NYU CAT NYU CAT NYU CAT
NYU CAT
NYU CAT *
Events Archive
NYU CAT
NYU CAT
*
  News
  Information
  Technologies
and Projects
  Research
Collaborators
  Industry
Partners
  People
  Contact
  Home
  *
NYU CAT
*
Ken Perlin Speaks at NYSIA January Monthly Meeting
January 2003

Monday January 13th, 2003: 6p.m.- 8p.m.
IBM, 590 Madison Avenue at 57th street,
rooms 609/610

Vision, vision, who has the vision? One prediction is easy in the software/IT industry: our industry will change, and new technologies and business practices will be introduced. Of course, predicting WHAT those changes will be and WHEN they will occur is a little more difficult.

This month's Monthly Meeting will feature homegrown New York City "Big Picture" visionaries. The discussion will cover both short term and long term. What is the prognosis for Wi-Fi? Bluetooth? What about "The Semantic Web"? Web services? Pervasive computing?

This event is free to NYSIA members, $20 for non-members.

*
* *
*
Davi Geiger Hosts CS Colloquium
January 2003

Friday January 24, 2003
11:30 a.m.
Room 1302 WWH
251 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10012-1185

Speaker: John Moody, Department of Computer Science, Oregon Health & Science University

Title: Learning to Trade via Direct Reinforcement

Abstract:
A paradigm shift is underway in reinforcement learning (RL) research. The dominant approach to RL over the past 50 years has been based on dynamic programming, whereby RL agents learn an abstract value function. An alternative approach, Direct Reinforcement (DR), has recently been revisited, wherein DR agents learn strategies to solve problems directly. DR can enable a simpler problem representation, avoid Bellman's curse of dimensionality, and offer compelling advantages in efficiency.
We review and contrast the major approaches to RL, present Direct Reinforcement, and describe its application to asset management with transaction costs. In this very challenging and uncertain domain, DR agents seek to discover strategies that maximize profit, economic utility or risk adjusted returns. The potential powers of DR are illustrated through an asset allocator and an intradaily foreign exchange trader.
Other promising applications of DR may be found in robotics, autonomous vehicles, industrial control, telecommunications, data mining, adaptive software agents, and decision support.

Refreshments will be served at 11:15 a.m. in room 1302 Warren Weaver Hall.

*
* *
*
Davi Geiger Hosts CS Colloquium
January 2003

Friday January 31, 2003
11:30 a.m.
Room 1302 WWH
251 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10012-1185

Speaker: Yali Amit, University of Chicago (Statistics and Computer Science)

Title: An Integrated Network for Invariant Visual Detection and Recognition

Abstract: I will describe an architecture for invariant visual detection and recognition. Learning is performed in a single central module. The architecture makes use of a replica module consisting of copies of retinotopic layers of local features, with a particular design of inputs and outputs, that allows them to be primed either to attend to a particular location, or to attend to a particular object representation. In the former case the data at a selected location can be classified in the central module. In the latter case all instances of the selected object are detected in the field of view. The architecture is used to explain a number of psychophysical and physiological observations: object based attention, the different response time slopes of target detection among distractors, and observed attentional modulation of neuronal responses. We hypothesize that the organization of visual cortex in columns of neurons responding to the same feature at the same location may provide the copying architecture needed for translation invariance.

Refreshments will be served at 11:15 a.m. in room 1302 Warren Weaver Hall.

*
* *
*
Denis Zorin Hosts CS Colloquium
February 2003

Friday, February 7th
11:30 am
Room 1302 WWH
251 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10012-1185

Speaker: Dr. Laurent Balmelli, IBM Research

Title: Space-Optimized Texture Maps And Extension To Volume Warping

Abstract:
Texture mapping is a common operation to increase the realism of three-dimensional meshes at low cost. We propose a new texture optimization algorithm based on the reduction of the physical space allotted to the texture image. Our algorithm optimizes the use of texture space by computing a warping function for the image and new texture coordinates. Neither the mesh geometry nor its connectivity are modified by the optimization. Our method uniformly distributes frequency content of the image in the spatial domain. In other words, the image is stretched in high frequency areas, whereas low frequency regions are shrunk. We also take into account distortions introduced by the mapping onto the model geometry in this process.

