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March 29, 2021

Computer science doctoral student Jie Lei has been awarded a 2021 Adobe Research Fellowship in the area of natural language processing. The Adobe Research Fellowship recognizes “outstanding graduate students anywhere in the world carrying out exceptional research in areas of computer science important to Adobe.”

Lei was one of only 10 fellows selected worldwide for the prestigious fellowship. Fellows are selected based on their research, technical skills, how their work would contribute to Adobe, and personal communication and leadership skills. As a recipient, Lei will receive a $10,000 award and a one-year subscription to Adobe’s Creative Cloud software, as well as an opportunity to interview for an internship with Adobe.

Lei’s primary research interest lies in the intersection of computer vision and natural language processing, particularly video and language understanding. Some of his primary projects tackle video question answering and information retrieval. Video question answering involves training a computer to analyze a video in order to answer questions about its content, while information retrieval trains the computer to isolate and retrieve only information that is relevant to a given question answering task. These research areas study and reflect the complicated methods through which humans communicate in the real world. Lei’s research will help enable computational systems like robots to communicate effectively with humans and operate efficiently in our world.

“My long-term goal is to equip computational systems with the ability to interact with people in various environments using language, including online video platforms and real-world environments,” Lei said. “I am so thrilled and humbled to be selected as an Adobe Research Fellow. This fellowship will be very helpful in supporting my future research.”

Lei is advised by Associate Professor Mohit Bansal and Adjunct Associate Professor Tamara Berg and is a member of the Multimodal Understanding, Reasoning, and Generation for Language (MURGe) Lab. Lei has previously worked as an intern with Microsoft and Tencent AI Lab and will intern with Facebook this summer. He has published papers at numerous academic conferences, including the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL), the Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), the European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV), and the Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP).

For more information about the Adobe Research Fellowship and a full list of fellows, visit