Hadi Hadizadeh, Engineering PhD student, has won 18 awards and grants since beginning his degree at SFU.

PhD student credits supervisor in his many accomplishments

August 13, 2012

Engineering PhD student Hadi Hadizadeh is on a winning streak. Hadizadeh’s recent Best Paper Runner-up Award at the  2012 IEEE International Conference on Multimedia & Expo (ICME) is just the latest in a long list of awards and accolades Hadizadeh has garnered since beginning his degree at SFU.

Hadizadeh’s research is in the area of psychovisually-motivated image and video processing and compression. When he came to SFU, his work was on digital image processing, and his PhD supervisor, Ivan Bajic, introduced him to the concepts that now form the basis of his research. “This field of research was totally new and interesting for me,” says Hadizadeh, “I believe my supervisor had a key role in my success, and I always appreciate his great support and attitude. He is one of the best people that I have ever met!”

Hadizadeh has won eighteen different awards, scholarships and grants since beginning his PhD, including the Helmut Eppich Graduate Scholarship, the Mackenzie King Scholarship, and the Award for Excellence in Research on Sustainability.

The paper Hadizadeh presented at ICME, entitled "Saliency-cognizant error concealment in loss-corrupted video streaming," was co-authored by Bajic, Hadizadeh’s supervisor and an associate professor in the School of Engineering, and by Gene Cheung, an associate professor at the National Institute of Informatics in Tokyo, Japan.

The goal of the research detailed in this paper is to improve the subjective quality of streamed video, by using models of human visual attention. Such models seek to observe and/or predict how humans perceive and process visual information.  This research can be applied to video streaming servers and applications, such as YouTube, to make potential errors less noticeable to viewers.

As Hadizadeh explains, “In simple words, using our algorithm, if something goes wrong during a live video streaming session, and we lose some parts of a video frame, we can reconstruct those missing regions so that the reconstructed regions become less attention-grabbing (or visually salient) after error concealment.”

As well as the Best Paper Runner-up Award, Hadizadeh received the ICME 2012 Student Travel Grant (thanks to the sponsorships from Microsoft Research and Canon Information Systems Research Australia), and a Faculty of Applied Sciences Student Travel Grant, allowing him to present at the conference, which took place in July in Melbourne, Australia.