Jongmin Photo

Jongmin Baek

Staff Machine Learning Engineer, Dropbox

Ph.D., Stanford University

Link to [Curriculum Vitae] | [Google Scholar]

[first initial][last name]@[cs].[school name].[school domain suffix]

If you need to reach me on company business, try:
[first name]@[company name].[company domain suffix]

It turns out getting involved in computational photography also gets you involved in regular photography.

Some sports photographs (Click for Flickr links):

Touchdown! Interception! Slapshot!

Light painting that I do as a hobby (Click for Flickr links):

Light Painting! Light Painting! Light Painting!

These days most photos I take are of my daughter, Julia:

Julia Julia

Previously I was a doctoral student at Stanford University, advised by Marc Levoy, doing various things related to computational photography. Even before that, I completed at MIT my undergraduate degrees in theoretical mathematics and in computer science (advised by Tomasz Mrowka and Scott Cyphers, respectively) and an M. Eng degree in computer science (advised by Fredo Durand, with thesis on multi-channel coded aperture).

Institution I am currently associated with:
Dropbox, Inc. (2014-)

Bodies I had been previously affiliated with:
Stanford University (2008-2013)
 Department of Computer Science, Stanford University
  Stanford Computer Graphics Laboratory
MIT (2004-2008)
 Department of Mathematics, MIT
 Department of EECS, MIT
  Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)
   Computer Graphics Group (under Fredo Durand)
   Software Design Group (under Daniel Jackson)

Places at which I have worked before:
NVIDIA (2012, 2013)
Google (2010)
Palo Alto Research Center (2007)
The Media Lab, MIT (2007-2008)
Fujitsu-Siemens Computers (2005)

Even before:
Cupertino High School (2000-2004)

I had resided in Seoul, Korea till 1999 since birth.



Present: I serve as the technical lead (TL) for retrieval ML at Dropbox. I am also one of 30-ish staff+ engineers at Dropbox.

I informally advise Fairytrail, a venture focused on video dating and travel by a good friend of mine. Check it out.

Here are some technical blog posts I've authored at Dropbox:

Here are some other blog posts authored by colleagues describing work to which I've contributed.

Jan 28, 2014: I am now working at Dropbox. I work in image processing, computer vision and machine learning.

Dec 5, 2013: My dissertation is approved! As of December 5, I have concluded my Ph.D. program!

Below are some cute visualizations of my progress on the dissertation. I used version control for the source LaTeX files, which allowed me to create interesting time-lapse renders.


This section is somewhat dated now, but my research interest during graduate school lay in computational photography, computer vision, and graphics. In particular, I love the mathematical aspects of imaging and image processing. I was interested in the mobile and real-time application of computational photography. I have worked on image editing, especially on mobile platforms; theory and applications of high-dimensional filtering; analysis of computational cameras; high-frame-rate imaging; general reconstruction problem for images (denoising, deblurring, etc); programmable computational cameras, to name a few. Below is a list of manuscripts published:

Teaser Baek, J., Pająk, D., Kim, K., Pulli, K. and Levoy, M.
WYSIWYG Computational Photography via Viewfinder Editing.
Proc. ACM SIGGRAPH Asia 2013. You can find my slides (90MB) here. Also shown at Eurographics 2014 Industrial Presentations.

Check out the paper video (watch in 720p):

Alternatively, try (Follow the link and click on "HD".)

Teaser Baek, J., Adams, A. B., Dolson, J.
Lattice-Based High-Dimensional Gaussian Filtering and the Permutohedral Lattice.
Journal of Mathematical Imaging and Vision 2013. For a locally stored copy, click here.
Teaser Cho, S. I., Gao, S. S., Xia, A., Wang, R., Salles, F. T., Raphael P. D., Abaya, H., Wachtel, J., Baek, J., Jacobs, D. E., Rasband, M. N., Oghalai, J. S.
Mechanisms of hearing loss after blast injury to the ear.
PLoS One, 2013. Vol.8, No.7.
Teaser Jacobs, D. E., Baek, J., Levoy, M.
Focal Stack Compositing for Depth of Field Control.
Stanford Computer Science Tech Report CSTR 2012-01.
Teaser Karpenko, A., Jacobs, D. E., Baek, J. and Levoy, M.
Digital Video Stabilization and Rolling Shutter Correction using Gyroscopes.
Stanford Computer Science Tech Report CSTR 2011-03.
Teaser Baek, J., Jacobs, D. E.
Accelerating Spatially Varying Gaussian Filters.
Proc. ACM SIGGRAPH Asia 2010.
Teaser Adams, A. B., Talvala, E., Park, S. H., Jacobs, D. E., Ajdin, B., Gelfand, N., Dolson, J., Vaquero, D., Baek, J., Tico, M., Lensch, H. P. A., Matusik, W., Pulli, K., Horowitz, M. and Levoy, M.
The Frankencamera: an Experimental Platform for Computational Photography.
Proc. ACM SIGGRAPH 2010.
Teaser Dolson, J., Baek, J., Plagemann, C. and Thrun, S.
Upsampling Range Data in Dynamic Environments.
Proc. IEEE CVPR 2010.
Teaser Baek, J.
Transfer Efficiency and Depth Invariance in Computational Cameras.
Proc. IEEE ICCP 2010.
Teaser Adams, A. B., Baek, J. and Davis, M. A.
Fast High-Dimensional Filtering using the Permutohedral Lattice.
Proc. Eurographics 2010. Best Paper Runner-Up!


