Mazdak Abulnaga

Postdoc at MIT CSAIL and HMS
MIT Stata Center 32-G904
abulnaga AT mit DOT edu
Mazdak Abulnaga

I am a postdoctoral fellow at the MIT Computer Science and AI Lab and Harvard Medical School. My research focuses on developing geometry processing and machine learning methods. I am interested in studying problems in discrete extrinsic geometry by exploring problems in volumetric shape analysis, rather than the purely surface-based approaches that dominate the field. Moving to this higher dimension requires new algorithmic and theoretical development to enable downstream discrete geometry processing tasks such as mapping, deformation, and representation. I'm particularly interested in developing methods to be applied to problems in healthcare and biology.

Previously, I was a PhD student at MIT CSAIL, co-advised by Prof. Polina Golland and Prof. Justin Solomon. I was part of the Medical Vision Group and the Geometric Data Processing Group. My PhD research focused on developing volumetric shape analysis methods for applications in computer graphics and health care. Specifically, I worked on core mapping and parametrization problems for volumetric meshes. I also collaborated closely with physicians and researchers at the Boston Children's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital to deploy these methods for research in fetal-maternal health. My PhD research was supported by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, the NSERC PGS D, the MathWorks Fellowship, and the Siebel Fellowship.

Outside of research, I was a communication advisor with the MIT EECS Communication Lab, where I coached students and postdocs on technical communication topics. I was also a co-president of the EECS Graduate Students Association, where I worked with the department administration and graduate students to foster an inclusive academic and social environment. I am passionate about technical communication and mentorship, and have been involved in several initiatives dedicated to their enhancement and development.

In my spare time, I enjoy reading and playing basketball and golf.


News

  • Jan 2024: I joined Prof. Maks Ovsjanikov's group as a visiting researcher at INRIA & Ecole Polytechnique.
  • Dec 2023: Our work on shape-aware segmentation of the placenta is published in the MELBA journal.
  • Sep 2023: I started my postdoc!
  • Aug 2023: I presented our work on symmetric volume mapping at SIGGRAPH 2023.

Resources

I am passionate about improving technical communication in science and I am an advocate of improving mentorship of undergraduate students. Below are a few resources on these topics that I've written or co-written.

Mentorship
  • White paper: Best Practices for Undergraduate Mentorship in EECS
Technical Communication
  • Planning your Journal or Conference Paper
  • A Paper Writing Checklist
  • Paper Writing: Results
  • How to Communicate in Grad School
  • Why You Should Be a Professor and How to Become One (a summary from a panel of MIT EECS professors)
  • A Guide to the MIT EECS Qualifying Exam

Research

For a full list of my publications, see my Google Scholar page.

AnyStar
AnyStar: Domain Randomized Universal Star-convex 3D Instance Segmentation
Neel Dey, S. Mazdak Abulnaga, Benjamin Billot, Esra Abaci Turk, P. Ellen Grant, Adrian V. Dalca, Polina Golland
IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV), 2024
Paper | Code | Colab Demo | BibTeX
@InProceedings{Dey_2024_WACV,
    author    = {Dey, Neel and Abulnaga, Mazdak and Billot, Benjamin and Turk, Esra Abaci and Grant, Ellen and Dalca, Adrian V. and Golland, Polina},
    title     = {AnyStar: Domain Randomized Universal Star-Convex 3D Instance Segmentation},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV)},
    month     = {January},
    year      = {2024},
    pages     = {7593-7603}}
  
Shape-aware Segmentation of the Placenta in BOLD Fetal MRI Time Series
Shape-aware Segmentation of the Placenta in BOLD Fetal MRI Time Series
S. Mazdak Abulnaga, Neel Dey, Sean I. Young, Katherine Hobgood, Eileen Pan, Clinton J. Wang, P. Ellen Grant, Esra Abaci Turk, Polina Golland
Machine Learning for Biomedical Imaging (MELBA), 2023
Paper | Code | BibTeX
@article{abulnaga2023placenta,
                title = "Shape-aware Segmentation of the Placenta in BOLD Fetal MRI Time Series",
                author = "Abulnaga, S. Mazdak and Dey, Neel and Young, Sean I. and Pan, Eileen and Hobgood, Katherine I. and Wang, Clinton J. and Grant, P. Ellen and Abaci Turk, Esra and Golland, Polina",
                journal = "Machine Learning for Biomedical Imaging",
                volume = "2",
                issue = "PIPPI 2022 special issue",
                year = "2023",
                pages = "527--546",
                issn = "2766-905X",
                doi = "https://doi.org/10.59275/j.melba.2023-g3f8"
                }
    
Symmetric Volume Maps
Symmetric Volume Maps: Order-Invariant Volumetric Mesh Correspondence with Free Boundary
S. Mazdak Abulnaga, Oded Stein, Polina Golland, Justin Solomon
ACM Transactions on Graphics, 42(3), 2023
Paper | Code | MIT News | BibTeX
@article{abulnaga2022symmetric,
  title={Symmetric Volume Maps: Order-Invariant Volumetric Mesh Correspondence with Free Boundary},
  author={Abulnaga, S Mazdak and Stein, Oded and Golland, Polina and Solomon, Justin},
  journal={ACM Transactions on Graphics},
  volume={42},
  number={3},
  pages={1--20},
  year={2023},
  publisher={ACM New York, NY}}
  
