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AI computer vision and facial recognition pioneer and Nuggets COO each honored

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AI computer vision and facial recognition pioneer and Nuggets COO each honored

A pioneer in facial biometric technology and artificial intelligence has been appointed as the new Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University, the school has announced.

Research by Rama Chellappa into facial recognition in recent decades has included development of detailed face models based on their shape, appearance and texture, and the structure of bones and muscles. Chellappa has also led a team designing a high-accuracy facial recognition system for serving critical government and commercial needs under the Janus program, and in modeling facial expressions for potential medical applications.

Chellappa served as General Chair the CVPR (computer vision and pattern recognition) 1989 San Diego conference, and has been working on computer vision since the 1980s. He has spent the past 29 years at the University of Maryland, and will now lend his expertise to both the Whiting School of Engineering and the School of Medicine at JHU.

“Rama Chellappa is a truly exceptional researcher, leader, and mentor with a remarkable record of innovation in the areas of computer vision, pattern recognition, machine learning, and artificial intelligence,” says Johns Hopkins University Provost Sunil Kumar. “We are excited to welcome him to the Johns Hopkins community, where he will collaborate across divisions and bring his groundbreaking research to new corners of the institution.”

In his new position, Chellappa will put greater focus on medical applications of AI.

Chellappa is also a life fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and has served as editor-in-chief of research journals. He won the IEEE Biometrics Council Leadership Award in 2016, and was involved in a project with NIST that found algorithms and human experts in combination have higher accuracy than either achieves on their own.

Nuggets COO named Entrepreneur of the Year

Nuggets Co-founder and COO Seema Khinda Johnson has been declared Entrepreneur of the Year in Booking.com’s annual Technology Playmaker Awards.

The awards recognize women from around the global technology industry for blazing new paths, creating innovative products and experiences, and inspiring future generations to positively impact communities, according to the announcement. They are judged by a panel of 14 industry leaders, who chose from among 850 candidates, including finalists from 20 countries.

Nuggets provides a blockchain-powered platform with a single biometric tool for login, payment, and identity verification without sharing personal information.

“It’s such an unexpected honour to have won this category at the Booking.com Technology Playmaker Awards,” comments Khinda Johnson. “These awards really help shine a light on women making a difference and being recognised for their contribution to the technology sector especially those who are working behind the scenes, innovating and contributing to the success of their organisations. I’m delighted to have been selected.”

Nuggets partnered with Onfido to add facial biometrics to its zero-knowledge cryptography last September.

This post was updated at 2:18pm Eastern on April 14, 2020 to clarify that Rama Chellappa served as CVPR conference General Chair, rather than founding the conference, as was previously reported.

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