The resulting image can be resampled at lower rate while preserving its original details. The unwarping is performed by the texture mapping function. Hence, the space-optimized texture is stored as-is in texture memory and is fully supported by current graphics hardware. We present several examples showing that our method significantly decreases texture memory usage without noticeable loss in visual quality.

We recently extended our warping technique [Vis2002] to intensity function defined on the cube, e.g. volume dataset. We use our method to perform automatic adaptive isosurface extraction without the use of any hierarchical datastructure such as octrees, etc. An isosurface is extracted from a warped volume, then the resulting set of vertices is unwarped such that the surface is rescaled to its initial proportions. We demonstrate the usability of the technique with several well known models.

Refreshments will be served at 11:15 a.m. in room 1302 Warren Weaver Hall.

*
* *
*
Demetri Terzopoulos Hosts CS Colloquium
February 2003

Friday, February 14
11:30 a.m.
Room 1302 WWH
251 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10012-1185

Speaker: Ron Goldman, Rice University
Title: Fractals Everywhere: The Turtle vs. Dr. Barnsley

Abstract:
Turtle competitions have appeared in many guises in literature, philosophy, and mathematics. Aesop (500BC) tells a tale about a celebrated race between the tortoise and the hare. Zeno (450BC) presents a famous paradox, central our modern understanding of convergence, concerning a race between Achilles and the tortoise. Lewis Carroll (1870) wrote a dialogue between Achilles and the tortoise, where the tortoise sets out to convince Achilles that much like Achilles can never catch the tortoise in a race, he can never get to the end of any proof in mathematics. Hofstadter (1980) in his book on Godel, Escher, and Bach also has several dialogues between Achilles and the ubiquitous tortoise.

Today the turtle has gone high tech. Reincarnated inside the computer, the turtle has his own programming language (LOGO) for studying geometry. Fractals are generated in LOGO via recursive programs. The turtle's modern nemesis is no longer the fleet footed, slow witted Achilles, but rather the greedy capitalist Dr. Barnsley, author of the book Fractals Everywhere. Dr. Barnsley generates fractals using iterated affine transformations, and he plans to take over the world of data compression with this approach. Here then we have two methods for generating fractals: recursive turtle programs and iterated affine transformations. Given two models of computation, it is natural to ask which one is more powerful? The purpose of this talk is to explore this question from the turtle's perspective.

*
* *
*
Evgeny Gladilin Speaks at Special CAT Colloquium
February 2003

Thursday, February 20
3 pm
719 Broadway, 12th Floor Large Conference Room

Physically Based Modeling of Soft Tissue
for Craniofacial Surgery Simulations

Evgeny Gladilin
Zuse Institute Berlin

In craniofacial surgery, the realistic prediction of the patient's postoperative appearance is of utmost importance. Patients with facial deformities or paralysis are severely limited in their interpersonal communication abilities. In such cases, the reestablishment of aesthetical appearance and normal facial expressions is the primary concern of the corrective surgical impact. Meanwhile, modern medical imaging techniques, such as computer tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), are widely-used for diagnostic and visualization purposes, enabling the derivation of useful 3D models of individual anatomy. On the other hand, state-of-the-art numerical techniques, such as the finite element method (FEM), provide a modeling platform for the realistic simulation of soft tissue behavior. This talk presents an approach that takes advantage of both the correct geometrical modeling of individual anatomy and the consistent physical modeling of soft tissue and muscles on the basis of underlying biomechanical laws.

*
* *
*
A Celebration of "The New Media Reader"
March 2003

Wednesday, March 19th
7-9 pm
719 Broadway, 12th Floor Large Conference Room

NEW MEDIA: Foundations and Futures

Ken Perlin and Christiane Paul in discussion with Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort

Six years ago an NYU CAT-sponsored project began to create a resource for understanding new media's foundations - aimed at educators and students, scientists and artists, critics and journalists.

Announcing a celebration of The New Media Reader (MIT Press, 2003) featuring two advisors to the project:
- Ken Perlin, scientist, designer, and artist
- Christiane Paul, curator, publisher, and author
- in discussion with Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort, editors of The New Media Reader (for sale at a 1/3 event discount: $30)

The New Media Reader collects articles, essays, images, and other documents about the development of the computer as a means of expression - as well as functioning new media objects (from Eliza to Missile Command) and digitized video (from Engelbart's 1968 demonstration to Lynn Hershman's Lorna)

Wednesday's event will include discussion of The New Media Reader, presentations of new projects from Ken Perlin and Christiane Paul, conversation about how new media's past can inform its future, and light refreshments.

