Shih-Fu Chang Named an ACM Fellow

Shih-Fu Chang joins 53 new fellows around the world recognized for their transformative roles in advancing technology in the digital age. (Photo Credit: Jeffrey Schifman)

Shih-Fu Chang, senior executive vice dean, the Richard Dicker Professor of Telecommunications, and professor of electrical engineering and of computer science, has been named a 2017 Fellow of the ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery). One of 54 new fellows around the world recognized for their transformative roles in advancing technology in the digital age, Chang was cited for his “contributions to large-scale multimedia content recognition and multimedia information retrieval.”

“I am very pleased to join other distinguished colleagues in receiving this prestigious honor from ACM, especially given the major impact of digital computing technologies on society today,” says Chang, who is also a member of the Data Science Institute.

Chang, who directs the DVMM Lab, has pioneered the development of new techniques and systems for multimedia content analysis, retrieval, and communications while addressing fundamental challenges in computer vision and machine learning. He is particularly interested in designing intelligent systems that can harness rich information from the vast amount of visual data shared on the web, collected through pervasive sensing, or stored in gigantic content archives. Through these systems, he and his students are leading the way in turning unstructured multimedia data into useful and searchable information.

Over the years, Chang’s group has created new theories, algorithms, and systems for image/video recognition, multimedia knowledge construction, image forensics, and large-scale multimedia data indexing. His team has developed novel applications for multi-source news video search, mobile visual search, and brain machine interfaces for large-scale information triage. Several startups have emerged from his lab, including VidRovr, a company that has won the Publicis90 award and has developed intelligent systems leveraging computer vision and machine learning to perform a granular, searchable index of every clip in a video library.

“Our results have been broadly distributed as open research resources and incorporated in practical systems in industry and government,” Chang says. “For example, our compact hashing work allows very efficient search over large data sets of more than 100 million images. It has been used in an online human trafficking crime-fighting system currently deployed in more than 200 law enforcement agencies.”

Chang has won numerous awards, including the IEEE Signal Processing Society Technical Achievement Award, the ACM Multimedia Special Interest Group Technical Achievement Award, the IEEE Kiyo Tomiyasu Award, and the IBM Faculty Award. For his dedicated contributions to education, he received the Great Teacher Award from the Society of Columbia Graduates in 2013, an honor given annually to professors for exemplary undergraduate teaching at Columbia College and Columbia Engineering. In 2016, he was ranked by Aminer as the most influential scholar in the field of multimedia.

As Columbia Engineering’s senior executive vice dean, Chang plays a key role in the School’s strategic planning, special research initiatives, international collaborations, and faculty development. He is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and IEEE. He will be formally recognized at ACM’s annual Awards Banquet in San Francisco on June 23, 2018.

— Holly Evarts, Columbia Engineering

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