ITU faculty members win Google Research Scholar Award
Faculty members from Information Technology University (ITU) Lahore, Dr Mohsen Ali and Dr Izza Aftab have won competitive Google Research Scholar Award on Thursday.
According to a press release, this Research Scholar Programme supports early-career faculty who are doing impactful research in fields relevant to Google and is intended to help to develop new collaborations and encourage long-term relationships. Dr Mohsen Ali and Dr Izza Aftab are the only academics from Pakistan to have won the Google Research Scholar award this year. Congratulating the faculty, ITU Vice Chancellor Dr Sarfraz Khurshid said: ‘We at ITU are constantly focusing on solving real life problems. This project will give us accurate and cheap data to assess economic well-being in Pakistan, and also help us understand urbanization.’ This project, ‘Is Economics from Afar Domain Generalizable?’ falls under the category of Machine Perception, and involves designing interpretable machine learning algorithms to predict economic and development indicators of a region from satellite imagery and geo-spatial datasets. The project aims to present a viable alternative to the collection of administrative data that is conducted annually or biennially, as is the case in Pakistan. This data helps design policy interventions, and paints a geo-spatial picture of economic well-being in developing countries like Pakistan. Thus, the findings from this project will aid governments and businesses in a number of ways.