Learning to See the Physical World

Seminar | February 27 | 4-5 p.m. | 310 Sutardja Dai Hall

 Jiajun Wu, Ph.D. Student, MIT

 Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS)

Human intelligence is beyond pattern recognition. From a single image, we're able to explain what we see, reconstruct the scene in 3D, predict what's going to happen, and plan our actions accordingly. In this talk, I will present our recent work on physical scene understanding---building versatile, data-efficient, and generalizable machines that learn to see, reason about, and interact with the physical world. The core idea is to exploit the structure behind the scene, including knowledge from computer graphics, physics, and language, in the form of approximate simulation engines, and to integrate them with deep learning. Here, deep learning plays two major roles: first, it learns to invert simulation engines for efficient inference; second, it learns to augment simulation engines for constructing powerful forward models. I'll focus on a few topics to demonstrate this idea: building scene representation for both object geometry and physics; learning expressive dynamics models for planning and control; perception and reasoning beyond vision.

Jiajun Wu is a Ph.D. student in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his B.Eng. from Tsinghua University in 2014. His research interests lie in the intersection of computer vision, machine learning, robotics, and computational cognitive science. His research has been recognized through the IROS Best Paper Award on Cognitive Robotics and fellowships from Facebook, Nvidia, Samsung, Baidu, and Adobe, and his work has been covered by major media outlets including CNN, BBC, WIRED, and MIT Tech Review.