Ken Perlin is co-director of both the NYU CAT and NYU's Media Research Laboratory; as well as a major figure in computer graphics, animation, and human-computer interaction; and winner of a technical Academy Award for "Perlin Noise."

Christiane Paul is the Whitney Museum of American Art's adjunct curator for new media; as well as the publisher of the new media journal Intelligent Agent; and author of Digital Art forthcoming from Thames and Hudson).

More information about The New Media Reader, including excerpts: http://www.newmediareader.com

*
* *
*
Special CAT Colloquium: Frederic Leymarie
April, 2003
Wednesday, April 9th
2pm
719 Broadway, 12th Floor
Large Conference Room

Frederic Leymarie, Brown University

A Directed graph representation for the 3D Medial Axis and Shape Computational aspects and applications

Abstract: The medial axis (MA) representation has been explored mainly for 2D problems since the 1960's in pattern recognition and image analysis. The MA makes explicit certain symmetries of an object, corresponding to the shocks of waves initiated at the input samples, but is itself difficult to directly use for recognition tasks and applications. Based on previous work on the 2D problem, we propose a new representation in 3D which is derived from the MA, producing a directed graph we call the shock scaffold. The nodes of this graph are defined to be certain singularities of the shock flow along the MA. This graph can represent exactly the MA --- and the original inputs --- or approximate it, leading to a hierarchical description of shapes. We develop accurate and efficient algorithms to compute for 3D unorganized clouds of points the shock scaffold, and thus the MA, as well as its close cousin the Voronoi diagram. Our computational methods relies on clustering and visibility constraints. We then propose a method of splitting the shock scaffold in two sub-graphs, one of which is related to the (a priori unknown) surface of the object under scrutiny. This allows us to simplify the shock scaffold making more explicit coarse scale object symmetries, while at the same time providing an original method for the surface interpolation of complex datasets.

http://www.lems.brown.edu/~leymarie/phd/ http://www.lems.brown.edu/vision/researchAreas/Shocks3D/

** In collaboration with Professor Benjamin Kimia, Brown University.

*
* *
*
CAT Hosts for Gallatin Arts Festival
April, 2003
Wednesday, April 9th
6-8 pm
719 Broadway, 12th Floor

Gallatin Arts Festival 2003

Rebecca Ross, CAT Research Scientist
and
Students

WHAT IS GAF? A forum for Gallatin artists to show their work A way to build community within Gallatin and among Gallatin artists; A celebration of the creative process; And a two week festival, April 4th-13th.

WHERE DID IT COME FROM? GAF began eleven years ago as a Gallatin graduate thesis. The original idea behind the festival was to build community through the arts. GAF has happened every year since then, and has grown and changed with each iteration. GAF is and has been a constantly evolving entity.

See www.gallatinartsfestival.org

*
* *
*
Special CAT Colloquium
April 2003

Thursday, April 10th
2pm
719 Broadway, 12th Floor Large Conference Room

James Davis
Honda Research Institute, USA

A Sketching Interface for Articulated Figure Animation
Keyframe animation in computer graphics is currently dominated by IK tools such as Poser and Maya, however these tools are often difficult for novices to use effectively. This talk will introduce a new interface for rapidly creating 3D articulated figure animation, from 2D sketches of the character in the desired key frame poses. Since the exact 3D pose corresponding to a 2D drawing is ambiguous, we first reconstruct a set of possible 3D configurations and then apply a set of constraints and assumptions to present the user with the most likely 3D pose. The user can refine this candidate pose by choosing among alternate poses proposed by the system. This interface is supported by pose reconstruction and optimization methods specifically chosen to work with imprecise hand drawn figures. In addition to discussing the interface in more detail, I'll show a number of results produced by artists who range from novice to expert.

