Daniel Huttenlocher is the founding Dean and Vice Provost of Cornell Tech. As Dean, he has overall responsibility for the new campus, including the academic quality and direction of the campus’ degree programs and research. Working with both internal and external stakeholders, he is developing approaches for working with companies, nonprofits, government agencies and early stage investors, as well as overseeing the faculty recruitment and entrepreneurial initiatives of the campus.
Huttenlocher has a mix of academic and industry background, having worked at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and served as CTO of Intelligent Markets, as well as being a faculty member at Cornell for over two decades. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and both his Master’s and Doctorate degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He currently serves as a Director of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Corning, Inc.
My research in computer vision ranges from theoretical algorithms (using techniques from computational geometry and graph algorithms) to the development of end-to-end systems that apply visual matching and recognition techniques. Some of my computer vision work includes:
My research on the web and large-scale social networks is focused on developing models and measures that allow us to better study and understand how people interact with one another, particularly in computer-mediated environments. For instance, how does the structure of a social network influence one’s propensity to undertake certain actions? There is a long history of study of such questions in the social sciences, primarily for small-scale networks that can be mapped out by hand. While computer and information scientists have been studying large-scale networks, their focus has been more on the network properties and less on testing and extending existing social science theories of social interaction.
My work on autonomous vehicles grows out of my role as co-leader of Team Cornell’s entry in the DARPA Urban Challenge race. Our vehicle was one of 6 out of 11 finalists (and 35 semi-finalists) to complete the race. The students on our team made all the design decisions and did an outstanding job overall. While the Urban Challenge and the Grand Challenges before that have led to enormous progress in autonomous driving, the race also highlighted some fundamental research questions that remain to be addressed in order to enable perception and reasoning about the actions and intentions of other vehicles. For example, the fender bender between our vehicle and MIT’s could have been avoided if either system had been able to perceive what the other was doing over an extended time period (i.e., perceive actions in addition to locations and velocities). Such issues form the basis of my current and planned research in the area.
My research on geometric algorithms includes efficient algorithms for computing Hausdorff distances and related distance transforms, as well as techniques for comparing three-dimensional protein structures.
My work on interactive document systems has often incorporated computer vision techniques, and includes:
My interest in electronic trading systems focuses primarily on illiquid or thinly-traded markets, where conventional auction and exchange mechanisms are not very effective ways of making trades.
My interest in software development methodologies stems from my involvement in the creation of large, complex software systems at Xerox Corporation and Intelligent Markets. Through these activities I have come to believe that:
In 1998-99 I chaired the Cornell Task Force on Computing and Information, which led to the creation of the Faculty of Computing and Information Science. In 2005-06 I also chaired the Cornell Task Force on Wisdom in the Age of Information.
I was general co-chair for CVPR 2009 in Miami and CVPR in 2006 in NYC as well as program co-chair of CVPR in 2001 and 1997 (CVPR is the main North American computer vision conference).
I serve on the Board of Directors of the MacArthur Foundation, which has reinforced my view of the important role for information technology in achieving social good.