Tinoosh Mohsenin receives nearly $500,000 NSF CAREER Award for deep learning technologies

Tinoosh Mohsenin, assistant professor of computer science and electrical engineering, has received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to advance her research on energy efficient implementation of deep learning technologies and machine learning algorithms that are developed to function similarly to the brain. Her award totals $475,104 over five years. Mohsenin’s research will enable those in medicine, intelligence, and environmental science to adapt the technology developed in her lab to their own work.

“We congratulate Dr. Mohsenin on her NSF CAREER Award, an important recognition of her groundbreaking work and the impact it will have on other fields,” said Karl V. Steiner, vice president for research. “This recognition of Dr. Mohsenin adds to our growing list of exceptional young faculty recognized by peers and funding agencies alike for the incredible potential their work has to move science and technology forward.”

The CAREER Award will support Mohsenin’s work creating solutions to both software and hardware issues with hardware implementation opportunities in her lab and across many industries. She is the director of the Energy Efficient High Performance Computing (EEHPC) Lab at UMBC. Mohsenin is particularly focused on energy efficiency, and emphasizes the importance of user-friendly, battery-powered and low-cost hardware implementation techniques for future computing.

Tinoosh Mohsenin
Tinoosh Mohsenin in her lab.

In the medical field, Mohsenin hopes her low power deep learning technology will help physicians and medical professionals detect seizures and cancer more quickly and accurately by improving the analysis of highly complex brain signal and image data, beyond what can be gleaned from today’s standard brain monitoring and analysis techniques. Mohsenin hopes her work will also help people with significant mobility limitations who use small multi-modal sensors on their tongue as well as other methods to maneuver wheelchairs or command other technologies. More complex algorithms and their efficient hardware implementation can notably improve the responsiveness of such technologies for users.

“I am very excited about this award as it allows me to take my research to the next level and help society find new computing techniques for smart wearable or mobile devices,” Mohsenin explains. “Current deep learning models have not been explored for power-constrained smart devices, and this research can potentially revolutionize several fields including healthcare, transportation, ecology, surveillance and public utilities.”

The award will provide her with opportunities to engage more UMBC students in STEM research, including women and students from underrepresented minorities. She also looks forward to inspiring local middle and high school students to pursue engineering majors and careers.

Adam Page ‘12, computer engineering and Ph.D. ‘16, computer engineering, worked in Mohsenin’s lab on research that will be continued through the CAREER award.

In the last two decades, UMBC faculty have received 34 NSF CAREER awards. Additional UMBC faculty honored with CAREER awards so far in 2017 include Lee Blaney, assistant professor of chemical, biochemical and environmental engineering, for his work on water contamination, and Ting Zhu, assistant professor of computer science and electrical engineering, for his work to develop a networked system that can accommodate solutions for wireless communications, machine learning, and data processing.

Photos by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.