James Davis is currently a senior research scientist at Honda Research Institute USA, working on range sensing and motion recovery for human biomechanics applications. Dr. Davis obtained his PhD from Stanford University in 2002. While there he occasionally held consulting positions with Pacific Bell, Apple Computer and Presenter Inc. His work on image mosaicing was commercialized as part of Sony's PictureGear, and earlier work on multimedia interfaces was eventually released as Prentice Hall's "Masterworks: A Musical Discovery".

*
* *
*
CAT Hosts NYU Sun Center of Excellence Reception
April 2003

Thursday, April 10th
5-7pm
719 Broadway, 12th Floor

New York University has been chosen by Sun Microsystems, Inc. to be a Sun Center of Excellence for Digital Libraries. NYU and Sun Microsystems are joined in this partnership by Ex-Libris, a leading provider of library automation software. Sun has provided NYU with state of the art equipment, enabling us to create the technical infrastructure to accomplish in the electronic realm what libraries always have done in the physical world: store, distribute, and preserve scholarly knowledge. On Thursday, April 10th from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the NYU Center for Advanced Technology at 719 Broadway (12th floor), there will be a reception to celebrate the new NYU Sun Center of Excellence. Guests will preview some of the exciting digital projects that are being made possible by this new venture. Special guests will include Kim Jones, Vice President for Global Education and Research of Sun Microsystems; Robert Berne, NYU Senior Vice President for Health; and Michael Kaplan, Director of Product Management and Operations of Ex-Libris.

*
* *
*
Special CAT Colloquium: Mosaicing New Views
April 2003

Friday, April 11th
3pm
719 Broadway, 12th Floor Large Conference Room

Mosaicing New Views: The Crossed-Slits Projection

Assaf Zomet, Doron Feldman, Shmuel Peleg, and Daphna Weinshall

We introduce a new kind of mosaicing, where the position of the sampling strip varies as a function of the input camera location. The new images that are generated this way correspond to a new projection model defined by two slits, termed here the Crossed-Slits (X-Slits) projection. In this projection model, every 3D point is projected by a ray defined as the line that passes through that point and intersects the two slits. The intersection of the projection rays with the imaging surface defines the image. X-Slits mosaicing provides two benefits. First, the generated mosaics are closer to perspective images than traditional pushbroom mosaics. Second, by simple manipulations of the strip sampling function, we can change the location of one of the virtual slits, providing a virtual walkthrough of a X-slits camera; all this can be done without recovering any 3D geometry and without calibration. New views are generated having realistic changes in parallax, reflections, and occlusions.

*
* *
*
CAT's MEAOW
April 2003

Tuesday April 15th
4-6pm
719 Broadway, 12th Floor Large Conference Room

Napster Audio and Video: Innovations in the Network

Live webcast at http://cat.nyu.edu/meaow/glocal3.ram

What are the possibilities for internet based distribution and production of video and audio? Napster, Gnutella and their descendant have demonstrated famously the sheer scale of p2p filesharing systems, and the difficulties of exploiting this for the benefit of traditional entertainment products under traditional intellectual property regimes. However, less attention has been paid to the emerging audio and video products and the new genres of cultural product that exploit netbased distribution and production. This panel will survey different experiments and projects in this realm, specifically, projects that are designed to promote and sustain diverse cultural resources, generating demonstrable social value.

Panelists:
Christian Nold: is the author of the Author of Mobile Vulgus, a controversial book about politically activated crowd dynamics. He is currently at the Royal College of Art where he is developing the Community Edit system.
Pit Schultz lives and works in Berlin. Currently involved into radio projects he is the cofounder of bootlab.org, klubradio.de, nettime.org, mikro.org.
Natalie Jeremijenko is in the Faculty of Engineering, Yale University, where she runs the Experimental Product Design program(xproduct)--a program and courses that explore technological innovation for social progress. She currently has an exhibition at Art in General that demonstrates several audio and video systems designed for the notforprofit arts sectors to promote participatory institutional agendas.
Sal Randolph lives in New York and produces independent art projects involving gift economies and social architectures, including Free Words, the Free Biennial and Free Manifesta. She has recently been developing new work in the areas of open source/copyleft music distribution (Opsound) and political organization (0pcopy). nb UPDATE
Wolfgang Strauss will also join us having just rtned safely from the Sharjah Biennial in the UAE to report on his recent streaming projects in the Middle East. Wolfgang is the founder of thing.net

