Humam Alwassel

PhD Student - Computer Science (Computer Vision)

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)


I am a PhD student at KAUST in Saudi Arabia, currently focused on the development of novel computer vision techniques for video understanding. I am part of the Image and Video Understanding Lab (IVUL) advised by Bernard Ghanem. I received my MSc degree in Computer Science from KAUST under Bernard Ghanem, and my undergraduate degree in both Computer Science and Mathematics from Cornell University. My main research interests are in video understanding and action recognition and detection. In general, I am interested in computer vision and machine learning.


  • Self-supervised representation learning
  • Action recognition and detection in videos
  • Video understanding
  • Computer Vision, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence




[2021-01-05] Awarded the CEMSE Student Research Excellence Award for my PhD research work.


[2020-12-08] Presented my XDC work in NeurIPS 2020 as a spotlight presentation.
[2020-11-23] My latest work, TSP: Temporally-Sensitive Pretraining of Video Encoders for Localization Tasks, is on arXiv.
[2020-11-02] RefineLoc accepted to WACV 2021!
[2020-09-26] XDC accepted to NeurIPS 2020 as a spotlight presentation!
[2020-04-05] MortonNet accepted to the Visual Learning with Limited Labels workshop in CVPR 2020!
[2020-01-14] Appeared on a TV interview with MBC1’s Shabab Hub show to talk about my research and the computer vision field in general. The interview is in Arabic.


[2019-12-02] My recent project with Facebook AI on Self-Supervised Learning by Cross-Modal Audio-Video Clustering is on arXiv.
[2019-06-17] Attended CVPR19 and co-organized the 4th annual International Challenge on Activity Recognition (ActivityNet).
[2019-06-03] Started my research internship at Facebook AI in Menlo Park, CA with Du Tran. I’ll be working on self-supervised representation learning for video.
[2019-03-30] My work on weakly-supervised action localization, RefineLoc, is on arXiv.
[2019-03-30] My recent project on self-supervision for point clouds, MortonNet, is on arXiv. Code is available on GitHub.


[2018-09-15] Attended ECCV 2018 in Munich, Germany and presented our two accepted papers.
[2018-07-03] 2 papers (Action Search and DETAD) accepted to ECCV 2018!!
[2018-07-14] Attended ICVSS 2018 summer school in Sicily.
[2018-06-22] Presented our DETAD work in the ActivityNet challenge workshop in CVPR18 (slides) and also released the code for the DETAD diagnosis tool.
[2018-06-01] I’ll attend CVPR18. Come check out our ActivityNet challenge workshop on Friday, June 22.
[2018-05-01] Started my PhD studies with Bernard Ghanem at KAUST. I’m continuing in the same research direction of video understanding and computer vision in general.
[2018-04-16] Got accepted to the ICVSS 2018 summer school in Sicily.
[2018-04-10] Successfully defended my Master’s thesis.
[2018-03-23] I’m co-organizing the third annual ActivityNet challenge in CVPR18, Salt Lake City (the challenge starts today). Check out our website. This year we have six exciting tasks and five novel action datasets.


[2017-12-15] Graduated with an MSc in Computer Science from KAUST.
[2017-05-01] I’m co-organizing the second annual ActivityNet challenge in CVPR17, Hawaii (the challenge starts today).


[2016-09-21] Started my Master’s degree in Computer Science at KAUST. I joined the multicultural and diverse Image and Video Understanding Lab (IVUL) advised by Bernard Ghanem.
[2016-06-06] Started a software development engineer internship at Amazon Corporate LLC, Seattle, WA with the Vendor Self Service, Business Advisor team.
[2016-05-29] Graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelors degree in both Computer Science and Mathematics.

Professional Experience

Facebook AI, Menlo Park, CA [2019]

Research Intern
Team: Computer Vision, Facebook AI. Mentor: Du Tran.
My research project was on Self-Supervised Representation Learning by Cross-Modal Audio-Video Clustering (project page). To the best of our knowledge, our work is the first method to demonstrate that self-supervision outperforms large-scale full-supervision in representation learning for action recognition.

Mantis Company [2017-Present]

Co-founder and Computer Vision Researcher
A state-of- the-art activity-based, advertising-centric automated video understanding platform. Mantis utilizes faster-than- real-time activity and object detection techniques for a fine-grained video content categorization to achieve a content-aware ads placement on videos.

Amazon Corporate LLC, Seattle, WA [2016]

Software Development Engineer Intern
Team: Vendor Self Service, Business Advisor. Manager: Ram Yerramilli.


Academic Experience

International Challenge on Activity Recognition (ActivityNet) [2017-Present]

Co-organizer and Program Chair
Previously known as The ActivityNet Large Scale Activity Recognition Challenge. This annual challenge is held at CVPR and focuses on the recognition of daily life, high-level, goal-oriented activities from user-generated videos typically found on the Internet video portals. It has attracted a large number of participants from across the world and has been sponsored by several industrial partners including Google DeepMind, Facebook AI, Google AI, Qualcomm, and Panasonic. Previous challenge pages: 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020.

Academic Reviewer for Top-Tier Computer Vision Venues [2018-Present]

Served as a reviewer and emergency reviewer for CVPR, ICCV, ECCV, NeurIPS, WACV, and BMVC.

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Honors and Awards

CEMSE Student Research Excellence Award [2021]

The annual CEMSE award is presented in recognition of the academic accomplishments and research impact created by CEMSE students in the fields of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Statistics.

KAUST Fellowship for MS and PhD Studies [2016-Present]

A fellowship which supports students for the duration of their graduate studies at KAUST. It includes ​full tuition support, monthly living allowance, housing, and medical coverage.

SACM Undergraduate Scholarship [2010-2016]

A scholarship awarded by the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission to the United States. It covers the full tuition for an undergraduate STEM degree at a US university.

KAUST Gifted Student Program (KGSP) Scholarship [2010-2016]

KGSP is a prestigious scholarship awarded by KAUST to a select group of Saudi students, allowing them to pursue undergraduate degrees in STEM fields in the US, and then complete their master’s degree at KAUST.

Media Coverage

  • Shabab Hub Show [2020]: Appeared on a TV interview with MBC1’s Shabab Hub show to talk about my research and the computer vision field in general. The interview is in Arabic.

  • The Beacon Magazine [2019]: Appeared on the cover of the Winter 2019 issue.

  • KAUST News [2018]: Featured in a news article about our recent work in IVUL.


  • +966 55 170 8480
  • 4700 KAUST, Al Khawarizmi Building (Bldg 1), Office #2106-WS06, Thuwal, 23955-6900