Hao Huang’s expertise is in the areas of economic geography and development, urban geography and planning, GIS, and quantitative methods. Her research interests are focused on the spatial patterns, dynamics, and mechanisms of economic activities, and their effects at different space-time scales. Specifically, at the international and regional levels, she is interested in locational choices and determinants of global economic activities, including foreign direct investment and trade, and their effects on countries and metropolitan regions with respect to inequality and poverty, job creation, and innovation. At the local level, she is interested in residential and industrial location choices and their effects on cities and places with respect to agglomeration economies, housing, and built environment and health. To examine the locational decisions of individuals and firms, she uses various spatial techniques, data-driven analysis, and quantitative methods to visualize, simulate, and analyze their behaviors on locational decisions. Her area of specialty is in China and the United States. Before joining Illinois Tech in 2015, she was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Utah.


Ph.D., University of Utah, Geography (2014)
M.U.P., University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Urban Planning (2008)
B.S., Wuhan University of Technology, Computer Science (1998)

Research Interests

Globalization, foreign direct investment and trade, geography and development

Urbanization, housing and built environment, amenities and health

Sustainability, energy and society, inequality and poverty

GIS and cartography, spatial statistics and analysis, big data analytics

Science and technology, research and development, innovation


  • Outstanding Research Award, Annual Conference of the Chinese Association for Science and Technology in Utah, 2014-2015
  • OpenStreetMap Scholarship, Annual State of the Map US Conference, 2014.
  • AAG Dissertation Research Grant, 109th Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, 2013
  • University Graduate Research Fellowship, University of Utah, 2012-2013
  • Karen R. Polenske Best Student Paper Award, 6th International Association for China Planning Conference, 2012.
  • Best Student Paper Award, China Geography Specialty Group, 107th Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, 2011.
  • Ambassador Scholarship, The International Center, University of Utah, 2010


Huang, H. 2022. “Urbanization Diseconomies in China: Roles of Temporary Migrant Workers in Foreign Direct Investment Location” Computational Urban Science, 2(44), https://doi.org/10.1007/s43762-022-00068-5

Huang, H. 2022. “Moderating Effects of Racial Segregation on the Associations of Cardiovascular Outcomes with Walkability in Chicago Metropolitan AreaInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(21), 14252, https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192114252 

Huang, H. 2022 “Food Environment Inequalities and Moderating Effects of Obesity on their Relationships with COVID-19 in Chicago CitySustainability, 14(11), 6498, https://doi.org/10.3390/su14116498

Huang, H. and Li, J. 2021 The Spatial Variation of Moderating Effects of Density and Natural Amenities on Housing Prices in Wuhan, ChinaRegional Science Policy & Practicehttps://doi.org/10.1111/rsp3.12455

Huang, H. 2021 A Spatial Analysis of Obesity: Interaction of Urban Food Environments and Racial Segregation in ChicagoJournal of Urban Health, 1-11.

Li, J. and H. Huang. 2020 “Effects of transit-oriented development (TOD) on housing prices: A case study in Wuhan, China.Research in Transportation Economics 80, 100813. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.retrec.2020.100813

Huang, H. and Y. D. Wei. 2019 “The Spatial-Temporal Hierarchy of Inequality in Urban China: A Prefectural City-Level Study.” Professional Geographer 71(3): 391-407.

Huang, H. and Y. H. D. Wei. 2016. “Spatial Inequality of Foreign Direct Investment in China: Institutional Change, Agglomeration Economies, and Market Access.” Applied Geography 69: 99-111.

Huang, H. and L. Yin. 2015. “Creating Sustainable Urban Built Environments: An Application of Hedonic House Price Models in Wuhan, China.” Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, 30(2): 219-235

Huang, H. and Y. H. D. Wei. 2014. “Intra-metropolitan Location of Foreign Direct Investment in Wuhan,China: Institution, Urban Structure, and Accessibility.” Applied Geography 47: 78-88.

Huang, H. and Y. H. D. Wei. 2011. “Spatial-Temporal Patterns and Determinants of Foreign Direct Investment in China.” ERDKUNDE 65(1): 7-23.

Visit Hao Huang's Google Scholar page.