Artificial intelligence pioneer Rama Chellappa named Bloomberg Distinguished Professor

April 3, 2020

Back in the 1980s, when the study of artificial intelligence was branching out into exciting new realms, Rama Chellappa organized a national conference focused on two emerging niches: computer vision and pattern recognition. The event, he recalls, drew a modest crowd. Last year the same conference brought together more than 6,000 researchers from around the world.

“It’s an exciting time to be a computer vision researcher,” says Chellappa, one of the most accomplished figures working in artificial intelligence today.

The applications of his research—in essence, using data and geometry to help computer systems interpret the visual world—are vast. In recent decades, Chellappa’s work in computer vision, pattern recognition, and machine learning has had an impact on areas including biometrics, smart cars, forensics, and 2D and 3D modeling of faces, objects, and terrain. Increasingly, his work in motion capturing and imaging has also pointed to promising uses in health care and medicine.

In his new role as a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University, Chellappa intends to expand these pursuits within both the Whiting School of Engineering and the School of Medicine. He will join Hopkins after 29 years at the University of Maryland, including lengthy stretches as chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and director of the Center for Automation Research.

“Rama Chellappa is a truly exceptional researcher, leader, and mentor with a remarkable record of innovation in the areas of computer vision, pattern recognition, machine learning, and artificial intelligence,” says Johns Hopkins University Provost Sunil Kumar. “We are excited to welcome him to the Johns Hopkins community, where he will collaborate across divisions and bring his groundbreaking research to new corners of the institution.”

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Center for Imaging Science