Bernard Ghanem

Professor of ECE and CS

Deputy Director of AI Initiative

PI of Image and Video Understanding Lab (IVUL)

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

Al Khawarizmi Building (Bldg 1), Room 2125

Thuwal 23955-6900, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

bernard [DOT] ghanem [AT] kaust [DOT] edu [DOT] sa

Google Scholar | Research Gate | DBLP

I am currently a Professor of ECE and CS at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Deputy Director of the AI Initiative, and a theme leader in the Visual Computing Center (VCC). I lead the Image and Video Understanding Lab (IVUL) at KAUST. My research interests are broadly in computer vision and machine learning broadly, and specifically in large-scale video understanding, 3D understanding, and foundations of machine learning.

I was a graduate research assistant at the Computer Vision and Robotics Lab (CVRL) at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My advisor was Professor Narendra Ahuja, who heads CVRL. My PhD work focused on modeling dynamic textures from video for the purpose of non-trivial synthesis, recognition, compression, extraction, and activity recognition. While I was doing my PhD, I worked on other things too, including efficient optimization schemes (e.g. in normalized graph cuts), sparse representation and dictionary learning, and ways of using human perceptual information in computer vision applications.

News (This section only shows highlight news. For detailed news, go here.)


  • [01/2023]: 1 paper accepted to ICLR 2023

  • [01/2023]: 1 paper accepted as Oral to AAAI2023


  • [09/2022]: 2 papers accepted to NeurIPS 2022

  • [07/2022]: 4 papers accepted to ECCV 2022

  • [07/2022]: promoted to Full Professor at KAUST!

  • [05/2022]: 1 paper to Nature Scientific Data accepted! First IVUL paper in Nature sub-journals

  • [04/2022]: 1 paper at Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences in the US (PNAS) accepted! First IVUL paper in PNAS

  • [03/2022]: 7 papers accepted to CVPR2022! 2 orals and 5 posters

  • [02/2022]: 3 papers accepted to AAAI 2022

  • [01/2022]: I will be Area Chair (AC) for CVPR 2022, ECCV 2022, and NeurIPS 2022


  • [10/2021]: I am appointed Deputy Director of the AI Initiative at KAUST after Prof. Juergen Schmidhuber joins as Director.

  • [09/2021]: 2 papers accepted tp NeurIPS 2021!

  • [09/2021]: 1 paper accepted to EMNLP 2021! First IVUL paper at EMNLP.

  • [07/2021]: 6 papers accepted to ICCV 2021!

  • [06/2021]: 1 paper accepted to ICML2021! First IVUL paper at ICML.

  • [05/2021]: I will be an Area Chair (AC) for CVPR 2022!

  • [04/2021]: appointed Interim Lead of AI Initiative at KAUST

  • [02/2021]: 1 paper accepted to CVPR2021


  • [11/2020]: I will be an Area Chair (AC) for ICCV 2021!

  • [10/2020]: an IVUL student team won top prize in the NEOM AI Challenge for the Entertainment track as part of the Global AI Summit in Riyadh, KSA.

  • [10/2020]: Awarded the Shoman Arab Researcher Award for the topic of Machine Learning and Big Data!

  • [08/2020]: Accepted invitation to be SPC (AC) for AAAI2021.

  • [08/2020]: Accepted invitation to be an affiliated researcher with CINFONIA, the first academic center to study AI in Latin America

  • [07/20]: 2 papers accepted to ECCV2020 + 1 paper accepted to ACMMM!

  • [06/2020]: Accepted invitation to be AC for ICLR2021.

  • [03/2020]: 4 papers accepted to CVPR2020!

  • [01/2020]: I will be an AC for CVPR2021!


  • [12/2019]: Invited contribution to the AI Index Report 2019 (pages 53-54) based on our work on ActivityNet [URL]

  • [07/2019]: 2 oral papers accepted to ICCV 2019

  • [06/2019]: 4th annual ActivityNet Large-Scale Activity Recognition Challenge organized at CVPR2019. We thank our sponsors: DeepMind, Google AI, and KAUST.

  • [06/2019]: participated in the first annual AI Video Summit at Facebook LA [URL]

  • [06/2019]: best paper award at the International Workshop on Computer Vision for UAVs (CVPRW 2019)!

  • [03/2019]: 1 oral paper accepted to RSS 2019 (1st one!)

  • [03/2019]: 1 paper accepted to CVPR 2019

  • [01/2019]: 1 paper accepted to ICLR 2019 (1st one!)


  • [11/2018]: 1 paper accepted to AAAI 2019

  • [11/2018]: I will be an Area Chair (AC) for ICCV 2019!

  • [07/2018]: one of my students (Humam Alwassel) participated in the annual computer vision summer school in Sicily Italy

  • [07/2018]: 6 papers accepted to ECCV 2018!

  • [06/2018]: 3rd annual ActivityNet Large-Scale Activity Recognition Challenge organized at CVPR2018. We thank our sponsors: DeepMind, Google, Facebook and KAUST.

  • [05/2018]: promoted to Associate Professor at KAUST!

  • [03/2018]: 5 papers accepted to CVPR2018 (3 posters + 2 orals)!

  • [02/2018]: Attended the CVPR AC meeting in Toronto


  • [10/2017]: Gave invited talks at Intel Vision Lab and GTC Europe in Munich

  • [07/2017]: 2nd annual ActivityNet Large-Scale Activity Recognition Challenge organized at CVPR2017. We thank our sponsors: Google DeepMind, Nvidia, Panasonic, Qualcomm, and KAUST.

