Raquel A. Romano, Ph.D.
ExperienceEducation | Public Engagement | Publications | Awards & Activities


U.S. Digital Service
Engineering Lead,, September 2017-present
Software Engineer, May 2016 – August 2016, February 2017 – August 2017
Developer, data scientist, and engineering lead for various projects: immigrant visa status check, health and nutrition benefit application, Veteran-facing services (blog post). Front-end developer for, an open-source digital platform delivering critical services to the Veteran community (repo). (React/Redux, Rails)

Software Engineer, December 2016 – February 2017
Data analysis and pipeline for trending forum posts. (Python, Apache Spark, Google Cloud Dataproc)
Senior Software Engineer, Accessibility, February 2016 – October 2016
Android Developer for Google Accessibility Scanner, an Android application for developers, testers, product managers, and users to analyze Android apps for accessibility issues.
Technology Lead, June 2014 – January 2016
Technical advisor to’s philanthropic projects in areas of human rights, health care, cold chain supply, assistive technologies.
Senior Software Engineer, Crisis Response Team, January 2011 – June 2014
Developer on Google Crisis Map, an open-source, collaborative mapping tool for viewing and editing layers of geospatial data. Close collaborations with product and UX to understand critical information needs of people affected by and responding to natural disasters. (Python, JavaScript, Django, CSS) Part-time developer for Google Flu Trends. (C++)
Senior Software Engineer, Text Detection and Optical Character Recognition, March 2007 – January 2011
Machine learning and computer vision software development for 1) multi-language text detection from natural imagery, and 2) optical character recognition from scanned documents. Contributed to large-scale privacy protection for Google Streetview imagery via license plate detection. Contributed to Arabic and Indic language optical character recognition for the Tesseract OCR engine.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Computational Research Division
Postdoctoral Researcher, January 2004 – March 2007
Statistical learning and data mining of scientific data; implemented supervised and unsupervised learning algorithms for identifying supernovae in astronomical imagery, detecting  tropical cyclones in high-resolution spatiotemporal climate simulations, and distinguishing radiation-induced features in multispectral microscopy imagery.

IT Consultant, August 2002 – October 2003
Lead developer and product manager for custom web-based database tools for nonprofit organizations. (Java, ASP.NET)

MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
Research Assistant, Computer Vision Group, September 1996 – May 2002
Developed a novel projective model to constrain matching image points in multiple 2D views of a 3D scene. Designed and implemented nonlinear algorithms to demonstrate accurate estimation of 3D camera poses from sparse correspondences. Collaborative research in statistical video analysis, camera self-calibration, and recovery of 3D structure and motion.
Advisors: Eric Grimson and Olivier Faugera

Research Assistant, Center for Biological & Computational Learning, January 1994 – August 1996
Built a real-time face verification system to authenticate users by matching image-based features from captured face images to a library of known face images.
Advisor: Tomaso Poggio

INRIA: French National Institute for Research in Computer Science
Research Assistant, ROBOTVIS Group, June 1999
Developed continuous, differential models of 3-view projective constraints on matching image points.
Advisor: Olivier Faugeras

IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
Summer Intern, June 1996 – August 1996
Designed a method to merge fingerprint recognition models with image-based face models using subspace projections to reduce feature space dimensionality. Demonstrated improved person identification using multiple biometric measurements.
Advisor: Ruud Bolle

AT&T Bell Laboratories
Research Assistant, June 1993 – August 1993
Analyzed search space and convergence properties of random, greedy algorithms for solving NP-complete problems.
Advisors: Henry Kautz and Bart Selman


Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science, June 2002
Ph.D. Thesis: Projective Minimal Analysis of Camera Geometry. AT&T Laboratories Fellow.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Master of Science in Computer Science, August 1995
M.S. Thesis: Real-Time Face Verification

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics, June 1992
Cum Laude General Studies. Radcliffe College National Scholar. National Merit Scholar. Study Abroad: Budapest Semesters in Mathematics, Budapest, Hungary.

Public Engagement

Stories from the Trenches of Government Technology, LISA, 2017.

Technology During Natural Disasters, Women Techmakers Summit, 2014.

How Can Crisis Maps Meet Information Needs of Affected People? Lightning Talk, International Conference on Crisis Mapping  (ICCM), 2013.

Pursuing Professional Changes (with Alice Bonhomme-Biais), Special Issue on Gender Diversity in Computing,  IEEE Computer Magazine, v. 46, no. 3, March 2013.

Selected speaking engagements: OpenAir 2015, Latin@s in Tech 2015 Summit, CRA-W Graduate Cohort Workshop (2010-2012), Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing, Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing.

Video: Meet Raquel, Software Engineer for Google Crisis Response


“Supernova Recognition using Support Vector Machines,” R. Romano, C. Aragon, and C. Ding, International Conference of Machine Learning Applications , December 14-16, 2006.

“Towards Direct Simulation of Future Tropical Cyclone Statistics in a High Resolution Global Atmospheric Model,” Michael F. Wehner, G. Bala, Phillip Duffy, Arthur A. Mirin, and Raquel Romano, Advances in Meteorology, vol. 2010, Article ID 915303, 13 pages, 2010. doi:10.1155/2010/915303

“Imaging features that discriminate between high and low LET radiation-induced foci in human fibroblasts,” Costes, S. V., A. Boissière, S. Ravani, R. Romano, B. Parvin and M. H. Barcellos-Hoff., Radiat Res,165 (5): 505-515, May 2006.

“Monitoring Activities from Multiple Video Streams: Establishing a Common Coordinate Frame,” L. Lee, R. Romano, and G. Stein, IEEE Transactions on Pattern Recognition and Machine Intelligence, Special Section on Video Surveillance and Monitoring , Vol. 22, No. 8, August 2000.

“Forest of sensors: Using adaptive tracking to classify and monitor activities in a site,” W. E. L. Grimson, C. Stauffer, R. Romano, L. Lee, P. Viola, O. Faugeras, Second International Workshop on Cooperative Distributed Vision, Osaka, Japan, November 1998.

“Using Adaptive Tracking to Classify and Monitor Activities in a Site,” W.E.L. Grimson, L. Lee, R. Romano, and C. Stauffer, Proceedings of Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, 1998, pp. 22-31.

“Face Verification for Real-time Applications,” R. Romano, D. Beymer, and T. Poggio, Proceedings of Image Understanding Workshop, Vol. 1, Palm Springs, CA, February 1996, pp. 747-756.

Awards & Activities

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Star Diversity Award, 2015.

#YesWeCode Advisory Board, 2015-present.

CNET 20 Most Influential Latino/as, 2014.

Watsonville Tecnología-Educación-Comunidad (TEC) Community Leadership Council (CLC), 2012-2014.

Anita Borg Institute, Industry Advisory Board, 2009.

Latinas in Computing, Co-Founder, 2006.

LBNL Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD), 2005.
$80,000 research grant for Statistical Feature Modeling for Scientific Data Via Basis Decomposition

Luis W. Alvarez Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2003.