About Me

Christopher Kanan I’m a Research Technologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), where I develop artificial vision systems for autonomous robots as part of the Mobility and Robotic Systems Section. I’ll be starting as an assistant professor at the Center for Imaging Science at the Rochester Institute of Technology beginning in August 2015.

I work on problems in computer vision, with an emphasis in object recognition and active vision. Beyond computer vision, I also have a strong background in machine learning, eye tracking, and theoretical neuroscience. Check out some of my projects or my publications to see the breadth of my work.

Outreach & Service

Christopher Kanan

I was General Chair for the 5th Annual inter-Science of Learning Center Conference (iSLC), which was held April 21-23, 2012. The meeting was sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and more than 100 scientists attended.

I was actively involved in the Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center and I served as Chair of the graduate student and postdoc committee from 2009-2012.

While most of my time is spent engaged in research, I’ve endeavored to promote diversity in graduate education. I’ve given talks at the California Forum for Diversity and at several California State Universities to help undergraduates obtain a better idea of how to get into a Ph.D. program and what is expected of them once they are accepted.


Biography

I grew up in a tiny town in rural Oklahoma, where I first began to explore artificial intelligence in 1996 by creating “bots” to play online multiplayer computer games in high school. As an undergraduate at Oklahoma State University, I double majored in philosophy and computer science.

Subsequently, I earned a M.S. in computer science from the University of Southern California (USC) , with an emphasis in artificial intelligence and neuroscience while working with Michael Arbib, an early pioneer in computational neuroscience and neural networks. I then went on to earn a Ph.D. in computer science at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), where I was a member of Gary Cottrell’s research group. Afterwards, I became a Caltech Postdoctoral Scholar, where I worked at NASA JPL as part of the Maritime and Aerial Perception group in the Robotics and Mobility Section. After six months, I was promoted to a Research Technologist, a full-time member of JPL’s technical staff.