Carnegie Mellon University

Marios Savvides

Marios Savvides

Bossa Nova Robotics Professor of Artificial Intelligence, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Director, CyLab Biometrics Center

Address 5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Professor Marios Savvides is the Bossa Nova Robotics Professor of Artificial Intelligence at Carnegie Mellon University and is also the Founder and Director of the Biometrics Center at Carnegie Mellon University and a Full Tenured Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. He received his Bachelor of Engineering in Microelectronics Systems Engineering from University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in 1997 in the United Kingdom, his Master of Science in Robotics from the Robotics Institute in 2000 and his PhD from the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at CMU in 2004.

His research is focused on developing core AI and machine-learning algorithms that were successfully applied for robust face detection, face recognition, iris biometrics, and most recently, general object detection and scene understanding.  He and his team were the first in the world to develop a long-range iris capture and matching system capable of acquiring irises up to 12m away in an unconstrained manner. His recent work includes ranking first in Vision for Intelligent Vehicles and Applications competition for hand detection on steering wheels in natural challenging driving conditions.  Some of his recent work can detect heavily occluded faces and objects in general under very challenging real-world conditions, developing low-shot object detection and recognition utilizing only a small number of images.

His early achievements include leading the R&D in CMU's participation in NIST's Open Face Recognition Grand Challenge 2005, ranking first in both Academia and Industry. Professor Savvides and his team also participated in NIST's Iris Challenge Evaluation resulting in CMU to rank first in Academia and second against iris commercial vendors. Professor Savvides was then chosen as one of four researchers to form the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s first Center of Academic Excellence in Science and Technology in the area of biometrics and advanced algorithm development.

Professor Savvides spun off a CMU startup called HawXeye with one of his former students where he served as CTO. As the CTO, he assembled a team and lead the research and productization of efficient, fast, low-form factor AI algorithms making current generation of home security cameras smarter where the AI algorithms developed have been deployed to over 3 million ADT home security cameras with a successful exit.

In the last 24 months, he served as the Chief AI Scientist of Bossa Nova Robotics, where he and his CMU research team, completely re-built from ground-up the AI algorithms for Bossa Nova robots for performing real-time inventory analysis and scaling the autonomous robot deployment of this inventory analysis AI from 20 stores to deploying 500 autonomous robots in 500 retail stores while completely removing any Human-in-the-Loop (HITL).

He served as the Vice President of Education for the IEEE Biometric Council in 2015-2016. He also served on the main steering committee and helped co-develop the IEEE Certified Biometrics Professional program.

He has authored and co-authored over 240 journal and conference publications, including 22 book chapters and served as the area editor of the Springer's Encyclopedia of Biometrics. His IP portfolio includes over 40 filed patent applications with 15 issued patents. He is the recipient of seven Best Paper awards. His work in facial recognition was presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January 2018. His work has been featured in over 100 news media articles. He is the recipient of CMU’s 2009 Carnegie Institute of Technology (CIT) Outstanding Research Award,  the Gold Award in the 2015 Edison Awards in Applied Technologies for his biometrics work, 2018 Global Pittsburgh Immigrant Entrepreneur Award in Technological Innovation, the 2020 Artificial Intelligence Excellence Award in “Theory of Mind”, the Gold Award in 2020 Edison Awards for Retail Innovations on Autonomous Data Capture and Analysis of On-Shelf Inventory, and the “2020 Outstanding Contributor to AI” award from the US Secretary of the Army Mr. Ryan McCarthy.


Ph.D., 2004 
Electrical and Computer Engineering 
Carnegie Mellon University

M.S., 2000 
Carnegie Mellon University

BEng, 1997 
Microelectronics Systems Engineering 
University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology



  • Biometric identification
  • Pattern recognition
  • Computer and robot vision
  • Image understanding
  • Image and signal processing

Related news

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Savvides Talks Potential of Facial Recognition Research to Predict Market Trends

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, one of the leading institutions for artificial intelligence research, have embarked on a study using facial-recognition algorithms to track the expressions of traders.
Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Savvides Wins PIPLA 2022 Inventor of the Year

The award is given to a scientist whose patented developments have been economically significant and/or made positive contributions to society.
Friday, November 12, 2021

Visual AI Company Oosto Partners with CyLab Biometrics Center

Marios Savvides will join Oosto as the Chief AI Scientist to expand Oosto’s AI team.
Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Using AI to Recycle Bottles

A collaborative project in partnership with CMKL University aims to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) system to accurately screen bottles for reuse and recycling.
Monday, April 01, 2019

Savvides on AI and facial recognition

CyLab/ECE’s Marios Savvides spoke with CNET in an article about how AI has helped to drastically improve facial recognition.
Thursday, March 21, 2019

Savvides on the future of airport security

Marios Savvides was interviewed by the Twin Cities Pioneer Press about the future of airport security and the role advancing technology will play.
Monday, January 14, 2019

Savvides recognized at Immigrant Entrepreneur Celebration

Marios Savvides was one of eight people recognized at GlobalPittsburgh’s 3rd Annual Immigrant Entrepreneur Celebration and Award Ceremony.
Tuesday, December 11, 2018

CyLab researchers quoted in NYT

CyLab's Marios Savvides, Lujo Bauer, Jason Hong, Kathleen Carley, Martin Carlisle, and Carolina Zarate were featured in a New York Times piece about various ongoing research thrusts in CyLab to help combat cyberattacks.
Monday, November 05, 2018

Savvides comments on biometrics in airports

Popular Science quoted CyLab/ECE’s Marios Savvides in an article on biometric tech in airports.
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Savvides voices support for TSA biometrics

The TSA announced a plan to increase its use of biometrics, such as facial recognition, to streamline the airport security process.
Monday, July 30, 2018

CMU, Bossa Nova to apply AI to retail analytics

Carnegie Mellon University has announced a research partnership with Bossa Nova, the leading provider of real-time, on-shelf product data for the global retail industry, to develop and integrate artificial intelligence into service robots in retail stores nationwide.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Savvides on iPhone X's facial recognition technology

Apple unveiled its new iPhone X and the world watched in awe as senior vice president Craig Federighi accessed the device using facial recognition by simply looking at it. Rest assured, this is a big deal, but what Apple missed that this kind of facial recognition is already possible without all of the high-technology sensors in the iPhone X’s “TrueDepth” camera system. In fact, it can be done with a very low-cost webcam and some advanced machine-learning algorithms.
Friday, September 29, 2017

Savvides quoted on Apple’s facial recognition technology

Recently, Apple released its newest device, the iPhone X, with a price tag of nearly $1,000. The new iPhone uses facial recognition technology instead of fingerprint detection to help customers secure their data. But is there something even more reliable we could be using?
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Savvides quoted in Vocativ on the benefits of iris scanners

In an article published by Vocativ, ECE/CyLab's Marios Savvides explained how iris scanners can help make smart phones more secure.
Monday, February 06, 2017

Savvides gives talk at IDGA conference

Savvides joined an impressive lineup of speakers that included many government directors and program managers.
Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Researchers create tool that can predict what you look like solely based on your eyes

Savvides and his student authored a study on this topic that was just awarded “Best Student Paper” at the IEEE 8th International Conference on Biometrics: Theory, Applications and Systems.
Monday, August 22, 2016

Savvides quoted in WSJ on fingerprint ID systems

Presenting a physical card or ID number and then a fingerprint may not be the most convenient for consumers.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Savvides quoted in New Scientist on fingerprinting infants

ECE/CyLab's Marios Savvides was quoted in New Scientist on the implications of fingerprinting infants. Even though the technology now exists, some people have reservations about using it.