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University of Basel

22 October 2019

ERC Starting Grant for Computer Scientist Ivan Dokmanić

ERC logo in front of the Basel skyline

Prof. Dr. Ivan Dokmanić, who recently joined the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, has received an ERC Starting Grant from the 2019 Call. For his groundbreaking research project in the field of machine learning, the computer scientist will be granted around two million euros over five years from the European Research Council.

As announced by the European Research Council (ERC), Ivan Dokmanić is one of 408 top young researchers to receive one of the coveted grants. This year, a total of 621 million euros were awarded to researchers across Europe for Starting Grants. The University of Basel and affiliated institutions received three of these grants.

Prof. Dr. Ivan Dokmanić
Prof. Dr. Ivan Dokmanić

Machine learning

Dokmanić, born 1984 in Bjelovar (Croatia), studied electrical engineering in Zagreb and obtained his doctorate in computer science and communication sciences at the EPF Lausanne in 2015. Thereafter, he worked as a postdoc at the Institut Langevin and the École normale supérieure in Paris. Since 2016 he has been Assistant Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of lllinois in Urbana-Champaign (USA).

In his research, Dokmanić pursues a combination of machine learning and signal processing with applications in computational acoustics, computational imaging, and reasoning from audiovisual data. In the ERC-funded project, Dokmanić focuses on the interface between wave-based imaging and machine learning.

Waves govern fundamental questions in science, from studying molecules with electromagnetic waves to understanding concert hall acoustics with sound waves. With the recent advances of Artificial intelligence methods into wave sensing and imaging, there is an urgent need to quantify the limits of approaches that learn from data. Dokmanić addresses this gap by arguing that the best designs combine data-based models with an understanding of the underlying physics. His proposed research meanders between theory and applications, ranging from emerging techniques in molecular imaging to learning about the innards of planets such as Mars – with a little help from Marsquakes.

Support for promising early-career researchers

With the prestigious Starting Grants, the ERC rewards talented young researchers for their innovative research and supports them on their way to scientific independence. The only selection criterion is the scientific excellence of the applicant and the project, which is usually funded over a period of up to five years.


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