Shaun Canavan awarded $50,000 from AWS Machine Learning Research Awards Program

January 31, 2018


An innovator in his field, Assistant Professor Shaun Canavan has been awarded an unrestricted $50,000 grant and $100,000 AWS promotional credit from Amazon's AWS Learning Machine Research Program.

Professor Canavan is a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, specializing in computer vision, biometrics, human computer interaction and more. His current research focuses on multimodal data and deep neural networks to classify 10 different emotions. The multimodal data includes 4D facial data, heart rate, blood pressure, EDA, and respiration. This will be the largest study to incorporate different modalities with deep neural networks for emotion analysis. His research develops advanced methods of human emotion analysis. According to Canavan, his research has the "potential to alter multiple facets of human emotion analysis" which could advance the field.

According to Amazon's website, this program provides research funding for eligible universities, faculty, PhD students and post-docs under the supervision of faculty, that are conducting novel research in machine learning (ML). The $100,000 AWS promotional credit is for Amazon's infrastructure (cloud service with ML tools).

"I will use the grant to fund one student research assistant, purchase equipment for my lab, and utilize the state of the art hardware and software available for machine learning on Amazon Web Services," Canavan said.

Professor Canavan believes his research can change the way law enforcement conducts interrogations through automatic lie detectors, the way the medical field treats patients in pain, and how businesses interact with consumers to enhance their shopping experiences. Even more impressive, his research could pave the way for early prediction of disorders such as autism.

More information about Professor Canavan and his research can be found on his homepage.