Congratulations to Kristen Grauman and Assistant Professor Michael Walfish! Both were recently awarded Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellows. They will receive $50,000 over two years for the research of their choice. They are among 118 researchers to receive fellowships this year.
Grauman’s research is in computer vision, with particular focus on image classification, search and retrieval. Her goal is to develop methods for content-based search of massive collections of images (including video) that are as effective and efficient as the ones we use today for text. This is important and challenging because the pace that the world produces images (e.g. for entertainment, medicine, surveillance, and personal use) far exceeds the current capabilities for search and retrieval.
Walfish's long-term goal is to let people use computer resources without having to trust (that is, assume) that those resources operate correctly. For example, can we build a distributed storage system that works even if all of the machines misbehave? Can we outsource computation to servers if the servers are not guaranteed to return the right answer? Can we build a network if we cannot trust that the routers will forward properly? It is challenging to build systems to a level of robustness where clients get useful work out of services even if the services malfunction in arbitrary ways. Yet, it is practically important to do so, as computing services are increasingly provided by third parties.
"Sloan Research Fellowships are, by far, the oldest program of the Sloan Foundation, although those who receive the grants are among the youngest scholars the Foundation assists. The Fellowship program has grown in size and cost over the years and now includes several disciplines not covered in the beginning; but its purpose - to stimulate fundamental research by young scholars of outstanding promise - remains the same." (from www.sloan.org/program).