Respondents:
Neil Seiling--former Executive Producer of PBS television series Alive From Off Center. A Media Arts Curator since 1978, with an emphasis on building links between multi-disciplinary artists and their audiences through media development. Served on inaugural panel for short films at 1995 Sundance, and NEA Film/video Panel.
Alan Toner-Studies collaborativity, and the effect of information enclosure on cultural production and social life. Native of Dublin, Ireland. Studied Law at Trinity College Dublin, and NYU Law School. He is currently a fellow in the Information Law Institute at NYU Law. Member of Autonomedia editorial collective.
Remote Respondents:
Zeljko Blace is a co-founder of [mama], a media lab and culture club in Zagreb. He is presently taking part in a number of projects: Kultura NOVA, a multimedia institute organized by the European Cultural Foundation & Open Society Institute. Zeljko has organized and curated a number of new media events: GenArt2002, an annual exhibition, and recently Reality Check for Digital Utopia, a digital culture encounter.
Mark Davis is an Assistant Professor in the School of Information Management and Systems, UC Berkeley. His work is focused on creating the technology and applications to enable daily media consumers to become daily media producers. His research and teaching encompass the theory, design, and development of digital media systems for creating and using media metadata to automate media production and reuse. Kate Rich is a sound engineer and activist. She is known to work for the bureau of inverse technology.

*
* *
*
Special CAT Colloquium
April 2003

Thursday April 17th
2 pm
719 Broadway, 12th Floor Large Conference Room
Host: Demetri Terzopoulos

Non-Perspective Imaging Systems

Rahul Swaminathan,
Columbia University

Perspective cameras have been the center of all vision systems as well as algorithms. However, there have been many instances when non-perspective imaging systems have proved to be more useful in applications such as surveillance, omnidrectional imaging amongst others. In this talk I shall investigate the general class of non-perspective imaging systems. We first develop a simple taxonomy of imaging systems based on its imaging model. Using this model we analyze non-perspective imaging systems including wide-angle cameras, camera clusters and generic cameras with viewpoint loci. We present new models to describe non-single viewpoint sensors. Using these models we analyze their resolution characteristics as well as present techniques to calibrate such cameras. Finally we turn to the effects of multiple viewpoints on images and the distortions introduced thereof. We call such distortions as caustic distortions and investigate ways to quantify and reduce these distortions.

*
* *
*
Special CAT Colloquium - T. Theoharis
April 2003

Tuesday April 22nd
3 pm
719 Broadway, 12th Floor Large Conference Room

Computer Graphics Techniques: Just for Pretty Pictures?

By Professor T. Theoharis,
University of Athens and University of Houston
Department of Computer Science

A huge amount of research effort has been expended in Computer Graphics to date. As a result, a considerable body of knowledge and devices have been produced. In fact, one of the most expensive and sophisticated component of the everyday PC is the graphics card. At the end of the day, a reasonable question to ask is whether all the effort spent toward the goal of realistic and efficient image generation is good for just that. In this talk we try to show that certain commonly available graphics techniques are of much wider applicability. It is therefore important that their function is understood by non-specialist users. Suitable mathematical formalisation can lead to better understanding, by clarifying their essential function. They can then be applied to other problems. Examples are drawn from recent work of our group in object reconstruction, symmetry detection etc.

Short Biography
Professor Theoharis, received his D.Phil. in computer graphics and parallel processing from the University of Oxford, U.K. in 1988. He subsequently served as a research fellow (postdoc) at the University of Cambridge, U.K. and is with the University of Athens, Greece since 1993. He is currently on sabbatical leave at the department of Computer Science, University of Houston, Texas. His main research interests lie in the fields of Computer Graphics, Visualization and Archaeological Reconstruction.

