Karan Sikka

Machine Perception Lab
University of California, San Diego
9450 Gilman Drive #0440
La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
Phone +1 858 822-5241
FAX +1 (858) 822-5242
ksikka AT ucsd DOT edu
Short CV
Google Scholar Page

I am a fifth year PhD Student (advanced to candidacy) at Machine Perception Lab and advised by Dr. Marian S. Bartlett . Before joining UCSD I had completed my bachelor's in Electronics and Communication Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati , India. My primary focus is towards developing novel computer vision approaches for solving problems in automated classification of facial expressions in videos. Particularly, my PhD thesis is targeted towards solving the problem of classifying videos of natural (or spontaneous) expressions, while training them with only weak-labels. The challenging part is that these videos are not only captured in relatively uncontrolled environments, but are also unsegmented. Similar challenges also exist in the problem of classifying human actions in videos.

My long-term research goal is to solve above problems by combining both generative and discriminative classification frameworks.

Research Interests:

  1. Automatic Facial Expression (Emotion, Pain, AU) Recognition
  2. Video/Time-Series Analysis
  3. Weakly-Supervised Learning
  4. Object Recognition and Matching
  5. Bayesian Graphical Models


  1. Sikka, K. (2014). Facial Expression Analysis for Estimating Pain in Clinical Settings. Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Multimodal Interaction, Doctoral Consortium, 349-353 (ACM). [PDF]
  2. Dhall, A., Goecke, R., Joshi, J., Sikka, K. and Gedeon, T. (2014). Emotion recognition in the wild challenge 2014: Baseline, data and protocol. Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Multimodal Interaction. 461-466 (ACM). ( EmotiW'14 Challenge) [PDF]
  3. Sikka, K., Dhall, A. and Bartlett, M. (2014). Weakly Supervised Pain Localization and Classification with Multiple Segment Learning. The Best of Face and Gesture 2013, Image and Vision Computing (Elsevier). (Impact Factor: 1.959) [PDF]
  4. Dhall, A., Sikka, K., Littlewort, G., Goecke, R. and Bartlett, M. (2014). A Discriminative Parts Based Model Approach for Fiducial Points Free and Shape Constrained Head Pose Normalisation In The Wild. IEEE Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV 2014). (Acceptance Rate: 40%) [PDF]
  5. Sikka, K., Dykstra, K., Sathyanarayana, S., Littlewort, G. and Bartlett, M. (2013). Multiple Kernel Learning for Emotion Recognition in the Wild. Proceedings of the 15th ACM on International Conference on Multimodal Interaction, EmotiW'13 Challenge. 'Best Paper Award'. (Oral Presentation) [PDF] [Slides] [Project Page]
  6. Sikka, K., Dhall, A., and Bartlett, M. (2013). Weakly Supervised Pain Localization using Multiple Instance Learning. IEEE International Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition, 2013. 'Best Student Paper Honorable Mention Award'. (Oral Presentation, Acceptance Rate (Oral): 12% Acceptance Rate (overall): 35%) [Project Page and videos] [PDF] [Slides]
  7. Sikka, K., Wu, T., Susskind, J., and Bartlett, M. (2012). Exploring Bag of Words Architectures in the Facial Expression Domain. European Conference on Computer Vision, Workshop on What's in a Face. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer. (Oral, Acceptance Rate: 33%) [PDF] [Slides] [ProjectPage]
  8. Singh, P. K., Sinha, N., Sikka, K., and Mishra, A. K. (2011). Texture information-based hybrid methodology for the segmentation of SAR images. International Journal of Remote Sensing (Taylor and Francis), 32(15), 4155-4173. (Impact Factor: 1.138) [PDF]
  9. Sikka, K., and Deserno, T. M. (2010). Comparison of algorithms for ultrasound image segmentation without ground truth. SPIE Medical Imagin, 7627, 76271C-76271C-9. [PDF]
  10. Sikka, K., Sinha, N., Singh, P. K., and Mishra, A. K. (2009). A fully automated algorithm under modified FCM framework for improved brain MR image segmentation. Magnetic resonance imaging (Elsevier), 27(7), 994-1004. (Impact factor: 2.060) [PDF]

Research Experience:

  1. Qualcomm Corporate R&D Summer Intern, Augmented Reality Team
    June, 11- Sept, 11
  2. Dept. of Medical Informatics, RWTH Aachen, Germany
    Summer Intern- Sponsored by DAAD (German Academic Exchange)
    Supervisor- Prof. Thomas M. Deserno, Professor, Dept. of Medical Informatics May, 09- July, 09


Compilation of few codes written by me and links to codes/toolbox I use a lot.

Misc Technical Presentations:

  1. Research Statement written for my prelim exam in 2012.
  2. Compilation of misc presentations given in my lab or other places.


  1. Marian S. Bartlett
  2. Tingfan Wu
  3. Joshua Susskind
  4. Abhinav Dhall

Interesting Papers:

I am trying to maintain a list of interesting papers that I have come through/read/reading and found interesting. Hopefully they will be helpful for research audience
  1. Graphical Models/Bayesian Methods

Professional Services:

Reviewer for IEEE Transcation on Affective Computing, Elsevier Pattern Recognition Letters.


  1. Finished my thesis proposal exam and advanced to candidacy,
  2. Awarded a travel grant for Doctoral Consortium at ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction 2014.
  3. Organizing the Second Emotion Recognition In The Wild Challenge and Workshop (EmotiW 2014) at ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (ICMI 2014) along with Abhinav Dhall et. al.
  4. Received Best Paper Award at EmotiW'13 Challenge, 15th ACM on International conference on Multimodal Interaction 2013.
  5. Received Best Student Paper Honorable Mention Award at 10th IEEE International Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition 2013.
  6. Attending IEEE Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition, 2013 in China from 22-26 April.
  7. Awarded a travel grant for IEEE Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition, 2013- Doctoral Consortium.

I try to maintain a technical blog and a personal blog .