  • [07/2017]: 3 papers accepted to ICCV2017

  • [05/2017]: two of my students (Adel Bibi and Matthias Mueller) participate in the annual computer vision summer school in Sicily Italy

  • [04/2017]: I will be an Area Chair (AC) for CVPR 2018!

  • [02/2017]: 6 papers accepted to CVPR2017 (4 posters + 2 orals)!


  • [12/2016]: Forbes ME ranks Hachid among best 50 startups in Saudi [url]

  • [11/2016]: awarded a TAQADAM grant from Sabb bank based on project with Effat University

  • [11/2016]: 1 paper accepted to AAAI2017

  • [08/2016]: two of my students (Fabian Caba and Victor Escorcia) participate in the annual MSR PhD Summer School in Cambridge UK, the annual computer vision summer school in Sicily Italy, and the annual deep learning summer school in Montreal Canada.

  • [07/2016]: 4 papers accepted at ECCV 2016 (3 posters and 1 spotlight) + 1 paper at IROS2016!

  • [07/2016]: MIT Tech Review article on collaborative project with Effat University. Here is the article.

  • [07/2016]: 1st annual ActivityNet Recognition and Detection Challenge organized at CVPR2016. Check out the competition results. We thank our sponsors: Google, Nvidia, and KAUST.

  • [06/2016]: IVUL presented our 3 papers at CVPR2016.

  • [06/2016]: Hachid won the best business plan competition at VIEW2016 at CVPR this year. The win was based on a pitch I gave at the workshop.

  • [03/2016]: 3 CVPR papers accepted (2 posters + 1 spotlight)!!

  • [03/2016]: QNRF proposal with David Yang, Marianne Winslett, and Mounir Hamdi on "Real-Time Analytics for Sports Video Streams" is accepted!! [go to 02:39 in the video here]

  • [03/2016]: I gave a talk at the annual KAUST-NSF conference on Large-Scale Activity Understanding [URL]

  • [02/2016]: FashionLatte and FashionMatch are in the news again. Here's the DailyIllini article!

  • [01/2016]: FashionLatte and FashionMatch are in the news. Here's the ChicagoInno article and the ECE UIUC article!


  • [11/2015]: 2 out of 2 AAAI papers accepted!

  • [06/2015]: featured article about computer vision on the KAUST website

  • [06/2015]: we presented 5 CVPR papers, one of them an oral. I want to congratulate all the members of the IVUL group at KAUST. All the papers will be available on the IVUL website

  • [04/2015]: article in the Universidad Del Norte website about my Google Faculty Award. It's in Spanish :)

  • [03/2015]: CIV conference at KAUST. Thanks to David Forsyth, Irfan Essa, Larry Davis, Shuicheng Yan, Yi Ma, Daniel Cremers, and ALL the other speakers!

  • [03/2015]: 5 CVPR papers got accepted!!! 1 oral + 4 posters!

  • [02/2015]: Awarded Google Faculty Research Award for "ActivityNet: A Large-Scale Video Benchmark for Human Activity Understanding"!


  • [12/2014]: 2 Eurographics papers accepted to publication

  • [12/2014]: Gave an invited talk at the first annual Conference on Remote Sensing at ARAMCO in Dammam

  • [12/2014]: Recognized as an Outstanding Reviewer for the Pacific-Rim Conference on Multimedia 2014

  • [11/2014]: Presented 3 papers at ACCV 2014

  • [06/2014]: my postdoc Ali Thabet wins the SABIC postdoctoral fellowship for the 2014-2015 year!

  • [06/2014]: Attended CVPR 2014

  • [05/2014]: Program Committee member of two workshops at ACCV 2014 [IWRR2014][FSLCV]

  • [03/2014]: Victor and Fabian arrive to KAUST for a long term research internship. Link to Barranquilla news expo here

  • [03/2014]: paper accepted to MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Link here


  • [12/2013]: ICCV2013 tutorial on sparse and low-rank representations. Link here

  • [10/2013]: Finally picked a name for my lab at KAUST. It will be the Image and Video Understanding Lab (IVUL). The website will come soon

  • [09/2013]: Won the Research Collaboration Award from the University of Western Australia (UWA) with collaborators Prof. Ajmal Mian and Prof. Faisal Shafait

  • [07/2013]: Best Paper Award at CVSports workshop at CVPR!! Congrats team!

  • [05/2013]: KAUST Seed Fund awarded! [KAUST lens]


  • [11/2012]: ADSC's Sports team got hosted in Singapore's second most read newspaper "Today": here or here

  • [10/2012]: Neurocomputing submission about low-rank SDP accepted

  • [09/2012]: Opening for a postdoc position at KAUST. Link here for more details

  • [08/2012]: CVIU submission about modeling dynamic swarms accepted with minor revisions

  • [08/2012]: gave talks at Google Research and HP Labs

  • [06/2012]: IJCV submission about Multi-Task Tracking accepted with minor revisions

  • [06/2012]: 1 paper accepted to ECCV 2012

  • [06/2012]: 3 papers accepted to ICPR 2012: 2 orals and 1 poster

  • [03/2012]: visited ADSC in Singapore. Many fruitful meetings!

  • [03/2012]: our MTT paper got accepted to CVPR for an oral!

  • [03/2012]: submitted 2 papers to ECCV!

  • [02/2012]: joined KAUST

2011 and Earlier