*
* *
*
Alex Galloway Presents Carnivore
April 2003

Friday April 25th
11 am
719 Broadway, 12th Floor Large Conference Room

A joint Gallatin School and NYU-CAT event



*
* *
*
Dr. Yuichi Motai: Robotic Teaching System
April 2003

Friday April 25th
4:30 pm
719 Broadway, 12th Floor Large Conference Room
Host: Demetri Terzopoulos

Robotic Teaching System: 3D vision model acquisition through human-computer interaction

Dr. Yuichi Motai,
Purdue University

We are designing a human-computer interaction (HCI) system for teaching a robot to acquire vision models of 3D objects from their 2D images. The purpose of this study is to establish efficient collaboration between machine and human so that the total performance of robotic vision system could be improved. Building 3D vision models is carried based on the following two guiding principles of HCI: 1) Provide the human with as much visual assistance as possible to help the human make a correct input; and 2) Verify each input provided by the human for its consistency with the priori inputs. In this collaborative approach, for example, epipolar lines superimposed on the 2D images assist the human to facilitate the 3D feature reconstruction of stereo correspondences by the computer system. The human can interactively suggest the next-best viewpoint for robot to capture images, examine outputs of different feature extractions with a menu of low-level segmentators, and choose the one that is perceptually most appropriate to acquire the vision model. The 3D vision models are then used for the object localization in the robotic manipulation. Online demos and videos validate this study, funded by Ford Motor Company.
Keywords:
Robot vision, Human-computer interaction, Image-based object model acquisition

Presenter:
Dr. Yuichi Motai, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
Purdue University

Bio: Yuichi Motai received a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Instrumentation Engineering from Keio University in 1991, a Master of Engineering degree in Applied Systems Science from Kyoto University in 1993, and a Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue University in 2002. He was a tenured Research Scientist at the Secom Intelligent Systems Laboratory from 1993 to 1997. His research interests are in the broad area of computational intelligence; especially in computer vision, human-computer interaction, image synthesis, ubiquitous computing, personal robotics, and smart sensing.

*
* *
*
Special CAT Colloquium - John Buchanan
May 2003

Tuesday, May 6th
11 a.m.
Warren Weaver Hall, Room 1302

Video Games

John Buchanan
Video games are now a part of our culture for good or bad. In general people under 40 tend to play video games while people over 40 do not. Next year the dividing line will be 41. In this talk I will present an overview of the video game industry, in particular I will talk about the incredible growth rate of the Video game industry compared to other sectors of the entertainment industry. I explain where the growth areas of our industry are. Having set the stage I will talk a little about Electronic Arts (after all they are paying for this trip). The talk will then turn drastically into a technical talk (for a brief period) about how animations are put into a game and where we get the animations from. After this brief technical interlude (Do not worry, there is not a single mathematical equation present) I will meander into the world of story telling, in particular interactive story telling. What you will realize is that interactive story telling is a rich and un-explored domain where we are just starting to understand the problem. So you will hopefully be challenged to think about how to tell an interactive story. And of course, if you would like to derail the talk by asking interesting questions, then we can go there. But I can tell you that derailing my talks is way more fun over beer where we can build our own interactive story, and if you are buying the beer, then you will be the hero.

Biography:

These are John Buchanan's career highlights. In 1976 he and several students in boarding school chip in to buy Pong. It is promptly confiscated by the Masters and made communal property of the school. In May of 1981, after being successfully employed as a janitor for 6 months, John Buchanan was caught once again setting the high score for Galaga at the arcade in the mall where he worked. This ended his janitorial aspirations. In May of 1983, he counseled a junior student at the University of Windsor that a career in the video game industry was a mistake. That programmer now writes oracle database code. In the summer of 1985 working as a research assistant he used the department of Mathematics' computers to write his own shareware game. This game grossed 10$. Unsatisfied with his first attempt to break into the video game market he proceeded to do his MSc at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Ron Baecker. Then a small trip west and north ended in Vancouver where John pursued his PhD under the supervision of the late Dr. Alain Fournier. In 1993 realizing that he had traveled as far west as he could without swimming he headed back east and north to Edmonton where he spent five years as an Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta. There he investigated the use of computers to generate Non Photorealistic Images. After this he took a leave to visit Radical Entertainment, a video game company, in Vancouver. Two months later he joined Electronic Arts Canada as the senior research scientist of a three person research group. After 4 years of being Director, Advanced Technology for the Canadian studio and University Research Liaison Officer for the company world wide. He is now full time building research relationships with Universities. There are darker stories, but these must be pried out of me with copious amounts of beer.

