Amin Karbasi Receives Grainger Foundation Grant


Amin Karbasi, assistant professor of electrical engineering & computer science, has received a Grainger Foundation Frontiers of Engineering Grant for his work on developing algorithms for compressing massive amounts of time.

Working with Amit Surana of United Technologies Research Center, Karbasi will use the $30,000 grant to “develop a unified approach for saliency detection in heterogeneous temporal data.” The grant will support the team’s interdisciplinary research to develop algorithms for compressing massive amounts of time—varying data into small salient or informative datasets to allow faster decision making.

For example, if salient or significant images in particular frames can be identified from terabytes of video stream, the original video can be summarized using a much smaller set of frames, enabling much faster video processing for surveillance applications such as anomaly detection and activity classification. Karbasi and Surana will develop their distributed and streaming algorithms by unifying techniques from the fields of discrete optimization, dynamical systems and control theory. 

“It is always exciting to see what unique collaborations will be sparked when top early-career engineers from a variety of fields come together,” said NAE President C. D. Mote, Jr. “This is what the Frontiers of Engineering program is all about, and society is the likely beneficiary of advances that come from such interactions.”

Frontiers of Engineering s an NAE program that brings together outstanding early-career engineers from industry, academia, and government to discuss pioneering technical work and leading-edge research in various engineering fields and industry sectors.

The Grainger Foundation, an independent, private foundation, based in Lake Forest, Illinois, was established in 1949 by William W. Grainger, founder of W.W. Grainger Inc.

Founded in 1964, the US National Academy of Engineering is a private, independent, nonprofit institution that provides engineering leadership in service to the nation. Its mission is to advance the well-being of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshalling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology.