Ana Serrano, PhD in Computer Engineering, professor at the University of Zaragoza and researcher at the I3A (Aragon Institute for Engineering Research), has received the Eurographics Young Researcher Award. This award has been granted since 2004 by the prestigious European Association of Computer Graphics (Eurographics) and has already been won by her colleagues Belén Masiá and Adrián Jarabo, making them the only three Spanish researchers to have received this award.
The Eurographics prize is awarded to two people each year. To be eligible, the candidate must have 2 to 7 years of experience since the completion of the PhD. Ana Serrano had finished her doctoral thesis in 2019. "Within that range, two to seven years, I was on the younger side, I did hope to receive it one day, but I didn't expect it to be so soon," she says.
He is part of the I3A Graphics & Imaging Lab research group. Her research interests are related to issues of appearance perception, virtual reality and computational imaging. "Almost all the projects I am involved in have to do with placing the user at the centre of the algorithm design and thus using knowledge of the human perceptual and visual system to improve various aspects in the capture and reproduction of visual information," says the researcher, who is also a lecturer in several degrees and in the master's degree in Robotics, Computer Graphics and Computer Vision at the University of Zaragoza.
Ana Serrano made several stays during her doctoral thesis at the Max Planck Institute for Computer Science in the German city of Saarbrücken and it was precisely there where the award ceremony took place, which was "an extra thrill" for her. In addition, this recognition has been a way of giving visibility to both her work and that of her research group, and of course a great satisfaction. "Often these awards go to world-renowned universities and centres that have a lot of resources, and the fact that we are able to win this type of recognition with what we have, which sometimes is not so much, is very important," says the researcher.
She studied Telecommunications Engineering at the University of Zaragoza. Her career as a researcher began when she did her final year project. Since then, she has made several stays in important places such as Adobe or Stanford University and in 2021 she returned to the University of Zaragoza.
A career full of awards
During her PhD, Ana Serrano received several awards from major companies in the Computer Graphics sector: the Adobe Research Fellowship in 2017 and the NVIDIA Graduate Fellowship in 2018, as well as the Aragon Economic and Social Council award for the best thesis of interest to the Aragon region in 2019 and the award for one of the best theses in Europe in Computer Graphics, also awarded by Eurographics, in 2019.
Right now, his main goal is to get funding to continue his research and expand his group. In addition, he hopes to become "a reference in the field of Computer Graphics, following the example of Diego Gutiérrez and Belén Masiá, also researchers at the University of Zaragoza and the I3A, who are a source of inspiration".