Pawan Sinha is a professor of vision and computational neuroscience in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT. He received his undergraduate degree in computer science from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi and his Masters and doctoral degrees from the Department of Computer Science at MIT. He was at the University of California, Berkeley for the first year of his graduate studies.
Using a combination of experimental and computational modeling techniques, research in Pawan’s laboratory focuses on understanding how the human brain learns to recognize objects through visual experience and how objects are encoded in memory. The lab's experimental work on these issues involves studying healthy individuals and also those with neurological disorders such as autism. A key initiative of the lab is Project Prakash; this effort seeks to accomplish the twin goals of providing treatment to children with disabilities and also understanding mechanisms of learning and plasticity in the brain.
Pawan has served on the program committees for prominent scientific conferences on object and face recognition and is currently a member of the editorial board of ACM's Journal of Applied Perception. He is a recipient of the Pisart Vision Award from the Lighthouse Guild International, the PECASE – the highest US Government award for young scientists, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship in Neuroscience, the John Merck Scholars Award for research on developmental disorders, the Jeptha and Emily Wade Award for creative research, the James McDonnell Scholar Award, the Troland Award from the National Academies, the Global Indus Technovator Award and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from IIT Delhi. Pawan's teaching has been recognized by Departmental honors and the Dean’s Award for Advising and Teaching at MIT.
Pawan indulges, occasionally, in adventure sports, art (click here for some samples) and whimsical projects. He has trekked to the base of Mt. Everest, jumped out of a plane at 15,000 feet, contributed a regular comic strip to the MIT campus newspaper and been inducted into the Guinness Book of Records for creating the world’s smallest reproduction of a printed book. His first journey to the United States involved a plane crash (click here for some press clippings) and a ride aboard the Concorde.
46-4077, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
E-mail: psinha AT mit.edu