Not Your Average Internship: 3D Explorations Lead to Real-World Product

by Adobe Corporate Communications

posted on 06-23-2016


Inside our research lab, the academic world meets real-world impact. And, research publications, patents and new products are all part of the job description – even for interns and new hires. That’s what attracted Ersin Yumer to intern here and eventually join as a full-time researcher.

Between his internship and his first year at Adobe, Ersin has seen his research applied to multiple Adobe products, including an advanced blend shape generator for 3D animation in Adobe Fuse; a semi-smart path engine for 2D sketching that’s become part of the Creative SDK; and an upcoming new tool for compositing 3D objects that he’ll have a paper on at SIGGRAPH next month.

“This is a really open research group that straddles the worlds of academia and industry. It’s become a part of the culture to publish together with students and professors,” he explains. “Adobe doesn’t put a lot of unnecessary restrictions on IP, so we don’t have internal procedures that backlog the research or the publications.”

As a Ph.D. student developing algorithms for intelligent design tools at Carnegie Mellon, Adobe’s open research philosophy was especially important to Ersin. “Getting publications in academic journals or as part of conference proceedings is a core part of how your performance gets judged in academia,” he adds. “It’s more than recognition. It’s about spreading new ideas and influencing your peers.

When you come here as an intern, you get access to the researchers, almost at anytime. You can meet with people and bounce ideas back and forth. You go from working alone to working in a very collaborative environment. As a student, that was just as valuable to me as the feedback from my advisors and my committee.”

By any measure, Ersin is both successful and influential. With research internships at Google and Adobe under his belt, and more than 20 publications to his name, Ersin had a range of career opportunities available to him when he chose to work with us as a full time researcher in 2015. Why Adobe? It comes down to making a difference.

“As a student your work can be very abstract,” he notes. “But, being at Adobe showed me that what I do can help real people and improve their lives in a very direct way. During my internship I was exposed to product groups, so I could see the relationship between my work and real product. Bridging that gap was really important for me.”

Today as one of our research scientists, Ersin is exploring the intersection of computer graphics, machine learning, computer vision, and human computer interaction. He is especially interested in deep generative networks and how they can be applied to help designers.

“I’m really enjoying it. It aligns with my interests. I have the opportunity to push the boundaries of technology, while solving problems in the creative space. It’s allowing me to grow in multiple directions. In just my first year as a research scientist at Adobe, I already have three publications, as well as three patents, with much more in the pipeline. And, I’ve been able to continue working with great students and great professors, not just from Carnegie Mellon, but from all over the world.”

Learn more about Adobe Research.

Some of our most amazing technology advancements likely started with an intern or university collaboration project. Check out some of the other stories in this series, which shares how interns are the secret to a thriving research lab.

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Topics: Creative Inspiration & Trends, Education, Digital Transformation