Abby Stylianou

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I have been an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Saint Louis University since Fall of 2019.

I received my B.A. in Environmental Studies: Geoscience from Washington University in St. Louis. I was then hired as a Research Scientist by Dr. Robert Pless, in the Media and Machines Lab at WashU, where my work focused on tools for the calibration and validation of outdoor imagery. I ended up pursuing my M.S. in Computer Science part time while working as a Research Scientist, before decided to pursue my Ph.D. My Ph.D. dissertation focused on large scale image search approaches to combat human trafficking by recognizing the hotels that victims of human trafficking are photographed. I continued working on this project as a Postdoc at George Washington University, working with Dr. Pless, and funded by the National Institute of Justice.

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My research has focused on building very large datasets of images and their metadata, and the deep learning approaches to digest and understand those datasets for a variety of tasks. These tasks include performing hotel-specific image retrieval in order to locate victims of sex trafficking who have been photographed in hotels, making measurements of the natural environment in time-lapse imagery to understand climate change, and observing how individuals interact with the world around them in outdoor webcam images to support better design of the built environment. I am particularly interested in how motivated communities of non-experts can participate in the collection of these datasets and what artifacts and challenges are introduced by capturing data from such diverse populations. I additionally work to understand how computer vision and machine learning solutions to complex geometric and image retrieval problems can be made accessible and understandable to non-technical individuals, such as citizen journalists and law enforcement investigators, through software interfaces designed specifically with non-experts in mind.


I am excited to have worked (and published!) with students at all different levels of experience. If you are an undergraduate or graduate student already at SLU interested in participating in my lab's research, please reach out!

I am currently recruiting a PhD student in computer science (to start in Fall 2022) who will focus on computer vision and machine learning algorithms for in-field plant phenotyping of perennial crops from low cost sensors like smart phones and webcams. These funded by the National Science Foundation "BII: New Roots for Restoration: integrating plant traits, communities, and the soil ecosphere to advance restoration of natural and agricultural systems" Grant. Interested students should reach out to me in addition to applying to the Saint Louis University Computer Science PhD program.

Fall 2021
  • CSCI 1070: Taming Big Data
  • CSCI 4710/5710: Databases
Spring 2021
  • CSCI 5760: Deep Learning
Fall 2020
  • CSCI 1070: Taming Big Data
Spring 2020
  • CSCI 1070: Taming Big Data
Fall 2019
  • CSCI 1070: Taming Big Data
Area Chair, WACV 2022
Publicity Chair, CVPR 2021
Area Chair, WACV 2021
Publicity Chair, CVPR 2020
Publicity Chair, WACV 2020
Local Arrangements Chair, ICCP 2020

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