UCLA Computer Science Professor Receives NSF CAREER Award for Research Bringing AI into the Real World

Bolei Zhou

UCLA Samueli

Mar 7, 2024

UCLA Samueli Newsroom

Bolei Zhou, an assistant professor of computer science at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award to support his work in the field of embodied AI — artificially intelligent systems that can interact with the physical world. 

The five-year, $587,000 grant will fund Zhou’s research on incorporating human interaction into a machine-learning framework for embodied AI models. Findings from this research will have applications in fields such as autonomous driving, household robots, digital animation and video games.

This is Zhou’s second major early-career award since joining UCLA two years ago. In 2023, Zhou received an Intel Rising Star Faculty Award, which recognizes potentially disruptive research and offers awardees an opportunity to collaborate with the global chip manufacturer’s senior technical leadership.

Zhou’s research focuses on the applications of AI and computer vision. He leads the Zhou Lab at UCLA, which develops machine learning methods for computer vision and machine autonomy. 

The latest grant is also Zhou’s second major funding award from NSF. Last year, he received a three-year, $960,000 grant to support his research on MetaDriverse, an open-source simulation platform to democratize AI research of autonomous driving. 

Zhou also holds a faculty appointment in the Computational Medicine Department — a department affiliated with both the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and UCLA Samueli.

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