European Computer-Industry Research Centre, the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics, and the Rensselaer Design Research Center. Breen's research interests include bio-inspired self-organization algorithms, biomedical image informatics, geometric modeling, computer-aided design and visualization. He leads the Geometric Biomedical Computing Group, which conducts research at the intersection of biology, medicine, engineering and computer science. The group develops algorithms and software that solve geometry-related computing problems for a variety of biomedical applications. He previously served as deputy director of the NSF Center for Visual & Decision Informatics. Currently, he is associated with Drexel's Center for Functional Fabrics. Breen has authored or co-authored over 95 technical papers, articles and book chapters on these and other subjects. He is the co-editor of the book Cloth Modeling and Animation.


  • PhD, Computer and Systems Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • MS, Computer and Systems Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • BA, Physics, Colgate University

Research/Teaching Interests

Computer-aided design, geometric modeling, biomedical image informatics, self-organization and biological simulation

Select Publications

  • D. Liu, D. Christie, B. Shakibajahromi, C. Knittel, N. Castaneda, D. Breen, G. Dion, and A. Kontsos "On the Role of Material Architecture in the Mechanical Behavior of Knitted Textiles," International Journal of Solids and Structures, Vol. 109, March 2017, pp. 101-111. 
  • M.D. Zarella, D.E. Breen, M.A. Reza, A. Milutinovic, and F.U. Garcia, "Lymph Node Metastasis Status in Breast Carcinoma Can Be Predicted via Image Analysis of Tumor Histology," Analytical and Quantitative Cytology and Histology, Vol. 37, No. 5, October 2015, p. 273-285.
  • M.A. Reza, S.D. Mhatre, J.C. Morrison, S. Utreja, A.J. Saunders, D.E. Breen and D.R. Marenda, "Automated Analysis of Courtship Suppression Learning and Memory in Drosophila Melanogaster," Fly, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2013, pp. 105-111
  • L. Bai and D. Breen, "Chemotaxis-Inspired Cellular Primitives for Self-Organizing Shape Formation," R. Doursat, H. Sayama, O. Michel (eds.), Morphogenetic Engineering: Toward Programmable Complex Systems, Springer, Berlin, Chapter 9, 2012, pp. 209-237
  • D.E. Breen, T. Widmann, L. Bai, F. Jülicher and C. Dahmann, "Epithelial Cell Reconstruction and Visualization of the Developing Drosophila Wing Imaginal Disc," Proc. IEEE Symposium on Biological Data Visualization, October 2012, pp. 77-84
  • M. Eyiyurekli and D. Breen, "Interactive Free-Form Level-Set Surface-Editing Operators,'' Computers & Graphics, Vol. 34 No. 5, 2010, pp. 621-638

Grant Awards

  • A Design Framework for Programmable Manufacturing of Customized Knitted Materials, National Science Foundation, $549,730, 2015-2018, PI: D. Breen.
  • CAREER: Morphogenetic Primitives: Self-Organizing Geometry Based on Morphogenesis and Evolutionary Computing, National Science Foundation, $436,141, 2009-2015, PI: D. Breen
  • Sub-type Prediction in Breast Carcinoma Using Image Analysis, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, $108,204, 2013-2014, PI: F. Garcia
  • Math Images II, National Science Foundation, $531,539, 2010-2015, PI: E. Klotz 

Awards & Recognition

  • Honorable Mention Award for Imaging E-posters, “Predicting Lymph Node Metastasis Status Via Image Analysis of Primary Breast Tumor Histology" (with B. Hu, M.A. Reza, A. Milutinovic, R.Polikar, and F.U. Garcia) Pathology Informatics Conference, 2011
  • VX Corporation Idea Award for work related to a next-generation, unified data representation for digital product design, analysis and manufacture (with K. Swanson and K. Brakke) 2009
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2009
  • The Literati Club Award for Best Paper of 1996 in the International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology (with D. House and R. DeVaul) 

Professional Activities & Associations

  • Member, ACM SIGGRAPH and IEEE Computer Society
  • Local Organization Chair, IEEE International Conference on Self-adaptive and Self-organizing Systems, 2013
  • Program Committee Member, Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference, IEEE International Conference on Bioinformatics & Biomedicine and International Shape Modeling Conference
  • Member, Technical Advisory Board, Primal Space Systems Inc.
  • Visiting Research Scientist, Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden, Germany