Benjamin D. Killeen

Ph.D. Student, Johns Hopkins University

Department of Computer Science
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore, MD 21218, USA


A Ph.D. Student at Johns Hopkins University, I am interested in intelligent surgical systems that improve patient outcomes. My recent work involves realistic simulation of interventional X-ray imaging for the purpose of developing AI-integrated surgical systems. I am a member of the Advanced Robotics and Computationally Augmented Environments (ARCADE) research group and the Computational Interaction and Robotics Laboratory (CIRL).


08/2019 - present Ph.D., Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.

09/2015 - 06/2019 B.A., Computer Science with Honors, Minor in Physics, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

Research Experience

08/2020 - present Research assistant, Department of Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.

08/2019 - 06/2020 Research Assistant, Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.

03/2018 - 08/2019 Research assistant, Department of Computer Science, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

Professional Experience

06/2020 - 07/2020 Computer Vision / AI Intern, Applied Research, Intuitive Surgical Inc., Sunnyvale, CA, USA.

06/2018 - 08/2018 Software Development Intern, Cognitive Computing, Epic Systems, Verona, WI, USA.

06/2017 - 08/2017 Research Intern, IBM Research - Almaden, San Jose, CA, USA.

Selected Honors

02/2022 Runner-up, Physics of Medical Imaging Best Student Paper Award

10/2021 Best Paper Award in Bioengineering

04/2021 Best Presentation Award

05/2020 Best Graduate Project Award

04/2020 COVID-19 Dataset Award, Kaggle

12/2019 Intuitive Surgical Best Project Award.


My publication list is also available on Google Scholar. Unless otherwise noted, (*) denotes equal contribution.

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

J-2 A. Hundt, B. Killeen, H. Kwon, C. Paxton, GD Hager. “Good Robot!”: Efficient Reinforcement Learning for Multi-Step Visual Tasks with Sim to Real Transfer. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 6724–6731, Oct. 2020. doi: 10.1109/LRA.2020.3015448.

J-1 S. Ambrogio, P. Narayanan, H. Tsai, R. M. Shelby, I. Boybat, C. di Nolfo, S. Sidler, M. Giordano, M. Bodini, N. Farinha, B. Killeen, C. Cheng, Y. Jaoudi, G. W. Burr. Equivalent-accuracy accelerated neural-network training using analogue memory. Nature, vol. 558, no. 7708, p. 60, Jun. 2018. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0180-5.

Peer-reviewed Conference Papers

C-5 B. D. Killeen, Shreya Chakraborty, Greg Osgood, Mathias Unberath. Toward perception-based anticipation of cortical breach during K-wire fixation of the pelvis. Medical Imaging 2022: Physics of Medical Imaging. SPIE. doi: 10.1117/12.2612989.

C-4 J. D. Opfermann*, B. D. Killeen*, C. Bailey, M. Khan, A. Uneri, K. Suzuki, M. Armand, F. Hui, A. Krieger**, M. Unberath**. Feasibility of a Cannula-mounted Piezo Robot for Image-guided Vertebral Augmentation: Toward a Low Cost, Semi-autonomous Approach. 2021 IEEE 21st International Conference on Bioinformatics and Bioengineering (BIBE), Kragujevac, Serbia, 2021 pp. 1-8. doi: 10.1109/BIBE52308.2021.9635356.

C-3 X. Liu*, B. D. Killeen*, A. Sinha, M. Ishii, G. Hager, R. Taylor, M. Unberath. Neighborhood Normalization for Robust Geometric Feature Learning. Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, 2021.

C-2 C. Gao, X. Liu, W. Gu, B. D. Killeen, M. Armand, R. Taylor, M. Unberath. Generalizing Spatial Transformers to Projective Geometry with Applications to 2D/3D Registrationc. MICCAI, 2020, arxiv:2003.10987.

C-1 X. Liu, Y. Zhang, B. Killeen, M. Ishii, G. Hager, R. Taylor, M. Unberath. Extremely Dense Point Correspondences using a Learned Feature Descriptor. Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, pp. 4847-4856, 2020.


M-2 J. Y. Wu*, B. D. Killeen*, P. Nikutta, M. Thies, A. Zapaishchykova, S. Chakraborty, M. Unberath. Changes in Reproductive Rate of SARS-CoV-2 Due to Non-pharmaceutical Interventions in 1,417 U.S. Counties. medRxiv preprint, Jun. 2020, doi: 10.1101/2020.05.31.20118687.

M-1 B. D. Killeen*, J. Y. Wu*, K. Shah, A. Zapaishchykova, P. Nikutta, A. Tamhane, S. Chakraborty, J. Wei, T. Gao, M. Thies, M. Unberath. A County-level Dataset for Informing the United States’ Response to COVID-19. arXiv preprint, 2020, arXiv:2004.00756.


P-1 G. W. Burr and B. D. Killeen. 2020. Efficient Processing of Convolutional Neural Network Layers Using Analog-memory-based Hardware. 20200117986, filed March 25, 2019, and issued April 16, 2020,

Selected Press

2020 Dziarkach, Andrei. “Details with Andrei Dziarkach.” Voice of America. November 21, 2020 Accessed November 26, 2020.

Rosen, Jill. “Dog Training Methods Help JHU Teach Robots to Learn New Tricks.” The Johns Hopkins University Hub. The Johns Hopkins University, October 26, 2020.



I have supervised a number of talented masters and undergraduate students on research projects and theses:

10/2021 - present

10/2021 - present

05/2021 - 10/2021

01/2021 - 08/2021

08/2020 - 09/2021

12/2019 - 03/2020

Assistant Teaching

08/2019 - present Computer Integrated Surgery, Department of Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.

03/2019 - 06/2019 Machine Learning and Large Scale Data Analysis, Department of Computer Science, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

Selected review: “Ben was incredibly patient during office hours and always responsive to student questions. In addition, he often presented demos during office hours or showed easier ways to handle the homework assignments; both were very helpful.”


01/2019 - 08/2019 Department of Computer Science, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA


06/2020 - present Topics in Computer Science, Machine Learning, Baltimore, MD, USA.



12/2021 - present Sports Officer, MICCAI Society Student Board

09/2020 - present Graduate Student Committee Representative, Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics


06/2021 - present Family Member, Thread, Baltimore, MD, USA.

2019 Volunteer Instructor, CompileHer, Chicago, IL, USA.

Peer Review




Selected Coursework


GPA: 3.82


GPA: 3.81

*Graduate level.



Outside of the office, I enjoy bouldering, cycling, running, and painting. I also write creatively:


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Last updated: April 2022