Three Ph.D. students named Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships

Three Ph.D. students working with CS&E professors have been named Doctoral Dissertation Fellows for the 2021-2022 school year. The Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship is a highly competitive fellowship that gives the University’s most accomplished Ph.D. candidates an opportunity to devote full-time effort to an outstanding research project by providing time to finalize and write a dissertation during the fellowship year. The award includes a stipend of $25,000, tuition for up to 14 thesis credits each semester, and subsidized health insurance through the Graduate Assistant Health Plan.

CS&E congratulates the following students on this outstanding accomplishment:

Nicholas Heller

Nick Heller headshot

Nick’s graduate research is in machine learning for computer vision with emphasis on medical applications. He is pioneering the use of computer vision for semantic segmentation and prognosis in kidney cancer, collaborating with the Urology departments at the University of Minnesota and the Cleveland Clinical to produce the first public annotated dataset in this space. His advisor, Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos, stated that “Nick is probably the most productive and creative student that I have seen at his level.”

Zachary Levonian

Zachary Levonian headshot

With the help of his advisors, Professor Loren Terveen and Associate Professor Lana Yarosh, Zachary has been leading work on understanding how online communities (such as CaringBridge) can be used to improve health outcomes for people with long-term health conditions like cancer. His two major first-author papers appeared in the AAAI ICWSM Conference and ACM’s Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction. These are both considered top-tier outlets in social computing, human-computer interaction, and computational social science.

Jae Shin Yoon

Jae Shin Yoon headshot

Jae Shin has collaborated with advisor Hyun Soo Park on innovative research that tackles challenging problems at the intersection of computer vision and machine learning, notably in the area of visual modeling of humans. His unique approach has already made a significant impact in computer vision and graphics. He also has an exceptional publication record at the top computer vision conferences including CVPR and ICCV and has done research with prestigious institutions including Facebook Reality Lab, Max Planck Institute, and Adobe Research.