Scholarship winner and intern explores creative movement and AI

August 21, 2018

The Adobe Research Women-in-Technology Scholarships are awarded annually to remarkable undergraduate and master’s students from around the world. Winners represent the next generation of women pursuing high-level work in computer science and related technical fields. Each receives $10,000, an Adobe mentor, a Creative Cloud subscription, and the chance to interview for an internship.

Marina Melero is a 2018 winner of the Adobe Research Women-in-Technology Scholarship and has worked as an intern at Adobe Research in summer 2018. A biomedical engineering major who loves science and technology and a longtime dancer, Melero has united her passions in her internship research. We asked her about her work, interests, and the impact that Adobe’s support is making on her career path.

Why did you apply for the Adobe Research Women-in-Technology Scholarship?

I was looking for opportunities to support my studies and gain more experience working on research and technology, especially art-related projects. I’m from Madrid, Spain, and am now an undergrad in my third year of study at University College London, where I am majoring in biomedical engineering and minoring in intelligent and cognitive systems. During college, I became fascinated with artificial intelligence, both because of the math and logic behind it, but also because of the vital role it plays—and will play—in society. I would like to have a voice in how it is being introduced, and for it to have a positive impact on the world we live in.

What was it about Adobe Research that made you want to do an internship here?

In addition to bioengineering and technology, my other passion is creativity and the arts. I’m a dancer. I’ve trained mainly in ballet and contemporary dance, and I still train about six days a week. I didn’t know there was a way to combine my interests until I found the scholarship and the work being done at Adobe Research. Adobe’s unique combination of science and arts brings together the things I’m passionate about.

When I got here, it surpassed my expectations. I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by intelligent people who challenge me to think critically and follow the path I think is best. I have a lot of independence to come up with ideas, and I also get fantastic feedback and advice from my mentors on how to pursue them.

Could you tell us about your work combining dance and AI?

The motivation is to develop technologies that enhance creativity in the performing arts and analyze movement more thoroughly in sports science and rehabilitation therapies. I’m using a form of AI called machine learning, and I’m working with mentors Jose Echevarria, Duygu Ceylan, and Jimei Yang.

The goal of my internship project is to enable people—especially dancers, dance students, and choreographers—to browse dance movements from performance videos, as well as to automatically edit better instructional videos for dance. We aim to use deep learning techniques for understanding human motion. This approach will allow us to accurately describe patterns associated with specific movement qualities or dance styles.

Your scholarship is focused on women in technology. How do you think women are impacting the field?

Women have to play a role in technology—and not only women, but also people from different ethnicities. It’s important to where the world is going. I believe there has to be a broad representation, of all voices and backgrounds so that we can move forward in a way that benefits and represents everyone. We need more women in technology.

How will this scholarship and internship influence your future career? 

It’s been very significant for me. The scholarship came as a moment when I was trying to decide if I wanted to continue in research and engineering or move towards social entrepreneurship. Receiving the scholarship was a great encouragement, and so was having the opportunity to come here and work closely with Adobe researchers on my current project. I’m gaining very valuable skills on how to design and carry out a professional research project which will be very helpful in my near future. After my internship, I will be pursuing my master’s degree in biomedical engineering, where I plan to continue doing research on understanding human motion with technology.

Profile photo by Jane L. E

Based on an interview with Meredith Alexander Kunz


The 2019 Adobe Research Women-in-Technology Scholarship program is taking applications until September 28, 2018. To learn more about the program or to apply, visit the program’s webpage. This year, the scholarship program will be open to female master’s students as well as undergraduates studying computer science, computer engineering, and related technical fields.

To learn more about internships at Adobe Research, visit the program’s webpage.


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