I’ve been fascinated by robotics and artificial intelligence ever since I read my first Asimov novel, way back in high school. As a teenager I also liked to program, and my pre-college days were spent usually wired in to a laptop or hooked to a physics textbook, thinking about ways to solve a problem efficiently while my classmates were out playing football.

I joined IIT Delhi, majoring in EECS, where I was able to pursue my interest in computer science. Meeting like-minded people, I believe, was the best thing that could have happened. I was interested in computer vision because I am fascinated by how things we see make sense to our brains, and how we can replicate that in computer systems using simple mathematical techniques.

I was given an opportunity to work at a research lab at Virginia Tech after my sophomore year, where I got the first taste of working in a research group.  This made me realize exactly how different research is than just taking courses in college. The intense work environment was hyper educational and that’s when I made up my mind to pursue computer vision and machine learning.

In the next six months a lot has happened very quickly. I met Nikhil Naik at the Media Lab’s Design Innovation Workshop in Mumbai, where I learned more about the work of the Camera Culture group. I watched Ramesh’s talks like an entranced six year old, and was impressed by the lab’s culture to promote innovation in all aspects of design. It was a fresh change from what I was used to; and it encouraged me to approach Nikhil for a collaboration for my senior design project. Nikhil and another researcher, Dan Raviv, found ideas that were at the intersection of my past interests and the lab’s work, and we decided to begin work at the lab in the summer.

I’m currently working on creating a real time object detection system, which uses a depth camera and tries to locate objects in real time. For example, an extension of this system would be a device which would remember any object you show it, and locate it in your household. I’m also working on a system which extracts cognitive information from images using crowd sourcing.

My time at the lab has been full of surprises – right from the amazing imaging technology being worked on at the lab, to the close-knit, collaborative group meetings. People at the lab are brilliant at their work, and a even simple five minute conversation with them can turn out to be enlightening. There is a strong industry connection, with workshops and talks being delivered almost every day.
For aspiring visiting students, I’d suggest keeping yourself aware and connected – by attending ReDx/DI workshops, and frequently interacting with Camera Culture members in India and abroad. You should also aim at solving problems which are intellectually challenging and also have a broad social impact. If you’re working hard and making good stuff, people will be more than willing to collaborate with you.

Working at the lab has been the best work experience I’ve had so far. Dan and Nikhil have been very insightful about the work, and I’ve learned a lot from them. People at the lab have been very friendly and cooperative, and I’ve had a very productive and fun past few weeks. I hope to continue my association with the group for a longer period of time, and keep building fascinating things that make you go ‘wow’.


Below are a few pics of my time with the Camera Culture Group:

Dan Raviv and Abhimanyu Dubey

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Camera Culture Group at a movie outing

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Kayaking on the Charles River

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September 13th, 2016

Ramesh Raskar Lemelson-MIT 2016 Winner

Congratulations to Professor Ramesh Raskar and the Camera Culture Group  – Winner of the 2016 Lemelson-MIT prize Ramesh Raskar and […]

September 8th, 2016

Can computers read through a book page by page without opening it?

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November 21st, 2018

Society of Autonomous Vehicles – Part 1

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March 20th, 2018

Seeing Through Realistic Fog

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March 29th, 2017

Efficient Lensless Imaging with a Femto-Pixel

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September 28th, 2016

How to see through tissue

All Photons Imaging Through Volumetric Scattering Guy Satat, Barmak Heshmat, Dan Raviv, Ramesh Raskar We demonstrate a new method that […]

September 12th, 2016

The World is Our Lab

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March 27th, 2016

Handheld 3D Imager to visualize features in the throat like tonsils!

3D visualization of oral cavity and oropharyngeal anatomy may play an important role in the evaluation for obstructive sleep apnea […]

February 24th, 2016

How to use computer vision to improve cities

– Nikhil Naik Transcript from TEDx Beacon Street November, 2015 Here we see a picture of a little girl walking […]

February 12th, 2016

Optical Brush

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December 3rd, 2015

Innovating for Billions – Ramesh Raskar’s UIST Keynote

28th ACM User Interface Software and Technology Symposium Charlotte, NC November 8-11, 2015 Watch the presentation on Youtube HERE Keynote […]

December 2nd, 2015

Making 3-D imaging 1,000 times better

Algorithms exploiting light’s polarization boost resolution of commercial depth sensors 1,000-fold. See MIT coverage here. Read more about the work […]

November 26th, 2015

Engineering Health Class Final Presentations on 4 Dec

Great projects and demos- wearables, 3D imaging, novel stethoscopes, imaging the eye, oral imaging.  Followed by health night with guest […]

November 2nd, 2015

Engineering Health Class featured in Medtech

Our Engineering Health class was featured in Medtech Boston. Read the full article here.

October 26th, 2015

OPEN POSITIONS: Technical Assistants

Technical Assistant # 1 Date: December-4-2015 The Camera Culture group at the MIT Media Lab focuses on making the invisible […]

October 15th, 2015

Time-of-Flight Microwave Camera to See Through Walls

New Camera Culture research in Nature Scientific Reports shows a prototype time of flight camera working at microwave frequencies. In […]

September 30th, 2015

How to Make a City Smart? The Indian Context

By: Pranav Chandrasekaran   Introduction – by Ramesh Raskar, Associate Professor Media Arts and Sciences, Head of the Camera Culture […]

September 11th, 2015

Kumbh Mela – The World’s Largest Moving City

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September 8th, 2015

Engineering Health Fall 2015 Course

MAS.S62: Join us for the first class on Friday, 11 Sept, 1-4 pm in E15-341(Click to go to class webpage)

June 26th, 2015

Vahe Tahmazyan Graduates with Best Thesis