Urban formation among cities and towns in East Asia varies in rate and scale both within and between national settings. China, for example, currently exhibits a bi-polar distribution of both large and smaller settlements by population size, while Japan is dominated by three very large urban agglomerations ,including Tokyo that is the most numerous in the world. Likewise, metropolitan Seoul in South Korea accounts for around forty-five percent of the nation\’s population, until recently expanding at an unprecedented rate. The character of spatial distribution of settlement also varies with regard to density, compactness, diversity, accessibility, fitedness to environmental conditions, and so on. The aim of this multi-year research seminar, funded by the Eugene Group, is to engage a limited number of students in empirical research of these phenomena, along with exposure to specialized analytical techniques. Focus during the first year will be on South Korea, including through a sponsored field trip. Students will be expected to contribute to a publication in the form of a technical report of research data and findings.