Irfan Essa

Irfan Essa headshot
Irfan Essa
Professor & Associate Dean for Research and Space Planning

Irfan Essa, Associate Dean, is a Professor in the School of Interactive Computing (IC) of the College of Computing (CoC), and Adjunct Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology (GA Tech), in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

For the Academic Year 2008-2009, Irfan Essa was also affiliated with the newly formed Disney Research Lab in Pittsburgh, PA as a Visiting Scientist/Consultant (a role he continues in 2009-2010). During that time, he was also an Adjunct Faculty Member at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute.

Irfan Essa works in the areas of Computer Vision, Computer Graphics, Computational Perception, Robotics and Computer Animation, with potential impact on Video Analysis and Production (e.g., Computational Photography & Video, Image-based Modeling and Rendering, etc.) Human Computer Interaction, and Artificial Intelligence research. Specifically, he is interested in the analysis, interpretation, authoring, and synthesis (of video), with the goals of building aware environments, recognizing, modeling human activities, and behaviors, and developing dynamic and generative representations of time-varying streams. He has published over a 100 scholarly articles in leading journals and conference venues on these topics.

He teaches classes in the areas of Computer Vision, Computational Perception, Computer Animation, Digital Video Special Effects, and Computational Journalism.

At GA Tech, he is primarily affiliated with two interdepartmental centers; the Robotics & Machine Intelligence (RIM@GT) Center and the GVU Center. He founded the Computational Perception Laboratory (CPL) at GA Tech in 1996, which he now co-directs with 4 other faculty members. He is also the founding member of the Aware Home Research Initiative (AHRI) and the Collaborative Adaptive Believable Agents Lab (CABAL). He also started an effort on Digital Video Special Effects & Animation (DVFX) and Computational Journalism (CnJ). He helped establish a new BS in Computational Media (CM) Degree at GA Tech and is affiliated with the new PhD program in Human Centered Computing (HCC) and is involved with the new Initiatives in Robotics at GA Tech (including a a new PhD in Robotics).

He has been awarded the NSF CAREER Award and within GA Tech, he has won the College of Computing’s Junior and Senior Research Faculty Awards, Outstanding Teacher Award, Institute’s Educational Innovation Award, and the Dean’s Award. He is also a recipient of the GVU Center’s 15 years of Impact Award.

He joined GA Tech Faculty in 1996 after his earning his MS (1990), Ph.D. (1994), and holding research faculty position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Media Lab) [1988-1996]. His Doctoral Research was in the area of Facial Recognition, Analysis, and Synthesis.