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UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering

UC San Diego Student Among Select Few Awarded 2017 Adobe Research Fellowships

San Diego, Calif., Feb. 3, 2017 -- A UC San Diego computer science Ph.D. student has been awarded a prestigious Adobe Research Fellowship in only the second year of the program.

C. Ailie Fraser is a researcher in the Design Lab at UC San Diego, and also serves as president of the campus chapter of Graduate Women in Computing (GradWIC).

The fellowship recognizes outstanding graduate students anywhere in the world carrying out exceptional research in areas of computer science that are important to the software company. Fraser and recipients at other institutions were selected based on their research (creative, impactful, important, and realistic in scope) and how their work would contribute to Adobe; their technical skills (ability to build complex computer programs); as well as personal skills (problem-solving ability, communication, leadership, organizational skills, ability to work in teams). 

Fraser’s one-year award comes with a $10,000 stipend and an internship this summer at Adobe. She also gets access to mentorship from an Adobe Research scientist for the year, as well as a free, year-long subscription and round-the-clock access to all of the software in Adobe’s Creative Cloud.

Fraser enrolled in the Ph.D. program at UC San Diego in 2014 after completing a bachelor’s degree with honors in math and computer science from the University of Toronto in her native Canada. She focuses on human-computer interaction, mainly at the Design Lab, located in the Qualcomm Institute here on campus.

In her first year at UC San Diego, Fraser worked with computer science research scientist Nadir Weibel on a Design Lab project in human-centered healthcare design to improve processes at the UC San Diego Medical Center involving treatments with radiation oncology. She also worked as a researcher in the Graphics and Vision group of computer science professor Ravi Ramamoorthi, writing a program to render objects under environment lighting and to edit reflectance properties using interactive ‘brushes’.

Also in the Design Lab, she was first author on a paper presented at the 2016 Conference on Designing Interactive Systems with computer science and cognitive science professor Scott Klemmer and three co-authors from Adobe. The paper presented DiscoverySpace, a novel interface to suggest task-level action ‘macros’ crowdsourced from Photoshop users online. Based on a photo’s visual attributes, the interface suggests a set of one-click actions to help novice users of complex software programs create advanced effects that would otherwise require a steep learning curve.

Fraser also did an internship with Adobe’s Creative Technologies Lab in the summer of 2015, developing and evaluating a suggestion tool to help users get started in complex software (on which she collaborated with CSE’s Klemmer).

In addition to Fraser’s own area of human-computer interaction (HCI), this year’s Adobe fellowships are being awarded to students in seven other fields as well: computer graphics, computer vision, machine learning, visualization, audio, natural-language processing, and programming languages.

In a statement, the company noted that “Adobe Research is helping to grow the company’s expertise in analytics, machine learning, data mining and other innovative technologies relevant to Adobe software products for consumers, creative professionals, developers and enterprises.” At present, Adobe maintains collaborations with faculty and students at over 50 university partners, including UC San Diego, and the Adobe Research Fellowship program was launched in 2016 to extend those collaborations.

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