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Fei Sha Wins Army Research Office Young Investigator Award

June 11, 2012 —

Fei Sha, assistant professor of computer science at USC Viterbi, has received the Army Research Office‘s (ARO) Young Investigator

USC Viterbi Assistant Professor of Computer Science Fei Sha
Award for his proposed research on how to adapt intelligent systems to uncertain and unknown operating environments. Entitled “Domain Adaptation for Intelligent Systems in Changing Environments,” Sha’s proposal will be funded for $150,000 over three years.

His research will focus on the statistical methodologies involved in better adapting intelligent systems to uncertain and unknown operating environments that are potentially very different from those in that the intelligent systems were initially designed. A well-known example of this type of adaptation is a speaker-independent speech recognition system that “gets used to” a certain speaker’s voice. This type of system adapts to recognize with better accuracy the utterances of specific individuals.

Without adaptation, intelligent systems often suffer from a significant degradation in performance. The need for adaptation is ubiquitous in numerous areas within computer science including computer vision systems, language processing, information search and retrieval, as well as robotics. Developing methodologies for adaptation is paramount to building intelligent agents that are fully autonomous.

The ARO Young Investigator Program is one of a few distinguished armed forces funding mechanisms that support early career scientists with a demonstrated track record of doing innovative research.