Graduate Student Vishnu Sharma Awarded Kulkarni Research Fellowship

Sharma, a University of Maryland third-year doctoral student in the Department of Computer Science, was recently awarded the Kulkarni Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowship.

The Kulkarni fellowship is endowed by Dr. Ashok Kulkarni, a distinguished alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). Together with funding from campus graduate programs, the endowment provides research support for doctoral students at “mid-career” and enables them to take a significant step forward in their research work.

A B.Tech. and M.Tech. in Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India, Sharma’s research focuses on enhancing the perception and planning capabilities of robots using deep learning techniques and extracting information about predictions from such methods to make risk-aware decisions.

“I am honored and grateful to receive the support for my research with this fellowship,” said Sharma. “This fellowship will help me continue my work towards enhanced and safer decision-making for robots.”

Sharma plans to utilize the fellowship over the summer to develop a method for path planning using aerial images with occlusions, to help a ground robot navigate faster.

“Vishnu’s work will bring robot planning and perception together, making robots more robust and capable when deployed in the real world,” said Professor Tokekar. “I'm proud of Vishnu for winning this award and excited for his research agenda.”

The Kulkarni fellowship particularly supports graduates of IIT who are enrolled in post-graduate studies at the University of Maryland.

Thanks to Richa Mathur for this story.

Published May 12, 2022