*
* *
*
Vision Talk
May 2003

Tuesday, May 6th
2 p.m.
719 Broadway, 12th Floor Large Conference Room

Aaron Hertzmann,
University of Toronto


Title: Shape and Materials by Example: A Photometric Stereo Approach
I will present a technique for computing the geometry of objects with general reflectance properties from images. For surfaces with varying material properties, a full segmentation into different material types is also computed. It is assumed that the camera viewpoint is fixed, but the illumination varies over the input sequence. It is also assumed that one or more example objects with similar materials and known geometry are imaged under the same illumination conditions. Unlike most previous work in shape reconstruction, this technique can handle objects with arbitrary and spatially-varying BRDFs. Furthermore, the approach works for arbitrary distant and unknown lighting environments. Finally, almost no calibration is needed, making the approach exceptionally simple to apply.
Joint work with Steve Seitz.
*
* *
*
MRL Seminar
May 2003

Thursday, May 8th
3 p.m.
719 Broadway, 12th Floor Small Conference Room

Eitan Grinspun,
Caltech


Title: Multi-resolution Simulation Using Adaptive Basis Refinement
Many natural phenomena, such as galaxies, turbulent flows, and folding of proteins exhibit dynamic behavior at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Adaptive solvers can reduce the high computational cost of simulating such phenomena, however implementing such solvers can be a daunting task, especially in three and higher dimensions.

We have developed a framework for adaptive multi-resolution discretization. The benefits of multi-resolution have already been demonstrated in solvers employing wavelets or hierarchical splines. Our framework unifies these earlier ideas and generalizes them to a broad setting independent of domain topology, dimension and tesselation, and approximation accuracy and smoothness. The basic principle of our approach is to refine basis functions, not mesh elements. This removes a number implementation headaches associated with classical mesh refinement. We demonstrate the versatility of our new approach through 2D and 3D examples, including medical applications and thin-shell animations.

Time permitting, I will present ongoing work on a discrete model for thin shells.
*
* *
*
Special CAT Colloquium
May 2003

Monday, May 19th
3 p.m.
719 Broadway, 12th Floor Large Conference Room

Zoran Popovic,
University of Washington


Title: Control Problems in Computer Animation
The first part of the talk will describe some of our recent efforts in control of both passive and active complex dynamic behaviors. I will describe a novel framework for control of fluid simulations aimed at keyframing realistic smoke animations. I will also describe an algorithm for synthesis of realistic bird flight along a specified trajectory. Our framework can generate flight motions for different birds performing various flight maneuvers including takeoff, cruising, rapid descent, turns, and landing.

In the second part of the talk, I will describe our recent parameterization of the space of all human body shapes, as well as some interesting explorations of this space.

Time permitting, I will also present an intuitive animation system where complex character motion is created by layering multiple passes of acting. Since the animator simply acts out all aspects of the motion, the system has a minimal learning curve. Our experiments indicate that of this system can be effectively used for staging, and rapid prototyping of multi-character animations.

The four results presented in this talk will be published at SIGGRAPH 2003 later this year.
*
* *
*
CAT/MRL Seminar
May 2003

Monday, June 2nd
1 p.m.
719 Broadway, 12th Floor Large Conference Room

Fredo Durand,
MIT


Title: Billboard Clouds for Extreme Model Simplification
We introduce billboard clouds -- a new approach for extreme simplification in the context of real-time rendering. 3D models are simplified onto a set of planes with texture and transparency maps. We present an optimization approach to build a billboard cloud given a geometric error threshold. After computing an appropriate density function in plane space, a greedy approach is used to select suitable representative planes. A good surface approximation is ensured by favoring planes that are ``nearly tangent'' to the model. This method does not require connectivity information, but instead avoids cracks by projecting primitives onto multiple planes when needed. For extreme simplification, our approach combines the strengths of mesh decimation and image-based impostors. We demonstrate our technique on a large class of models, including smooth manifolds and composite objects.
*
* *
*
Special CAT Colloquium
June 2003

Monday, July 14, 2003
2 pm
719 Broadway, 12th Floor Large Conference Room

Paul Debevec,
Research Assistant Professor
University of Southern California
Institute for Creative Technologies
http://www.debevec.org/


Title: Capturing and Reproducing Photoreal Lighting and Reflectance
ABSTRACT
In this talk I will present a technique for estimating the spatially-varying reflectance properties of a surface based on its appearance during a single pass of a linear light source. By using a linear light rather than a point light source as the illuminant, we are able to reliably observe and estimate the diffuse color, specular color, and specular roughness of each point of the surface. The reflectometry apparatus we use is simple and inexpensive to build, requiring a single direction of motion for the light source and a fixed camera viewpoint. Additionally our system records a per-pixel height map for the object and estimates its per-pixel translucency. We produce real-time renderings of the captured objects using a custom hardware shading algorithm. We apply the technique to a test object exhibiting a variety of materials as well as to an illuminated manuscript with gold lettering.