Teaser Baek, J.
WYSIWYG Computational Photography via Viewfinder Editing.
Doctor of Philosophy Thesis, Stanford University, 2013. PDF.
Teaser Baek, J.
Multi-channel coded-aperture photography.
Master of Engineering Thesis, MIT, 2008. PDF.


Here is a list of my accreditation. These are also places I hold dear in my heart.

Teaser Received Ph.D. in Computer Science; Stanford (December 2013)
Received M.S. in Computer Science; Stanford (June 2011)
Teaser Received M.Eng. in Computer Science and Engineering; MIT (September 2008)
Received B.S. in Mathematics, theoretical; MIT (June 2008)
Received a separate B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering; MIT (June 2008)
Teaser Graduated with Valedictorian honors; Cupertino High School (June 2004)


I do enjoy teaching very much, whether the topic be computer science or others.

Teaser Winter, 2012: At Stanford, I taught CS478: Computational Photography for the winter quarter of 2012 as a teaching fellow, with Dave Jacobs, in Professor Marc Levoy's absence.
Teaser Winter, 2010: I was a teaching assistant for CS448A: Computational Photography, Winter 2010, under Marc Levoy, responsible for developing the assignments and advising student projects. This experience eventually helped me teach a future iteration of the course (CS478) as a teaching fellow.
Teaser Fall, 2009: I also served as a teaching assistant for CS148: Introduction to Computer Graphics and Imaging , Fall 2009, under Professor Pat Hanrahan.
Teaser Spring, 2008: In addition, I served as a graduate teaching assistant for 6.005: Elements of Software Construction for the spring term of 2008 at MIT (rated 6.8/7.0 overall by students in HKN-run evaluation) for Daniel Jackson and Saman Amarasinghe.
Teaser I volunteered for Educational Studies Program (ESP) at MIT, in 2006 and 2008, to teach an 8-week summer course called Paradox on paradoxes, logic and philosophy of language, to local high-schoolers. I taught the same course also at Stanford Splash in 2012.


Teaser Spring, 2009: Check out Glacier Cave (non-Stanford link), for CS348B: Image Synthesis rendering competition, which won the grand prize. This was joint work with Dave Jacobs and Abe Davis. A 2048x2048 render is featured in the second edition of Physically Based Rendering.
Teaser Winter, 2008: Dave Jacobs and I worked on a project titled High dynamic range imaging in the presence of motion for CS223B: Introduction to Computer Vision, but the project is currently shelved till later.
Teaser Fall, 2008: I created a game called Hazard for CS248: Introduction to Computer Graphics video game competition, which was a finalist at the competition. It is basically a wacky arcade spin on the well-known game Minesweeper.
Teaser Fall, 2007: There are two papers from 18.821: Project Laboratory in Mathematics, respectively titled Points on conics modulo p and Finding geodesics on surfaces (joint work with Katherine Redfield and Anand Deopurkar). Interestingly, the latter manuscript has gathered some citations over the years.
Teaser Spring, 2007: I wrote an exposition titled Introduction to infinite Ramsey theory for 18.504: Seminar in Logic.
Teaser Summer, 2006: I was in an undergraduate research program with the Software Design Group at MIT CSAIL, under Professor Daniel Jackson, and helped with some visualization work on the Alloy project, a language for specifying and solving logical constraints. I am credited in the "About" page of the software.
Teaser Spring, 2006: A report on a new prototype of vegetation clipper for demining, from SP.776: Design for Demining is available here (joint work with Aaron Doody.) There are also pictures from a field blast test in 2007.


Minor things here and there.
  • Stanford Graduate Fellowship (2010-2013)
  • NSF Graduate Fellowship: Honorable Mention (2008)
  • William Lowell Putnam Mathematics Competition: Honorable Mention (2006)
  • USA Mathematical Olympiad: Winner (2004), Honorable Mention (2002, 2003)
  • USA Computing Olympiad: Finalist (2002)


My Erdős number is 4. (Paul Erdős > Endre Szemerédi > Leo Guibas > Natasha Gelfand > Jongmin Baek) My Bacon number is undefined, but if you would like to help me get one, let me know. :-)

I have served as a reviewer for the following venues:

  • ACM SIGGRAPH (2009, 2010, 2012, 2014)
  • ACM SIGGRAPH Asia (2010, 2011)
  • Eurographics (2011, 2013)
  • Pacific Graphics (2013)
  • IEEE ICCV (2007)
  • IEEE ICCP (2010)
  • IEEE TIP (2013, 2015)
  • OSA Optics Express (2010)

I have maintained some interest in the philosophy of language, the philosophy of mathematics, epistemology and logic. I have taken classes from Sally Haslanger, Agustin Rayo, Vann McGee and Richard Holton, and try to keep up by finding things to read.

I do not have much wisdom to share (yet). I can nonetheless offer advice on the courses that I took during my four years at MIT.

I serve as one of MIT's Educational Counselors.

In my spare time, I root for, though not with fervor, the Boston Red Sox, the San Jose Sharks and the San Francisco 49ers. Now that I am no longer an undergraduate, I find myself following the seasons somewhat more loosely than before.

I am a novice rock climber and soccer player. I also try to be a good photographer in my spare time.