ARA V. NEFIAN, PhD
http://www.anefian.com/ara_nefian.htm email@example.com (408) 930 0395
OBJECTIVE: Challenging research and development position in computer vision, 3D
reconstruction, Bayesian networks, robotics, image, video, speech and/or text processing.
1996-1999 Ph.D in Electrical Engineering , Georgia Institute of Technology
Thesis:“Face detection and recognition using hidden Markov models”.
1994-1996 MS in Electrical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology.
1988-1993 Electrical Engineer Diploma, Politehnica University of Bucharest.
Major: Signal Processing and Radio Communications (ranked 1st in class).
SKILLS: Researcher with over 10 years of experience, 40 peer reviewed papers and 20 filed and
issued (10) patents in the fields of computer vision, machine learning, Bayesian networks, image,
text, audio, video processing and sensor fusion. Experienced technical leader of research teams
possessing strong analytical, communications and programming skills (C/C++, Matlab, OpenCV,
OpenMP). Fluent in English, French and Romanian.
Senior System Scientist Carnegie Mellon University, 2008-present.
1. 3D terrain reconstruction-project lead. The imagery captured during the Apollo
missions and stored in digital format are used to generate the highest resolution and most
accurate maps covering 16% of the Moon surface. Results are available in Google Earth.
Current research includes albedo reconstruction and generation of accurate 3D
topography using shape from shading techniques.
2. Mars Science Lab. Built the 3D surface reconstruction and scene segmentation for the
next NASA robotic mission to Mars.
3. Pipeline threat detection system. Built a complete hardware a software system for
detection of heaving digging machinery using images captured by the pipeline patrol
Senior Imaging Engineer Nokia Point&Find, 2008.
Project lead on real time car logo recognition from mobile platforms.
Senior Researcher Ooyala, 2007-2008.
Computer Vision team lead responsible for tracking and segmentation of large video
Senior Researcher, Intel Corporation, Microprocessor Research Labs, 2000-2007.
1Research, development and technical lead in various areas of machine learning, computer
vision, sensor fusion, image and video mining. Analyze the impact of emerging multimedia
applications on future computational platforms.
2Drive several collaborations with the research community through university grants, interns,
joint projects, external publications and organizational involvements.
1Web image clustering using text and visual features. The web image search results are
into several semantic categories using a novel unified Bayesian framework for image
segmentation and grouping. The multimodal clustering system increases the accuracy of any
single modality and is implemented on a 32-way parallel machine.
2Detection of drivable corridors for off road autonomous navigation. Video sequences are
modeled using a novel two-dimensional Bayesian network that incorporates a set of spatial
and temporal constraints specific to desert images. The project is part of the vision
component used by the Stanford racing team, the winner of the 2005 DARPA Grand
3Face recognition using embedded Bayesian networks. Built a novel statistical face
recognition system and led a team effort to implement it in real time and integrate it with
OpenCV library. The novel two-dimensional Bayesian models set the state of the art in face
recognition on a highly used medium sized database.
4Audio-video continuous speech recognition (AVCSR). Led a research team and conducted
research in multimodal speech recognition using a coupled HMM and a set of robust visual
features. The coupled HMM outperformed all existing audio-visual models for speech
recognition and reduced the error rate of the acoustic speech recognition by 55% in noisy
environments. The AVCSR package, released in open source, is used by several universities
and research labs inside US, Europe and China.
5Audio-visual speaker identification. Led a research team and conducted research in
multimodal statistical speaker identification using face, lip movements and speech features.
The multimodal system outperforms the accuracy of any single modality and reduces by a
large margin the error rate of the acoustic-only speaker recognition in noisy environments.
6Audio-visual source separation. Research in Bayesian source separation in noisy environments
using both acoustic and visual features extracted from the user’s face. The novel approach
outperforms the existing acoustic-only speech source separation systems in noisy
environments and opens a new perspective for solving “the cocktail” problem.
7Static and dynamic hand gesture recognition. Research in statistical upper body modeling,
segmentation, tracking and hand gesture recognition from dense disparity maps and color
8Distributed structure learning for embedded Bayesian networks with application in
bioinformatics. Developed a parallel structure learning algorithm for singular nucleotide
polymorphism (SNP) characterization.
9Runtime compiler optimization and data pre-fetch using dynamic Bayesian networks.
Research Assistant, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1996-1999
Face detection and recognition using hidden Markov models.
Teaching Assistant, Georgia Tech Lorraine, 1998
Lectured graduate level “Random processes”.
Software Engineer, NCR, Human Interface Technology Center, 1995-1998
Real-time face detection in video sequences, customer activity analysis and people tracking.
Research Assistant, Georgia Tech Lorraine, 1994-1995
Fractal image compression, motion estimation.
Telecommunication Engineer, Electrical Research Institute (Romania), 1993-1994
Teaching Assistant, Politehnica University of Bucharest, 1993-1994.
Lectured graduate level “Digital Signal Processing” laboratory.
