Tamara L. Berg
Associate Professor
Computer Science Department
FB 236
UNC Chapel Hill

berg.tamara - at - gmail.com
(646) 509-3361

Google Scholar page


My research interests lie at the boundary of computer vision and natural language processing, specifically focused on understanding the connections between these two related modalities. Today billions of images with associated text are available on web pages, captioned photographs, video with speech or closed captioning, and many others. In order to organize, search, and exploit these enormous collections we work on developing methods that combine information from both the visual and textual sources effectively. Past and current projects include: automatically identifying people in news photographs, classifying images from the web, selecting aesthetically pleasing or interesting images, generating natural language descriptions for images, visual social media analysis, and recognizing clothing and style.


I received my B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2001. I then completed a PhD in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 2007 under the advisorship of Professor David Forsyth as a member of the Berkeley Computer Vision Group. Afterward, I spent 1 year as a research scientist at Yahoo! Research. From 2008-2013 I was an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science department at Stony Brook University and core member of the consortium for Digital Art, Culture, and Technology (cDACT). I joined the computer science department at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (UNC) in Fall 2013 and am currently a tenured Associate Professor.

Spring 2016, Fall 2013, Spring 2012, Fall 2009 - CS 790-133 Recognizing People, Objects, and Actions
Fall 2015, Spring 2014 - CS 560 Artificial Intelligence
Spring 2015 - CS 790-133 Language and Vision
Fall 2012, Spring 2011 - CSE 595 Words and Pictures
Spring 2013/2012/2011/2010/2009 - CSE/ISE 364 Advanced Multimedia
Spring 2013, Fall 2011 - CSE 590 Computational Photography
Fall 2008 - CSE 690 Internet Vision

Sirion Vittayakorn (PhD, UNC)
Yipin Zhou (PhD, UNC)
Licheng Yu (PhD, UNC)
Adam Aji (Undergrad, UNC)


Current Funding

BIGDATA: Award #1633295 - BIGDATA: F: Collaborative Research: From Visual Data to Visual Understanding

NSF IIS Core: Award #1562098 - RI: Medium: Collaborative Research: Text-to-Image Reference Resolution for Image Understanding and Manipulation

NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program: Award #1444234 - Toward a General Framework for Words & Pictures. (previously Award #1054133) Project Page

NSF IIS Core: Award #1445409 - RI: Medium: Integrating Humans and Computers for Image and Video Understanding (previously Award #1161876)

NSF CI-New: Collaborative Research: Award #1405822 - Federated Data Set Infrastructure for Recognition Problems in Computer Vision

NSF II-New: Award #1405847 - Seeing the Future: Ubiquitous Computing in EyeGlasses

Microsoft, Google.

Past Funding

CI-P:Collaborative Research Award #1417991 - Visual Entailment data set and challenge for the language and vision communities (previously Award #1205354)

Seeing Social: Exploiting Computer Vision in Online Communities. Google Faculty Research Award

SBU/BNL Seed Grant: "The Data Sensorium: Multi-Modal Explorations of Scientific Data". Personel - Dan Weymouth, Kevin Yager, Tamara Berg, Margaret Schedel, Klaus Mueller, Dimitris Samaras, Tony Phillips, Rita Goldstein, Nelly Alia-Klein, Zabet Patterson.

NSF MRI-R2 grant: "Development of an Immersive Giga-pixel Display". Contributor as Senior Personel.
Stony Brook FAHSS grant: "Encountering Data". Daniel Weymouth, Tamara Berg, Zabet Patterson, Margaret Schedel, John Lutterbie.

Stony Brook FAHSS grant: "Hybrid Geographies". Zabet Patterson, Christa Erickson, Margaret Schedel, Tamara Berg, Raiford Guins, Andrew Uroskie.

Former Students & Postdocs
Tatiana Tommasi (Postdoc, UNC 2015-2016)
Hadi Kiapour (PhD, UNC) 2015 - Research Scientist at eBay Research
Zhilan Zhou (Undergrad, UNC)
Justo (Miko) Marquez (Undergrad, UNC)
Jesse Hu (Undergrad, Duke)
Fred Landis (Undergrad, UNC)
Joe Puccio (Undergrad, UNC)
Vicente Ordonez (PhD, UNC) 2015 - Assistant Professor University of Virginia.
Rob Lewis (MS, UNC) 2015
Brian Christante (MS, UNC) 2015
Hannah Kerner (MS, UNC) 2015
Kota Yamaguchi (PhD, SBU) 2014 - Assistant Professor Tohoku University
Sahar Kazemzadeh (Undergrad, UNC) 2014
Aaron Brown (Undergrad, UNC) 2014
Josh Potter (Undergrad, UNC) 2014
Sean Freemerman (Undergrad, UNC) 2014
Roman Myers (Undergrad, UNC) 2014
Sebo Kim (Undergrad, SBU) 2014
Vinson Luo (High School, SBU Simons program) - summer 2013
Mark Matten (High School, SBU Simons program) - summer 2013
Priyanka Khante (Undergrad, SBU) - summer 2013
Chen Ling (MS, SBU) - 2013
Hanyu Liu (MS, SBU) - 2013
Chaitanya Kommini (MS Indepdendent Study, SBU) - 2012
Deepak Venkatachalam (MS Independent Study, SBU) - 2011
Farheen Noorie (MS Independent Study, SBU) - 2011
Girish Kulkarni (MS, SBU) - 2011 Epic Systems
Debaleena Chattopadhy (MS, SBU) - 2011 Indiana School of Informatics PhD
Sagnik Dhar (MS, SBU) 2010 - Volkswagen
Visruth Premraj (MS, SBU) 2010 Epic Systems
Erin Palmer (MS, SBU) 2009 - Factset
Jose Villa (MS, SBU) 2010
Piyush Kumat, (MS Indendent Study, SBU) Fall 2009

Alex Berg, my husband.

Arnold Miller, my dad.