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About Karen Panetta


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About Karen Panetta


About Karen Panetta

Karen Panetta is a computer engineer and the associate dean for graduate education at Tufts University, where she develops algorithms for robot vision applications. She has won a number of awards for teaching and mentoring, curriculum development, and outreach activities, including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Math and Engineering Mentoring. She founded the "Nerd Girls" program, which encourages young women to pursue engineering and science, and she is the editor-in-chief of IEEE WIE Magazine.

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Research Lab


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Research Lab


Research Applications

Karen helps doctors find cancerous tumors, security screeners find concealed weapons, and law enforcement agencies find criminals and missing children. She does this by developing computer algorithms that are inspired by the human visual system, giving machines the ability to "see" the way people do.

Imagine police officers have zeroed in on a suspect in a dark building and send in a robot to scan for threats. Rather than transmitting back images that are too dark and then waiting for them to be processed, the robot can use Karen’s algorithms to figure out the best way to enhance the images in real time, so the officers can quickly get the best visuals and see what’s important to them. Her technology is helping to solve one of the biggest problems in computer vision -- how to enable computers to perceive and evaluate images like the human eye does -- and it has all sorts of interesting and important applications for homeland security, biomedicine, facial recognition, and search and rescue operations.

Learn more about Karen’s research →

Meet Karen’s lab members →

For prospective students (PDF) →


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Latest Publications


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Latest Publications


Recently Published Journal Articles


Recently Published Conference Papers