Abhinav Gupta, an assistant professor of robotics who specializes in computer vision and large-scale visual learning, is among 126 outstanding U.S. and Canadian researchers chosen as recipients of the 2016 Sloan Research Fellowships.
A second Carnegie Mellon faculty member, Wesley Pegden, assistant professor of mathematical sciences, also was so honored.
Awarded annually since 1955, the fellowships honor early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars, the next generation of scientific leaders. Fellows receive $55,000 to further their research.
“Getting early-career support can be a make-or-break moment for a young scholar,” said Paul L. Joskow, President of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “In an increasingly competitive academic environment, it can be difficult to stand out, even when your work is first rate. The Sloan Research Fellowships have become an unmistakable marker of quality among researchers. Fellows represent the best-of-the-best among young scientists.”
Gupta’s research interests include developing methods for computers to gain a deep understanding of visual scenes, including how elements of the scene relate to each other physically and functionally. He also studies the role of language in visual learning and how people interact with their environments.
Among the research projects he leads is the Never Ending Image Learner (NEIL), in which a computer program constantly searches the Web for images, doing its best to identify objects and characterize scenes on its own. As NEIL builds a massive visual database, it also gains common sense as it makes associations between the information it gleans from the images.
Gupta came to the Robotics Institute in 2009 as a post-doctoral researcher and joined its faculty in 2011; he also has an appointment to the Machine Learning Department. He earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and a Ph.D. in computer science at the University of Maryland. His previous awards include a Bosch Young Faculty Fellowship.