Hello, you have reached my homepage! I plan to work on website more, but for now, below is a bit about me.

I was born in Jordan in May of 1987 to awesome parents and raised with my five siblings, all of whom I respect. I lived in Jordan, Toronto, Michigan, and San Francisco. My primary academic interests are around Machine Learning and Computer Vision.


I am currently working at Google Research, at the Video Understanding group, which is part of the Machine Perception organization. Our goal is to develop Machine Learning models that understand videos in a few domains, including: Recognition and Detection, Video Recommendation (using the contents of the video), Video Summarization, Spam Detection, and many more.


  • Masters of Science and Engineering, Computer Science, University of Michigan. Supervisor: Honglak Lee. Did research on Medical Imaging. Graduate Student Instructor for undergraduate Intro to Machine Learning course (some notes).
  • SCPD (i.e. Non-degree option), Computer Science, Stanford. Focused on Machine Learning, Computer Vision, and Mining Massive Datasets.
  • Bachelors of Applied Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto. Graduated with honors. Senior project was an Enteprise Search Engine, demoed at IEEE-SDC 2010

Selected Publications

  • Sami Abu-El-Haija, Nisarg Kothari, Joonseok Lee, Paul Natsev, George Toderici, Balakrishnan Varadarajan, Sudheendra Vijayanarasimhan, YouTube-8M: A Large-Scale Video Classification Benchmark · paper · website
  • Vignesh Ramanathan, Jonathan Huang, Sami Abu-El-Haija, Alexander Gorban, Kevin Murphy, Li Fei-Fei, Detecting events and key actors in multi-person videos, Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) 2016 - oral · paper · website
  • Bertrand Schneider, Sami Abu-El-Haija, Jim Reesman, Roy Pea, Toward Collaboration Sensing: Applying Network Analysis Techniques to Collaborative Eye-tracking Data, Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK) 2013 - best paper award · paper

Selected Patents

  • (with Google Research) 14 authors including Sami Abu-El-Haija, Selecting and Presenting Representative Frames for Video Previews · link
  • (with Ooyala Inc.) Zhichen Xu, Sami Abu-El-Haija, Lei Huang, Nimrod Hoofien, Automatically Recommending Content · link
  • (with Altera Inc.) Jason Govig and Sami Abu-El-Haija, Reporting Status of Timing Exceptions · link