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Deepali Aneja and Eric Whitmire named Adobe Research Fellows

Deepali Aneja

Allen School Ph.D. students Deepali Aneja and Eric Whitmire have been named 2018 Adobe Research Fellows. The Adobe Research Fellowship program recognizes outstanding graduate students with exceptional technical and personal leadership skills who are engaged in creative, high-impact research. Aneja and Whitmire are among a total of 10 graduate students around the world to be recognized in this year’s fellowship competition.

Aneja works with Allen School professor Linda Shapiro in the Graphics and Imaging Laboratory (GRAIL) and Creative Director Barbara Mones in the Animation Research Labs. Her research focuses on computer vision, the intersection of vision and machine learning, and computer graphics and animation.

Aneja previously spent two summers as an intern in Adobe Seattle’s Creative Intelligence Lab, where she contributed to the team’s efforts to enhance lip sync accuracy for 2D animation in Adobe Character Animator 2018, part of the company’s Creative Cloud lineup. Previously, she completed a computer vision research internship at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as part of its Data Heroes intern program. At last year’s Allen School open house and poster session, Aneja and her collaborators captured the People’s Choice Award for “Learning Stylized Character Expressions from Humans.” The winning poster presented the team’s work on DeepExpr, a data-driven framework that uses deep learning to map human facial expressions to animated characters in a way that is both perceptually valid and geometrically correct.

Eric Whitmire

Whitmire works with Allen School and Electrical Engineering professor Shwetak Patel in the UbiComp Lab, where his research focuses on the intersection of hardware and software to enable new capabilities in wearable sensors, interaction, and mixed-reality systems.

Whitmire has completed multiple internships at Oculus Research, where he worked on alternative input techniques for augmented reality applications and a wearable scleral coil eye-tracking system for virtual reality displays. He earned the Best Paper Award for his work on the latter, called EyeContact, at the Association for Computing Machinery’s International Symposium on Wearable Computers (ISWC) in 2016. Whitmire spent last summer working with a team at Microsoft Research on a new handheld controller with haptic feedback for virtual reality applications. Other recent projects include DigiTouch, a reconfigurable glove that enables thumb-to-figure touch interaction for general input and text entry on head-mounted AR and VR displays, and PupilScreen, a smartphone app currently under development that will enable accurate, on-the-spot assessment of traumatic brain injury.

The Adobe Research Fellowship comes with a financial award, an Adobe Research mentor, and the opportunity to spend a summer as an intern at Adobe. Past Allen School recipients include Ph.D. students Julian Michael, who works with professor Luke Zettlemoyer in the Natural Language Processing group, and Pavel Panchekha, who works with professors Michael Ernst and Zachary Tatlock in the Programming Languages & Software Engineering (PLSE) group.

Congratulations, Deepali and Eric!