By Kimberley Clementi
Yu-Ying Yeh, a Ph.D. student in UC San Diego’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), has been awarded a 2022 Google Fellowship in Machine Perception, Speech Technology and Computer Vision. She is one of nine recipients in that category this year. Two previous CSE students – Tiancheng Sun (Ph.D. 2021) and Saining Xie (Ph.D. 2018) – were also awarded this prestigious fellowship.
Yeh’s 2022 Google Fellowship will support her research interest in the intersection between computer vision and graphics. Her goal is to develop algorithms that enable photorealistic content creation automatically for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applications.
“I envision a future in which we can build virtual environments efficiently, learn useful models from them without interrupting reality, and apply the models to solve important problems in the real world,” said Yeh.
Yeh will use synthetic data generated from physically based rendering techniques with the modeling of real-world complex lighting to overcome some of the challenges inhibiting high-quality 3D content creation. According to Yeh, current techniques are time-consuming, require intense human effort and sometimes lack photorealistic appearances. Yeh’s research suggests that synthetic data could be key in improving AR and VR content and generating it more efficiently.
“Living in the era of metaverse, I'm excited about the possibility of how we can extend our reality to another level,” said Yeh. “Building virtual scenes from real-world captures enables various possibilities to connect people photorealistically from anywhere.”
Yeh’s fellowship includes a monetary award, which will cover her expenses and provide a stipend. In addition, she will be matched with a Google Research Mentor, a valuable resource throughout the year ahead.
Yeh’s most recent accomplishment follows netting internships with Adobe Research in 2020 and NVIDIA Research in 2021. She is advised by Associate Professor Manmohan Chandraker.
The Google PhD Fellowship Program was created to recognize promising PhD candidates worldwide who seek to influence the future of technology.