UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering University of California San Diego
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UCSD to Launch Graduate Training Program in Vision and Learning in Humans and Machines

UCSD has been awarded a competitive $3.4 million training grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish an interdisciplinary graduate program in vision and learning in humans and machines. The grant is part of the NSF's IGERT (Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training) program and will provide two-year fellowships to approximately 15 new students per year. The fellowships will be available to U.S. citizens, and will include a $27,500 annual stipend, as well as tuition and fees.

This interdisciplinary program is intended to train a new generation of scientists and engineers who are as equally versed in the mathematical and physical foundations of computer vision as they are in the biological and psychological fields of natural vision and learning. The program is a collaboration of the Computer Science and Engineering, Psychology, and Cognitive Science departments.

According to Computer Science Professor Gary Cottrell, "While there have been tremendous advances in computer vision and computational learning, current computer vision and learning systems for many applications (such as face recognition) are still inferior to the visual and learning capabilities of a toddler. Meanwhile, great strides in understanding visual recognition and learning in humans have been made with psychophysical and neurophysiological experiments. The time is ripe to apply our knowledge of human vision to the application of computer vision algorithms. Simultaneously we believe that the consideration of why vision is difficult f o r computers can give great insight to experimentalists examining the human and animal visual systems."

The program will get underway in September 2004 with an intensive twoweek boot camp for new fellows that will run from 9 a.m. to midnight each day. The workshops will allow the graduate students to learn from faculty and work on various topical projects. As part of the grant, UCSD will host an international conference on vision and learning in humans and machines in the near future.