Singh and Srinivasa Awarded Habermann and Finmeccanica Chairs

Siddhartha Srinivasa (left) and Aarti Singh

BY Byron Spice - Wed, 2014-01-15 12:19  Printer-friendly version

Two professors in Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science, Aarti Singh and Siddhartha Srinivasa, have been awarded endowed chairs reserved for faculty members who show exceptional promise in the early stages of their careers.

Singh, an assistant professor in the Machine Learning Department, will hold the A. Nico Habermann Chair of Computer Science, while Srinivasa, an associate professor in the Robotics Institute, will hold a Finmeccanica Chair in Computer Science. Each has a term of three years.

Singh’s research focuses on how to extract meaningful information from datasets that are both massive in size and plagued by noise, missing values and inconsistencies, while balancing the competing goals of computational efficiency and optimal accuracy. She is also investigating how interactive algorithms can help achieve these goals by leveraging feedback from human experts to make decisions about how data is gathered and analyzed.

She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Wisconsin and served as a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University before joining the CMU faculty in 2009. She is a recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and is lead investigator for an NSF Big Data grant.

The Habermann Chair was established in 1998 in memory of SCS’s first dean and the longtime head of the Computer Science Department.

Srinivasa founded the Personal Robotics Lab, where he and his research team are developing the fundamental building blocks of perception, navigation, manipulation and interaction to enable robots to perform challenging manipulation tasks with and around people. The Home Exploring Robot Butler, HERB, is a two-armed, mobile robot that serves as a testbed for these technologies and methods. In addition, he is the co-director of the Manipulation Lab, leads the Qoltbots HERB thrust at the Quality of Life Technologies Center and is a principal investigator and manipulation lead of the CMU Tartan Rescue Team, which is developing a robot that can respond to natural and man-made disasters in human environments.

He earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. in robotics at Carnegie Mellon, joining the faculty as an adjunct assistant professor in 2005. Formerly senior research scientist at Intel Research Pittsburgh, he joined the Robotics Institute as an associate professor in 2011. Among his previous honors are an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award and the Okawa Foundation Research Award.

An endowment by the Italian conglomerate Finmeccanica supports two chairs for young SCS faculty members. Noah Smith, associate professor in the Language Technologies Institute, now occupies the other chair.

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