Sarah Ostadabbas

Assistant Professor,  Electrical and Computer Engineering


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  • 520 ISEC
  • 617.373.4992

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Research Focus

Machine learning/pattern recognition; computer vision, affective computing, human-machine interaction


  • Postdoc (2015)—Georgia Tech
  • PhD (2014) Electrical & Computer Engineering (Signal Processing)—UT Dallas
  • MS (2007) Electrical Engineering (Control)—Sharif University of Tech, Tehran, Iran
  • BS (2006) Electrical Engineering (Electronics)—Amirkabir University of Tech, Tehran, Iran
  • BS (2005) Electrical Engineering (Biomedical)—Amirkabir University of Tech, Tehran, Iran

Professional Affiliations

Member of IEEE, IEEE Women in Engineering, IEEE Signal Processing Society, IEEE EMBS, IEEE Young Professionals, and ACM SIGCHI​.

Research Overview

Machine learning/pattern recognition; computer vision, affective computing, human-machine interaction

Selected Publications

  • B. Rezaei, S. Ostadabbas, Moving Object Detection through Robust Matrix Completion Augmented with Objectness, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing (J-STSP), 2018
  • S. Liu, S. Ostadabbas, Inner Space Preserving Generative Pose Machine, European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV’18), 2018, Munich, Germany
  • Y. Yin, M. Nabian, M. Fan, C. Chou, M. Gendron, S. Ostadabbas, Facial Expression and Peripheral Physiology Fusion to Decode Individualized Affective Experience, Affective Computing Workshop of the 27th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-2018)
  • A. Farnoosh, M. Nabian, P. Closas, S. Ostadabbas, First-Person Indoor Navigation via Vision-Inertial Data Fusion, IEEE/ION PLANS Conference, 2018, 1213-1222
  • S. Liu, S. Ostadabbas, A Vision-Based System for In-Bed Posture Tracking, Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (ICCV/ACVR’17) 1373-1382
  • B. Rezaei, S. Ostadabbas, Background Subtraction via Fast Robust Matrix Completion, Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (ICCV/RSL-CV’17), 2017, 871-1879
  • A. Farnoosh, M. Nourani, S. Ostadabbas, Spatially-Continuous Plantar Pressure Reconstruction Using Compressive Sensing, Proceedings of the 2nd Machine Learning for Healthcare Conference (MLHC’17), in Journal of Machine Learning Research (JMLR) Track, 68, 2017


Oct 16, 2020

COE Faculty Awarded Seed Funding in Collaboration with University of Maine

BioE Assistant Professors Jiahe Li and Mingyang Lu, ECE Professor & Chair Srinivas Tadigadapa, ECE Assistant Professors Sarah Ostadabbas and Xue “Shelley” Lin, and ECE Associate Research Scientist Ataur Katebi were among the faculty chosen for five competitive collaborative research projects with the University of Maine in the areas of artificial intelligence, earth and climate sciences, health and life sciences, manufacturing, and marine sciences.


Oct 01, 2020

Assuring that Self-Driving Cars are Accessible to Those with Disabilities

ECE Assistant Professor Xue “Shelley” Lin is working with the algorithms in self-driving vehicles to ensure that they will be accessible to those with disabilities.


Sep 04, 2020

Innovative Approaches to a Hybrid Non-Invasive BCI System

ECE Assistant Professor Sarah Ostadabbas, in collaboration with the University of Rhode Island, was awarded a $500K NSF grant for “A Graph-Based Data Fusion Framework Towards Guiding A Hybrid Brain-Computer Interface.”


Apr 11, 2020

FY21 TIER 1 Award Recipients

Congratulations to the 19 COE faculty and affiliates who were recipients of FY21 TIER 1 Interdisciplinary Research Seed Grants for 13 different projects.

In the Media

Mar 18, 2020

Invasion of the Bias Snatchers

ECE Assistant Professor Sarah Ostadabbas was featured in the latest issue of Northeastern’s Litmus podcast “Invasion of the Bias Snatchers,” about how her research is using computers to simulate how people sleep.

gapfund logo


Jan 30, 2020

Eight COE Projects Selected for GapFund360

Northeastern’s GapFund360 program helps Northeastern’s researchers bridge the gap between promising lab results and demonstrating a commercially viable prototype. Awards range from $50K -$100K. Nine projects were selected from a pool of 39 applications from across the university; COE contributed 25 of the applications and seven projects were selected for funding. Congratulations to the following COE researchers whose projects were selected for Phase I or Phase II GapFund360 funding: ChE Assistant Professor Sidi Bencherif, MIE Assistant Professor Safa Jamali, ECE Assistant Professor Sarah Ostadabbas, ChE/COS Associate Professor Carolyn Lee-Parsons, ECE Professor Tommaso Melodia, ECE Associate Research Scientist Salvatore D’Oro, ECE Associate Professor Kaushik Chowdhury, ECE Principal Research Scientist Yousof Naderi, ECE Postdoc Ufuk Muncuk, ECE Professor Vincent Harris, ECE Associate Research Scientist Parisa Andalib, ECE Associate Professor Matteo Rinaldi, and ECE Research Assistant Professor Zhenyun Qian.


Jan 30, 2020

Translating the ‘Mastermind’ Concept from Business to Academia

Assistant Professors Danielle Levac (Bouvé), Emily Zimmerman (Bouvé), Kristen Allison (Bouvé), Abigail Koppes (ChE), Sarah Ostadabbas (ECE), Jessica Oakes (BioE), and Associate Professor Eno Ebong (ChE) were awarded a 2020 ADVANCE Mutual Mentoring Advancement Program (M2AP) Grant for “Translating the ‘Mastermind’ Concept from Business to Academia: Facilitating Peer mentorship among female PIs leading active research labs”.

Photo of Ostadabbas and Ramezani


Sep 09, 2019

Ostadabbas and Ramezani awarded an NSF NRI EAGER

ECE Assistant Professors Sarah Ostadabbas (PI) and Alireza Ramezani (co-PI) received a $100K EAGER grant from NSF National Robotics Initiative (NRI) on teaching aerial robots to perch like a bat via AI-guided design and control.

professor and student monitoring sleep behavior


Aug 20, 2019

Studying Sleep Positions

Assistant Professor Sarah Ostadabbas is creating a database of sleeping positions to learn how it affects a person’s health.


Jul 31, 2019

Ostadabbas Awarded NSF Grant to combined Augmented Reality (AR) and EEG for Stroke-Induced Visual Neglect Rehabilitation

ECE Assistant Professor Sarah Ostadabbas is the Northeastern PI of a collaborative $1.2M NSF grant with the University of Pittsburgh on “SCH: INT: Collaborative Research: Detection, Assessment and Rehabilitation of Stroke-Induced Visual Neglect Using Augmented Reality (AR) and Electroencephalography (EEG).”

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