Two CSE Teams Earn $100K Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship Awards

Dec 13, 2022
CSE's QIF winning team of Ranak Roy Chowdhury (l) and Xiyuan Zhang

By Kimberley Clementi

Two teams from UC San Diego’s Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) department have received Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship (QIF) awards for 2022. The CSE teams along with four additional teams from the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department earned six out of 19 awards – making UC San Diego the top recognized university in Qualcomm’s North America program. The winning teams were selected from 132 abstracts.

In addition to the two wining CSE teams, CSE Assistant Professor Aaron Schulman, who was recently named Jacobs School of Engineering Graduate Advisor of the Year, is an advisor for one of four ECE teams honored with the award.

The Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship is designed to recognize creative Ph.D. students and enable them to pursue futuristic, innovative research in areas of autonomous driving, machine learning, multimedia computing, natural language processing, secure system design and others.  The fellowship provides each team with $100,000 in funding, mentoring and additional resources to pursue cutting-edge research in their field.

The Two Winning CSE Teams

Team: Ranak Roy Chowdhury (PhD '24) and Xiyuan Zhang (PhD '25)

Advisor: CSE Professor and Director of Halicioglu Data Science Institute Rajesh Gupta and CSE Assistant Professor Jingbo Shang

Project: Robust Machine Learning in IoT Devices

Students Xiyuan Zhang and Ranak Roy Chowdhury were awarded a QIF for their research on learning-enabled sensor systems and issues caused by data heterogeneity and dynamic conditions. Zhang’s research examines the challenges that arise when data is extracted from multiple sources and, specifically, how to account for dissimilarity in structures and parameters in data streams. Chowdhury hopes to address data scarcity due to dynamic conditions such as malfunctioning sensors, connectivity problems and power shortages.

Together, the team’s objective is to design a more robust and integrated approach to machine learning. They plan to use their funds to buy a server for model training and Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) devices to aid in data collection.

 CSE's QIF winning team of Yu-Ying Yeh and Rui Zhu

Team: Yu-Ying Yeh (PhD '23) and Rui Zhu (PhD '23)

Advisor: CSE Assistant Professor Manmohan Chandraker

Project: Bridging Semantic, Geometric and Physical Reasoning in Indoor 3D Scenes

For Yu-Ying Yeh and Rui Zhu, the QIF award validates research they are conducting as part of a bigger line of study within UC San Diego’s Center for Visual Computing. Working at the edge of innovation, the group has garnered attention for their promising applications in modern computer vision products such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

The team plans to use the fellowship to purchase equipment for data collection or demos. They aim to better reconstruct the 3D world from photos. Their research could enable novel applications in AR, interior design and indoor navigation.