Professor Achuta Kadambi Awarded NSF CRII Grant

Professor Achuta Kadambi has received the prestigious CRII award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), totaling $175,000. He was recently appointed Assistant Professor for the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in 2018. This selective award is specific to new faculty and was awarded to Professor Kadambi for his research titled “Computational Thermal Imaging.”

Professor Kadambi is the Founding Director of the Visual Machines Group. The grand challenge of the Visual Machines Group is to give the gift of sight to robots by blending optical physics and deep learning. The group pioneers a theory of physics-based neural networks to achieve its goals.

This particular NSF award will enable UCLA researchers to develop algorithms for special cameras that operate at long-wave infrared wavelengths. These unusual cameras are also called “thermal cameras”, because they are capable of imaging heat transfer. Professor Kadambi’s team will focus on three fundamental goals. First, they will construct a camera prototype that projects custom structured light patterns at long-wave infrared wavelengths. Second, the team will investigate the development of non-line-of-sight camera that can one day possibly see around corners. Last, his team will study the differences between mathematical representations of data at aforementioned long-wave infrared wavelengths and those at visible light wavelengths.

If successful, this investigation may enable search and rescues that were not possible before (e.g. by finding survivors occluded by smoke or fire).

To learn more about Professor Kadambi’s research, please visit