The Sloan Foundation has announced that Felix Heide, an expert in computer vision, and Anirudha Majumdar, an expert in robotics, have been selected as 2023 Sloan Research Fellows in computer science.
The fellowship recognizes creative early-career researchers in the sciences and social sciences. Six faculty members from Princeton have been awarded fellowships this year, and 243 Princeton faculty have received Sloan fellowships since they were first awarded in 1955.
Heide, assistant professor of computer science, works on optics and computer vision. Heide’s lab is using nanofabrication techniques to create a new kind of camera that can analyze and perform computation on a scene before an image is captured. Today’s cameras work in the same way they did in the 19th century, with optical lenses recording images and any analysis performed after an image is captured. Heide’s goal is to build a new kind of thin, power-free optical computer inside camera lenses.
Majumdar, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, works on building autonomous robotic systems. Currently, most robots are deployed in tightly controlled environments, like factories. Majumdar and his lab are working to build drones and other robots that can operate safely in a more complex environment, enabling them to see obstacles and adapt to diverse and changing conditions.
Sloan fellows receive a two-year, $75,000 fellowship which can be used flexibly. Fellowship candidates are nominated by their fellow scientists and winners are selected by an independent panel based on research accomplishments, creativity, and potential to become a leader in their field. Former fellows have gone on to receive the highest accolades, including Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals.
Heide joined the Princeton faculty in 2020 and leads the Computational Imaging Lab. He completed postdoctoral research at Stanford University, doctoral work at the University of British Columbia, and an M.Sc. from the University of Siegen in Germany. He is the recipient of a 2022 Packard Fellowship, the AutoSens 2020 Young Engineer of the Year Award, Sensors Expo 2018 Rising Star award, ACM SIGGRAPH 2017 Doctoral Dissertation Award, and the Alain Fournier 2016 Award for Best Doctoral Dissertation in Computer Graphics. He is also the co-founder and chief technology officer of Algolux.
Majumdar joined the Princeton faculty in 2017 and leads the Intelligent Robot Motion Lab. He received a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and did postdoctoral research in Stanford University’s Autonomous Systems Lab. He has won early career awards from the U.S. Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation, and his work has been recognized by Google, Amazon, and the Toyota Research Institute. At Princeton Engineering, he has received the Alfred Rheinstein Faculty Award and an award for teaching excellence.