Research Focus:Computer Vision
Mubarak Shah, PhD has been passionate about learning and teaching new material since he began preparing class notes and conducting tutoring sessions for his peers while he was a student in school. This passion for teaching is seen through the enjoyment he finds being a professor at UCF where he believes the impact, creativity, and control as a professor is the most rewarding. His teaching and research have an impact on his students, who then go on to publish and get cited by authors and impact the field. He can be creative in his teaching and research methods, which provides an opportunity for flexibility in exploring different out-of-the-box ideas while having control over the research problems he chooses to work on and the solutions that are proposed. As a research university, he believes there’s a great opportunity with lots of potential and unexplored areas.
Dr. Shah serves as Trustee Chair Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Center for Research in Computer Vision. He established the Computer Vision area at UCF, introduced numerous courses to the university, and established a research lab. His work in Computer Vision explores how to build computer systems with intelligence. “Visual perception is one of the remarkable capabilities of humans, therefore, we research different ways to endow that capability to computers and robots,” he says. Machine vision systems play an important role in homeland security, national defense, self-driving cars, manufacturing, medical image diagnosis, agriculture, and more. “Our research has the potential to save lives, accelerate automation, and increase productivity,” he says.
The dedication Dr. Shah has to his students goes beyond the classroom. Not only has he supervised over 50 graduate students, but he also leads the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates in Computer Vision at UCF. Here, he hosts 10 undergraduates from around the country to work in research for 10 weeks throughout the summer. Dr. Shah’s work isn’t only at the college level, he also mentors high school students under the High School Apprenticeship Program funded by the Army Research Office. Through this program, students work alongside a university researcher in order to gain science and engineering research experience. He advises students to, “Aim high. Challenge yourself and solve difficult problems. You will be surprised that you are able to tackle impossible or unsolved problems. Be disciplined and work hard,”
While at UCF, Dr. Shah became the first to receive Pegasus Professor for the College of Engineering and Computer Science in 2006. This is the most prestigious award for professors at UCF and recognizes excellence in teaching, research, and service. He has also received the University Distinguished Researcher award (2005, 2012, 2017), Faculty Excellence in Mentoring Doctoral Students Award (2017), Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award (2013). He was recognized by AMiner as the Most Influential Scholar Award Honorable Mention for his outstanding and vibrant contributions to the field of Computer Vision between 2009 and 2019. He received the ACM SIGMM Award for Outstanding Technical Contributions to Multimedia Computing (2019), NGA Best Research Poster award at NARP Symposium (2013), 2nd place in NHK Where is Beauty Grand Challenge at the ACM Multimedia Conference (2013), and was a finalist for the Best Paper award at the ACM Multimedia Conference (2005, 2012).
Dr. Shah is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the American Association of Advancement of Science, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the International Association of Pattern Recognition, and the International Society for Optics and Photonics.
- Fellow, National Academy of Inventors, 2020
- ACM SIGMM award for Outstanding Technical Contributions to Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications, 2019
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