M. Amin Kuhail, PhD

M. Amin Kuhail (Mohammad Amin Kuhail) is an Assistant Teaching Professor in at the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering (CSEE) at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). He is the chair of the Bachelor of Information Technology Degree Committee Program (BIT DPC). His research focuses on smart city, data science, end-user development, algorithms, and usability.


  • NSF/IEEE-TCPP PDC Curriculum Early Adopter Grant, $5,000, 2018, PI
  • NSF/TCPP CDER Center Early Adopters Award, $2,500, 2015, PI

Honors and Awards

  • Computer Science and Electrical Engineering (CSEE) Best Teaching Award, April 2018
  • Best Paper Award in the 17th International Working Conference on Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality (REFSQ), Essen, Germany, 2011


  • Ph.D., Computer Science, IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 2013
  • M.Sc., Software Engineering, University of York, UK, 2006
  • B.Sc., Computer Engineering, University of Gaza, PS, 2004

Smart Resident: Helping citizens to Get around the city in eco-friendly ways

This project explores several research topics.

  • Can we persuade citizens to use more eco-friendly means of transportation?
  • Can we help cyclists plan bike trips that are safer and more suitable for their physical needs?
  • Using data analytics, can we help cities plan infrastructure for shared and active transportation?

Uvis: End-user Development Tool for Custom Visualizations

Existing approaches to visualization are one of the two: accessible to savvy designers but limited in customizability, or inaccessible and expressive. For instance, chart tools are easy to use, but support only predefined visualizations, while visualization tools support custom visualizations, but require program-like specifications. Uvis is a visualization system that targets savvy designers. With Uvis, designers drag and drop visual objects, set the visual object properties with formulas, and see the result immediately. The formulas are declarative and similar to spreadsheet formulas. The formulas compute the property values and can refer to fields, visual properties, functions, etc. This research hypothesizes that it is possible to express custom visualizations with spreadsheet-like formulas, and savvy designers can learn to refine the visualizations. The research presents four contributions: The first is the expressive power of formulas, substantiated with a collection of custom visualizations. The second contribution is iteratively refining Uvis based on feedback from savvy designers. Uvis provides novel cognitive aids that assist the designers in creating and refining custom visualizations. The third contribution is a usability evaluation of Uvis with savvy designers. The fourth contribution is a usability analysis of several visualization tools including Uvis. The analysis highlights the differences between approaches and argues why Uvis is more suited for custom visualizations.

  • M. A. Kuhail, B. Ahmad, C. Rottinghaus, Smart Resident: A Personalized Transportation Guidance System, 5th IEEE CiSt,Marrakech, Morocco, 2018 (PDF)
  • M. A. Kuhail, S. Cook, J. W. Neustrom, P. Rao, Teaching Parallel Programming with Active Learning, 8th NSF/TCPP Workshop on Parallel and Distributed Computing Education (EduPar-18) , Vancouver, Canada. 2018 (PDF)
  • M. A. Kuhail, Using Gamification to Encourage Resident Engagement, IEEE Smart Cities - KC Workshop 2/8-9, 2016 (PDF)
  • M. A. Kuhail, Custom Formula-Based Visualizations for Savvy Designers, Ph.D. Thesis, IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 2013. (PDF)
  • K. Pantazos, M. A. Kuhail, S. Lauesen, uVis Studio: an integrated development environment for visualization, Proceedings of the SPIE, Volume 8654, id. 86540L 15 pp., 2013. (PDF)
  • M. A. Kuhail, S. Lauesen, K. Pantazos, The Inspector, A Cognitive Artifact for Visual Mappings, In: Proceedings of IVAPP 2013; Barcelona, Spain. February 2013 (PDF)
  • M. A. Kuhail, S. Lauesen, K. Pantazos, Usability Analysis of Custom Visualization Tools, In: Proceedings of SIGRAD 2012; Interactive Visual Analysis of Data; November 29-30; 2012; Växjö; Sweden (PDF)
  • M. A. Kuhail, S. Lauesen, K. Pantazos, Customizable Time-oriented Visualizations, In: Bebis G. et al. (eds) Advances in Visual Computing. ISVC 2012. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 7432. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. (PDF)
  • M. A. Kuhail, S. Lauesen, Customizable Visualizations with Formula-linked Building Blocks, In IVAPP 2012 proceedings, February 2012. (PDF)
  • S. Lauesen, M. A. Kuhail, Use cases versus task descriptions, In: Berry D., Franch X. (eds) Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality. REFSQ 2011. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 6606. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. (PDF)
  • K. Pantazos, S. Xu, M. A. Kuhail, S. Lauesen, uVis: A formula-based visualization tool, IEEE VisWeek, Providence, RI, United States, 2011. (PDF)
  • M. A. Kuhail, Visualization of a Task and Message Allocation Tool, M.Sc. Thesis, University of York, UK, 2006. (PDF)