Inventing the Future with Up and Coming Talent

Pavel Panchekha, one of the Adobe Research Fellowship winners, receives an award from Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen.

Pavel Panchekha, one of the Adobe Research Fellowship winners, receives an award from Donna Morris, Shantanu Narayen and Abhay Parasnis.

Collaboration with the academic community plays a fundamental role in Adobe Research. Projects are often done in collaboration with students and universities and lead to Adobe’s recruitment of the best and the brightest researchers and engineers. A new generation of the best of the best were recently honored with our inaugural Adobe Research Women-in-Technology Scholarships and Adobe Research Fellowships.

“We have great strength in many of the areas we need for our future success—such as computer graphics and machine learning,” said David Salesin, vice president and fellow, Adobe, who runs the initiatives. “But we need to go deeper, and we need to branch out to new fields. Offering fellowships gives us an opportunity to do that, and it will become a pipeline for recruitment, too.”

Eighteen talented students from universities in Canada, Germany, Jordan and the United States were honored with the Scholarships and Fellowships last Friday. Recipients came to our San Jose headquarters for a ceremony that was attended by Shantanu Narayen, president and CEO, Abhay Parasnis, EVP and Chief Technology Officer, and Donna Morris, EVP, Customer and Employee Experience.

Each recipient received a $10,000 award, an internship at Adobe and a mentor from our labs.

“I was going to talk to you about opportunity and how it’s never been better, but your backgrounds are putting us to shame,” Shantanu joked at the ceremony. “People double majoring, co-founding computer programing clubs, competing in international competitions, creating new programming languages… Each of you has seized this opportunity and are creating your own path. We look forward to watching and learning from the journey you’re on.”

Supporting Women in Tech

With their varied backgrounds and fields of study, this year’s recipients will bring fresh perspective to our research teams.

“One element of creating the best products for Adobe is bringing together a diverse employee base,” David says. “We want to support more women in our field; the best way to do that is to engage with them early.”

In fact, the Scholarship program was inspired by the late Floraine Berthouzoz, a former Research Scientist in Adobe Research and tireless advocate for bringing young women into science and technology.

Eight undergraduate female students were selected with diverse research backgrounds in computer science, with focuses that range from economics, to artificial intelligence, to digital media design. While these talented young women excel in their fields, several are also focused on important community work: One is working with police to help improve response time with sensors; another co-founded a children’s camp.

Expanding Research with Fellowship Recipients

In addition to the Scholarship, 10 Fellowships were awarded to graduate students (both women and men) who are carrying out exceptional research in areas of computer science relevant to Adobe. See a list of the Fellowship winners here.

The Adobe Research Fellows will work with us on visual stimuli, 3D and fabrication, machine learning, and natural language processing, among other things.

Celebrating the Winners

The celebrations included a “meet and greet” with the Adobe Research team; an awards ceremony with remarks from Shantanu, Abhay and Donna; and product demos from Russell Brown, Principal Designer, and and a Q&A with Mala Sharma, VP/GM, Creative Cloud Product, Marketing, and Community.

“Have the spirit of constantly embracing the future by inventing it,” Abhay said during his concluding remarks. “At Adobe, we strive to do that and we look forward to having an even greater impact with you here.”