Dr. David W. Jacobs is a professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland with a joint appointment in the University's Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS). He received the B.A. degree from Yale University. After graduation he worked for Control Data Corporation on the development of data base management systems, and attended graduate school in computer science at New York University. He attended M.I.T., where he received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science. After receiving his Ph.D. he was a Research Scientist and then a Senior Research Scientist at the NEC Research Institute. He has spent sabbaticals at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan and at ETH Zurich. In 2018 he was named the interim Director for the University of Maryland Center for Machine Learning.
Dr. Jacobs' research has focused on computer vision, especially in the area of object recognition. He has also published articles in the areas of 3D reconstruction, perceptual organization, motion understanding, memory and learning, computer graphics, human computer interaction, and computational geometry. He has served as an Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence and Computer Vision and Image Understanding, and has assisted in the organization of many workshops and conferences, including serving as Program co-Chair for CVPR. He and his co-authors received honorable mention for the best paper award at CVPR 2000. He also co-authored a paper that received the best student paper award at UIST 2003, and he and his co-authors received the best paper award in Eurographics 2016. In collaboration with researchers at Columbia University and the Smithsonian Institution he created Leafsnap, an app that uses computer vision for plant species identification. Leafsnap has been downloaded over a million times, and has been used in biodiversity studies and in many classrooms. Dr. Jacobs and his collaborators have been awarded the 2011 Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Award for the development of Leafsnap.