dhruv_batra_200When Dhruv Batra of the Virginia Tech College of Engineering travels in September to Zurich for the 2014 European Conference on Computer Vision, he will be a rising star in the growing field of vision and pattern recognition in computers.

The assistant professor with Virginia Tech’s Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering previously co-led a tutorial in the research field at another industry conference in Ohio this past June. On his way to Zurich, Batra will give talks on the same subject — creating software programs that help computers “see” and understand photographs just as humans can – at software giant Microsoft’s research lab at Cambridge University and then a separate event at Oxford University, both in the United Kingdom.

The travel comes on the heels of Batra’s spring acceptance of three major federal research grants worth than more a combined $1 million: A National Science Foundation CAREER Award, a U.S. Army Research Office Young Investigators Award, and an U.S. Office of Naval Research grant.

The awards — valued at $500,000 for five years for the CAREER Award, $150,000 for three years from the Army, and $360,000 for three years from the Navy, all focus on machine learning and computer vision — creating algorithms and techniques that will teach computers to better understand photographic images, and quickly so. Read more.