Volumetric Parameterization of the Placenta to a Flattened Template
Volumetric Parameterization of the Placenta to a Flattened Template
S. Mazdak Abulnaga, Esra Abaci Turk, Mikhail Bessmeltsev, P. Ellen Grant, Justin Solomon, Polina Golland
IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, 41.4, 2022
Paper | Code | MIT News | BibTeX
@article{abulnaga2022volumetric,
    title={Volumetric Parameterization of the Placenta to a Flattened Template},
    author={Abulnaga, S. Mazdak and Abaci Turk, Esra and Bessmeltsev, Mikhail and Grant, P. Ellen and Solomon, Justin and Golland, Polina},
    journal={IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging}, 
    year={2022},
    volume={41},
    number={4},
    pages={925-936}}
                      
Interactive All-Hex Meshing via Cuboid Decomposition
Interactive All-Hex Meshing via Cuboid Decomposition
Lingxiao Li, Paul Zhang, Dmitriy Smirnov, S. Mazdak Abulnaga, Justin Solomon
SIGGRAPH Asia, 2021, Tokyo
Paper | Code | BibTeX
@article{li2021hex,
  title={Interactive All-Hex Meshing via Cuboid Decomposition},
  author={Li, Lingxiao and Zhang, Paul and Smirnov, Dmitriy and Abulnaga, Mazdak and and Solomon, Justin},
  month={December},
  year={2021},
  journal={ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG)},
  publisher={ACM},
  volume={40},
  number={6},
  pages={256:1--256:17}
}
Placental MRI: Effect of maternal position and uterine contractions on placental BOLD MRI measurements
Placental MRI: Effect of maternal position and uterine contractions on placental BOLD MRI measurements
Esra Abaci Turk, S. Mazdak Abulnaga, Jie Luo, Jeffrey N. Stout, Henry A. Feldman, Ata Turk, Borjan Gagoski, Lawrence L. Wald, Elfar Adalsteinsson, Drucilla J. Roberts, Carolina Bibbo, Julian N. Robinson, Polina Golland, P. Ellen Grant, William H. Barth
Placenta, 95, 2020
Paper | BibTeX
@article{abaciturk2020placental,
  title={Placental {MRI}: Effect of maternal position and uterine contractions on placental {BOLD MRI} measurements},
  author = {Esra {Abaci Turk} and S. Mazdak Abulnaga and Jie Luo and Jeffrey N. Stout and Henry A. Feldman and Ata Turk and Borjan Gagoski and Lawrence L. Wald and Elfar Adalsteinsson and Drucilla J. Roberts and Carolina Bibbo and Julian N. Robinson and Polina Golland and P. Ellen Grant and William H. Barth},
  journal = {Placenta},
  volume = {95},
  pages = {69-77},
  year = {2020}
}
Placental Flattening via Volumetric Parameterization
Placental Flattening via Volumetric Parameterization
S. Mazdak Abulnaga, Esra Abaci Turk, Mikhail Bessmeltsev, P. Ellen Grant, Justin Solomon, Polina Golland
International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention (MICCAI), 2019, Shenzhen
Paper | Code | Poster | BibTeX
@inproceedings{abulnaga2019placental,    
    title={Placental Flattening via Volumetric Parameterization},
    author={Abulnaga, S. Mazdak and Abaci Turk, Esra and Bessmeltsev, Mikhail and Grant, P. Ellen and Solomon, Justin and Golland, Polina},
    booktitle={Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention -- MICCAI 2019},
    year={2019},
    publisher={Springer International Publishing},
    address={Cham},
    pages={39--47}
}
CT-To-MR Conditional Generative Adversarial Networks for Ischemic Stroke Lesion Segmentation
CT-To-MR Conditional Generative Adversarial Networks for Ischemic Stroke Lesion Segmentation
Jonathan Rubin, S. Mazdak Abulnaga
IEEE International Conference on Healthcare Informatics (ICHI), 2019, Xi'an
Paper | BibTeX
@inproceedings{rubin2019ct,
    author={Rubin, Jonathan and Abulnaga, S. Mazdak},
    booktitle={2019 IEEE International Conference on Healthcare Informatics (ICHI)}, 
    title={CT-To-MR Conditional Generative Adversarial Networks for Ischemic Stroke Lesion Segmentation}, 
    year={2019},
    volume={},
    number={},
    pages={1-7},
    doi={10.1109/ICHI.2019.8904574}
}
Ischemic Stroke Lesion Segmentation in CT Perfusion Scans Using Pyramid Pooling and Focal Loss
Ischemic Stroke Lesion Segmentation in CT Perfusion Scans Using Pyramid Pooling and Focal Loss
S. Mazdak Abulnaga, Jonathan Rubin
International MICCAI Brainlesion Workshop, 2018, Granada
Paper | Poster | BibTeX
@inproceedings{abulnaga2019ischemic,
  author={Abulnaga S. Mazdak, Rubin, Jonathan},
  title={Ischemic Stroke Lesion Segmentation in CT Perfusion Scans Using Pyramid Pooling and Focal Loss},
    booktitle={Brainlesion: Glioma, Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke and Traumatic Brain Injuries},
    year={2019},
    publisher={Springer International Publishing},
    address={Cham},
    pages={352--363}  
}