News & Events


Alumna on Forbes' List of Leading Women in AI Research


Electrical Engineering alumna, Fei-Fei Li, who worked with Professor Pietro Perona has made Forbes’ list of 20+ leading women in Artificial Intelligence (AI) research. She is currently Chief Scientist of Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning at Google Cloud. "We all have a responsibility to make sure everyone - including companies, governments and researchers - develop AI with diversity in mind,” Fei-Fei Li emphasized. [Forbes article]

Tags: EE CMS Pietro Perona Fei-Fei Li

Kun ho (John) Kim Receives 2017 Henry Ford II Scholar Award


Computer science and mechanical engineering student Kun ho (John) Kim is a recipient of the 2017 Henry Ford II Scholar Award. John is working with Professors Burdick and Perona to develop novel machine learning methods for medical applications and crowd sourced data mining. The Henry Ford II Scholar Award is funded under an endowment provided by the Ford Motor Company Fund. The award is made annually to the engineering student with the best academic record at the end of the third year of undergraduate study.

Tags: MCE CMS Henry Ford II Scholar Award Pietro Perona Joel Burdick Kun ho (John) Kim honors

The Future is Autonomous


On April 19, 2017 Electrical Engineering alumnus Evangelos Simoudis (BS '83) moderated a panel titled "The Road Ahead: A Panel on the Future of Driverless Vehicles," hosted by the Caltech Associates. The panel members were Professors Mory Gharib, Richard Murray, and Pietro Perona, along with Reuters automotive industry reporter, Paul Lienert. They discuss a variety of opportunities and challenges associated with autonomous technologies and systems. Beyond the legal and ethical challenges, several technological obstacles must be overcome before driverless cars become common on the road. One key challenge is teaching driverless cars how to read the behavior of other cars and react accordingly. Professor Perona described the problem of a car attempting to merge onto a crowded freeway. A driverless car would see an impenetrable wall of vehicles, but a human driver could edge forward and wave at other drivers to work his or her way into the line of traffic. [Caltech story]

Tags: EE GALCIT CMS Morteza Gharib Pietro Perona alumni Richard Murray Evangelos Simoudis Paul Lienert

A Birder in the Hand: Mobile Phone App Can Recognize Birds From Photos


Pietro Perona, Allen E. Puckett Professor of Electrical Engineering, and colleagues have developed the Merlin Bird Photo ID mobile app which uses machine-learning technology to identify hundreds of North American bird species it "sees" in photos. "This app is the culmination of seven years of our students' hard work and is propelled by the tremendous progress that computer-vision and machine-learning scientists are making around the world," says Professor Perona. "A machine that recognizes objects in images, like humans do, was a distant dream when I was a graduate student and now it's finally happening." [Caltech story]

Tags: Pietro Perona EE CMS research highlights

Counting L.A.’s Trees


Professor Pietro Perona, has developed a method using Google Earth and Google Street View to count the trees in the city of Los Angeles. The process of counting the trees using human tree counters is very expensive and would cost about $3 million today. The last time the city did such counting was more than two decades ago and at the time there were 700,000 street trees. Perona has tested the methodology in a section of Pasadena where the city recently commissioned a sidewalk survey. By comparing the results to the known inventory, he determined that the computer was about 80% accurate. [LA Times story] [KPCC story]

Tags: Pietro Perona EE CMS research highlights

Gonzalez Wins Charles Wilts Prize


Carlos Roberto Gonzalez, advised by Professors Abu-Mostafa and Perona is the winner of this year’s Charles Wilts Prize, for his doctoral thesis "Optimal Data Distributions in Machine Learning." The Charles Wilts Prize is awarded every year to a graduate student in Electrical Engineering for outstanding independent research.

Tags: Carlos Palacios Yaser Abu-Mostafa Pietro Perona EE Wilts Prize honors

EE students Win $100K Qualcomm Innovation Fellowships


Professor Babak Hassibi’s students Kishore Jaganathan, and Christos Thrampoulidis as well as Professor Pietro Perona’s students Ron Appel, and Krzysztof Chalupka, have won the 2014 Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship. Jaganathan, and Thrampoulidis’ proposal is entitled Interference Alignment via Matrix Completion for Cellular Networks and Network Coding. Appel, and Chalupka’s proposal is entitled Energy-Efficient Multiclass Classification for Visual Applications on Mobile Devices.  Each winner will receive a $100K fellowship. This year there were 137 submissions and only 9 winners have been announced. Caltech is the only school to have two winning teams. [List of Winners]

Tags: Babak Hassibi Kishore Jaganathan Christos Thrampoulidis Pietro Perona Ron Appel Krzysztof Chalupka EE honors

Professor Perona Receives Longuet-Higgins Prize


Pietro Perona, Allen E. Puckett Professor of Electrical Engineering, and colleague's paper entitled "Object Class Recognition by Unsupervised Scale-Invariant Learning" has received the Longuet-Higgins Prize of the IEEE Computer Society. The prize is given at the Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), for fundamental contributions in Computer Vision. The award recognizes CVPR papers from ten years ago with fundamental impact on computer vision research. [List of Past Recipients]

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Ready for Your Close-Up?


Pietro Perona, Allen E. Puckett Professor of Electrical Engineering, and colleagues have shown that the distance at which facial photos are taken influences perception. Their study found that close-up photo subjects are judged to look less trustworthy, less competent, and less attractive. [Caltech Release]

Tags: Pietro Perona EE research highlights

Innovation In Image Annotation


Pietro Perona, Allen E. Puckett Professor of Electrical Engineering, and colleagues including graduate student, Peter Welinder, have been selected for the Innovation Corps (i-Corps) program of the National Science Foundation (NSF). The aim of the i-Corps program, which was highlighted by the NSF Director at a recent Wouk Lecture, is to guide promising research with commercial potential out of university laboratories. The winning Caltech proposal is entitled "Combining Machine Vision and Crowdsourcing for Convenient and Accurate Image Annotation." The team has proposed to combine the complementary strengths of human annotators and machines into a hybrid system that would annotate a large body of images which would be a valuable in scientific, medical, as well as many commercial applications. [Video of Wouk Lecture]

Tags: Pietro Perona Peter Welinder EE NSF health research highlights

Division of Engineering and Applied Science