• DARPA Grand Challenge 2005 Award: winner of the autonomous navigation
race with Stanford racing team-Stanley.
• Intel Microprocessor Research Labs Award: 2001, 2003, 2007.
20+ US and International patents filed and issued (10) in face recognition and detection, audio–
visual signal processing, machine learning and Bayesian networks.
•“A coupled hidden Markov model for continuous audio-visual speech recognition” 7,165,029 -
•"Image recognition using hidden Markov models and coupled hidden Markov models"
•"System and method for real time lip synchronization" 7,133,560 - 2007.
•“Gesture detection from digital video images” 7,224,830 - 2007.
•“Embedded Bayesian network for pattern recognition”, 7203368 -2007
•“Embedded multi-layer coupled hidden Markov model” 7,089,185 - 2006.
•"System and method for detecting a human face in uncontrolled environments" 6,184,926 -
•“Techniques for separating and evaluating audio and video source data” 2004.
•“Identifying a speaker using Markov models” 2003.
•S .Thrun, M. Montemerlo, H. Dahlkamp, D. Stavens, A. Aron, J. Diebel, P. Fong, J. Gale, M.
Halpenny, G. Hoffmann, K. Lau, C. Oakley, M. Palatucci, V. Pratt, P. Stang, S. Strohband,
C. Dupont, L.-E. Jendrossek, C. Koelen, C. Markey, C. Rummel, J. van Niekerk, E. Jensen,
P. Alessandrini, G. Bradski, B. Davies, S. Ettinger, A. Kaehler, A. Nefian, and P. Mahoney.
“Winning the DARPA Grand Challenge.” Journal of Field Robotics, 2006.
•Ling Chen, Hong Man and Ara V. Nefian, “Face recognition based multi-class mapping of
Fisher scores”, Pattern Recognition, Special issue on Image Understanding for Digital
•Ara V. Nefian, Luhong Liang, Xiaoxing Liu, Xiaobo Pi and Kevin Murphy, “Dynamic Bayesian
networks for audio-visual speech recognition”, EURASIP, Journal of Applied Signal
•Silviu Ciochina and Ara V. Nefian, “ Fast algorithms for the discrete Hartley transform, part II”,
Telecommunication Journal, 1996 (Romanian).
•Silviu Ciochina, Ara V. Nefian, “Fast algorithms for the discrete Hartley transform, part I: radix
two algorithms”, Telecommunication Journal, 1995 (Romanian).
3D Reconstruction from Planetary Images
•Ara V. Nefian, Kyle Husmann, Michael J. Broxton, Vinh To, Michael Lundy and Matthew
Hancher "A Bayesian Formulation for Sub-pixel Refinement in Stereo Orbital Imagery",
IEEE International Conference on Image Processing 2009
•M. J. Broxton, Z. M. Moratto, A. Nefian, M. Bunte, M. S. Robinson, "Preliminary Stereo
Reconstruction from Apollo 15 Metric Camera Imagery", 40th Lunar and Planetary Science
•M. Weiss-Malik; T. Scharff; A. Nefian; Z. Moratto; E. Kolb; M. Lundy; M. Hancher; N.
Gorelick; M. Broxton; R. A. Beyer ,"Visualizing Moon Data and Imagery with Google
Earth", American Geophysical Union 2009.
•R. A. Beyer; M. Broxton; N. Gorelick; M. Hancher; M. Lundy; E. Kolb; Z. Moratto; A. Nefian;
T. Scharff; M. Weiss-Malik, "Visualizing Mars data and imagery with Google Earth",
American Geophysical Union 2009.
•Michael J. Broxton, Ara V. Nefian, Zachary Moratto, Taemin Kim, Michael Lundy, and
Aleksandr V. Segal, "3D Lunar Terrain Reconstruction from Apollo Images", International
Symposium on Visual Computing 2009.
•Taemin Kim, Ara V. Nefian, and Michael J. Broxton, "Photometric Recovery of Ortho-
images Derived from Apollo 15 Metric Camera Imagery", International Symposium
on Visual Computing 2009.
Web Image Clustering and Video Mining
•Ara V. Nefian, Maha El Choubassi, Jean-Yves Bouguet, Igor Kozintsev and Yi Wu, “Web
image clustering”, accepted to IEEE International Conference on Acoustic Speech and Signal
•Haoran Yi, Igor Kozintsev, Marzia Polito, Yi Wu , Jean-Yves Bouguet, Ara V. Nefian and
Carole Dulong “A spatiotemporal decomposition strategy for personal home video
management”, SPIE Electronic Imaging 2007.
•Yi Wu, Jean-Yves Bouguet, Ara V. Nefian and Igor Kozintsev, “Learning concept templates
from web images to query personal image databases”, submitted to IEEE International
Conference on Multimedia and Expo, 2007.
•Ara V. Nefian, Gary Bradski, “Detection of drivable corridors for off road autonomous
navigation”, IEEE International Conference on Image Processing 2006.
