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 Young Professionals

Research Overview

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

Selected Research Projects

Selected Publications

  • D. Hejazi, S. Liu, A. Farnoosh, S. Ostadabbas, S. Kar Development of Use-specific High Performance Cyber- Nanomaterial Optical Detectors by Effective Choice of Machine Learning Algorithms, Machine Learning: Science and Technology, 1(2), 2020
  • S. Liu, S. Ostadabbas, Seeing Under the Cover: A Physics Guided Learning Approach for In-Bed Pose Estimation, 22nd International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI’19), October 13-17, 2019, Shenzhen, China
  • B. Rezaei, Y. Christakis, B. Ho, K. Thomas, K. Erb, S. Ostadabbas, S. Patel, Target-Specific Action Classification for Automated Assessment of Human Motor Behavior from Video, Sensors, 19(19), 2019, 4266
  • S. Liu, S. Ostadabbas, A Semi-Supervised Data Augmentation Approach using 3D Graphical Engines, 9th International Workshop on Human Behavior Understanding: at the European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV’18), September 8-14, 2018, Munich, Germany
Sarah Ostadabbas


Jan 11, 2022

Methods for Non-Contact In-Bed Pose Estimation

ECE Assistant Professor Sarah Ostadabbas was awarded a patent for “Methods and systems for in-bed pose estimation.” Abstract Source: USPTO Non-contact methods and systems are disclosed for estimating an in-bed human pose. The method includes the steps of: (a) capturing thermal imaging data of a human subject lying on a bed using a long wavelength […]

abstract photo of women doctor pointing to tablet with medical imagery around it


May 11, 2021

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Human beings are some of the most complex systems in the world, and responses to illness, disease, and impairments manifest in countless different ways. When it comes to making sure that your system stays up and running, healthcare professionals typically have their own deep well of knowledge—but the addition of artificial intelligence tools offers unprecedented […]


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.

steering wheel and dashboard of self-driving car


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.

Sarah Ostadabbas


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 Sarah Ostadabbas and Alireza 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.

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