David Crandall, whose research on computer vision continues to make real-world impact, has been named a Distinguished Member by the Association for Computing Machinery.
Crandall is a computer science professor at the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering, and the director of the Luddy Center for Artificial Intelligence.
The Distinguished Members grade recognizes those ACM members with at least 15 years of professional experience and five years of professional membership in the last 10 years who have achieved significant accomplishments or have made a significant impact on the computing field.
“I feel honored to become an ACM Distinguished Member,” Crandall said. “I’m very grateful to my students, collaborators and colleagues over the years. This recognition would never have been possible without them.”
ACM is the world’s largest and most prestigious association of computing professionals. The program recognizes up to 10 percent of ACM worldwide membership.
Crandall was recognized for outstanding scientific contributions to computing. His main research area centers on computer vision, which builds algorithms that let computers see the world around them. It’s important for many applications of artificial intelligence, from medicine and self-driving cars to organizing all the photos taken by smart phones.
Crandall’s Computer Vision Lab is particularly well known for its work on “egocentric cameras” – cameras that are worn by people like virtual reality glasses, or that are mounted on robots, self-driving cars and more.
“The video collected by these cameras is very interesting because it captures the real world, not the idealized version of the world that people upload to Facebook or YouTube,” Crandall said. “Egocentric imagery is challenging for computer vision because, for example, the camera is constantly moving and the illumination and camera angles are constantly changing.”
Crandall earned his Ph.D. at Cornell. His other research interests include object and scene recognition, action recognition, 3D reconstruction, and machine learning. Through interdisciplinary collaborations with other researchers, the techniques developed by his lab have been used in a wide range of applications in psychology, biology, chemistry, earth science, health and national defense.
“It is a well-deserved recognition,” said Yuzhen Ye, computer science chair. “David has done excellent work in computing research, especially those related with vision, and he has made tremendous contributions to educating our students, serving as the director of the graduate studies in Computer Science for many years before taking on another important role as the director of the Luddy AI center.”
This year’s Distinguished Members work at leading universities, corporations and research institutions in Australia, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
They were selected for their contributions in three separate categories: educational, engineering, and scientific. This year’s class made advancements in areas including algorithms, computer science education, cybersecurity, data management, energy efficient computer architecture, information retrieval, healthcare information technology, knowledge graph and semantic analysis, mobile computing, software engineering and more.
“Luddy School faculty are known world-wide as leaders in innovative research that push the boundaries of what’s possible,” said Joanna Millunchick, Luddy School dean. “David is a brilliant example of that. His contributions cannot be overstated. He is very deserving of this honor, and we’re so proud.”