•Ara V. Nefian, “Learning in embedded Bayesian networks with distributed data”, IEEE
Computational Systems Bioinformatics Conference 2006.
Audio-Visual Speech Processing
•Luhong Liang, Yu Luo, Feiyue Huang and Ara V. Nefian,” A multi-stream audio-video large
vocabulary Mandarin Chinese speech database’, IEEE International Conference on
Multimedia and Expo, 2004.
•Shyamsundar Rajaram, Ara V. Nefian and Thomas Huang, “Bayesian separation of audio-visual
speech sources”, IEEE International Conference on Acoustic Speech and Signal Processing
•Ara V. Nefian and Luhong Liang, “Bayesian networks in multimodal speech recognition and
speaker identification”, ASILOMAR 2003.
•Tieyan Fu, Xiaoxing Liu, Luhong Liang, Xiaobo Pi and Ara V Nefian, “Audio-visual speaker
identification using coupled hidden Markov models”, IEEE International Conference on
Image Processing 2003.
•Ara V. Nefian, Luhong Liang, Tyean Fu and Xiaoxing Liu, “A Bayesian approach to audio
visual speaker identification”, IEEE International Conference on Audio-and Video- based
Biometric Person Authentication, June 2003.
•Xiaoxing Liu, Yibao Zhao, Xiaobo Pi, Luhong Liang and Ara V. Nefian, “Audio-visual
continuous speech recognition using a coupled hidden Markov model”, IEEE International
Conference on Spoken Language Processing, September 2002.
•Luhong Liang, Xiaoxing Liu, Yibao Zhao, Xiabo Pi and Ara V. Nefian, “Speaker independent
audio-visual continuous speech recognition”, IEEE International Conference on Multimedia
and Expo, August 2002.
•Ara V. Nefian, Luhong Liang, Xiaobo Pi, Xiaoxing Liu, Crusoe Mao Kevin Murphy ,“A
coupled HMM for audio-visual speech recognition”, IEEE International Conference on
Acoustic Speech and Signal Processing 2002.
•Navin Goel, George Bebis and Ara V. Nefian, “Face recognition experiments with random
projections”, SPIE Conference on Biometric Technology for Human Identification 2005.
•Ara V. Nefian “Embedded Bayesian Networks for face recognition”, IEEE International
Conference on Multimedia and Expo, August 2002.
•Ara V. Nefian and Monson H. Hayes, “Maximum likelihood training of the embedded HMM for
face detection and recognition”, IEEE International Conference on Image Processing 2000.
•Ara V. Nefian and Monson H. Hayes III, “An embedded HMM based approach for face
detection and recognition”, IEEE International Conference on Acoustic Speech and Signal
•Ara V. Nefian and Monson H. Hayes III, “Face recognition using an embedded HMM”, IEEE
Conference on Audio and Visual-based Person Authentication 1999.
•Ara. V. Nefian and Monson H. Hayes III, “Face detection and recognition using Hidden Markov
Models”, IEEE International Conference on Image Processing1998.
•Ara. V. Nefian and Monson H. Hayes III, “Hidden Markov Models for face recognition”, IEEE
International Conference on Acoustic Speech and Signal Processing 1998.
•Ara V. Nefian, Mehdi Khosravi and Monson H. Hayes III, “Real-time human face detection
from uncontrolled environments”, SPIE Visual Communications on Image Processing 1997.
Body Tracking and Gesture Recognition
•Ara V. Nefian, Radek Grezsczuk and Victor Eruhimov ,“A statistical upper body model for 3D
static and dynamic gesture recognition from stereo sequences”, IEEE International
Conference on Image Processing 2001.
•Robert D. Cavin, Navin Goel and Ara V. Nefian, “A Bayesian formulation for 3D articulated
upper body segmentation and tracking from dense disparity maps”, IEEE International
Conference on Image Processing 2003.
1The Second Workshop on Entertainment systems ENSYS 2007, co-chair.
2International Symposium on Visual Computing, 2006, computer vision co-chair.
3International Symposium on Visual Computing, 2005, board member. Chair of the special track
on Intelligent Vehicles and Autonomous Navigation, organizing committee.
4International Conference on Entertainment Systems and Applications, 2005, board member.
5IEEE Workshop on Combined Research –Curriculum Development in Computer Vision,
December 2001, program committee member.
6MPEG 7, face recognition committee member, 2001-2003.
7NSF Combined Research-Curriculum Development in Computer Vision program, University of
Nevada at Reno 2000-2002, advisory board member.
8IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, Image Processing, Signal Processing and Pattern Analysis
and Machine Learning, reviewer.
1“Computers learn to read lips”, New York Times, September 2003.
2“Digital lip reader”, MIT Technology review, September 2003.
3“Steady pace takes DARPA autonomous driving race”, EE Times, October 2005.
Biking, long distance running, tennis, rugby, climbing, hiking, skiing, sailing.
References available upon request