Lazebnik receives Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellowship

lazebnikSvetlana Lazebnik, assistant professor of computer science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been named a recipient of a Microsoft New Faculty Fellowship Award.

The awards, announced July 14 by Microsoft Research, recognize and support early-career professors engaged in innovative computing research. Five recipients are selected each year from a pool of about 100 nominees. Each fellow receives an unrestricted cash gift of $200,000.

Lazebnik, who joined the department in July 2007, conducts research in the area of computer vision, a discipline that deals with how machines interpret images.

“This fellowship will enable me to explore a lot more and do things that are maybe more speculative or long-term in my area of research,” Lazebnik said. “This is a very generous gift and extremely helpful for young faculty, especially at a time when funding is tight.”

Lazebnik’s research focuses on designing effective representations of content in large digital image collections, such as images on the Internet. One of the goals of her work is to allow users to search a large collection of digital images based on what can be seen in the picture, as opposed to only searching textual tags that describe the picture.

“We are very proud of Lana’s cutting-edge research in computer vision and applaud this recognition of the impact she has had so early in her career,” said Anselmo Lastra, chairman of the department of computer science.

Lazebnik is the second UNC faculty member to receive the award. Associate Professor Wei Wang, who does research in the area of bioinformatics, received the fellowship in 2005, its inaugural year.

Lazebnik holds a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a 2009 recipient of a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation and was honored for excellence in teaching by the department’s Computer Science Student Association in 2008.

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