I will also present some of our group's recent work in capturing spatially-varying real-world lighting, an extension of our light probe techniques, as well as our latest research on the Light Stage project involving accurately reproducing lighting with complex spectra.

This is joint work with Andrew Gardner, Andreas Wenger, Jonas Unger, Tim Hawkins, and Chris Tchou. Links to the relevant papers are at:
http://www.ict.usc.edu/~gardner/siggy2003/llsIndex.html http://www.debevec.org/Research/ILF/ http://www.ict.usc.edu/~wenger/egsr2003/cmlr.ht

About the Speaker:
Paul Debevec received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 1996 where he worked with C.J. Taylor and Jitendra Malik to produce Facade, an influential image-based modeling and rendering system for creating photoreal architectural models from still photographs. His work with high dynamic range imagery (HDRI) and image-based lighting has been incorporated into commercial rendering systems such as LightWave and RenderMan and has influenced recent advancements graphics hardware. Techniques from Debevec's animations "The Campanile Movie", "Rendering with Natural Light", and "Fiat Lux" have been used in films including "The Matrix", "X-Men", and "The Time Machine". In 2001 Paul received ACM SIGGRAPH's first Significant New Researcher award and in 2002 was named one of the world's top 100 young innovators by MIT's Technology Review Magazine for his work involving the Light Stage. Debevec leads the computer graphics research group at USC's Institute for Creative Technologies and is a Research Assistant Professor in USC's computer science department.
*
* *
*
Special CAT Colloquium
July 2003

Monday, July 21, 2003
3 pm
719 Broadway, 12th Floor Large Conference Room

Byoungho Lee,
Associate Professor, School of Electrical Engineering, Seoul National University, Korea


Title: Integral Imaging (Integral Photography) for Three-Dimensional Display
ABSTRACT
The integral imaging, which used to be called integral photography, is a quite old technology. But recently it became to attract much attention because it can realize dynamic three-dimensional color 3D display without any special glasses. The technology can implement 3D display with full parallax in both horizontal and vertical directions within some viewing angle (continuous viewing points, not discrete points). But typically the integral imaging has some limitations in image depth, viewing angle and resolution. In this talk, the speaker introduces some technologies developed in Seoul National University to mitigate some limitations. The technologies include the variable depth integral imaging that can realize both real and virtual images, reflection type integral imaging for projection 3D display, moving-barrier integral imaging for multiple viewing zones, and polarization-switching integral imaging for enhanced viewing angle.

About the speaker:
Dr. Lee received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in 1987 and 1989, respectively, from Seoul National University in Electronics Engineering. He received his Ph.D. degree in 1993 from University of California at Berkeley in EECS. In 1994 he joined the School of Electrical Engineering, Seoul National University as a faculty member, where he is currently an associate professor. In 1999 his laboratory was honored as a National Research Laboratory (in holography technologies) by the Ministry of Science and Technology of Korea. He became a Senior Member of IEEE in 2000 and a Fellow of SPIE in 2002. In 2002, he received the Young Scientist Award from the President of Korea. His research fields are three-dimensional display, holography applications and optical fiber grating devices for sensors and optical communications. He has published about 100 international journal papers and about 160 international conference papers including 18 invited papers.
*
* *
*
Special CAT Colloquium
September 2003

Wednesday, September 24, 2003
10 am
719 Broadway, 12th Floor Large Conference Room

Marc Smith,
Microsoft Research

Title: Mapping conversational social cyberspaces

Abstract:
Got threads? Participation in online conversational threads is a widespread phenomena. Conversational social cyberspaces are repositories of messages organized into chains of turns and replies. These spaces are among the most popular aspects of online usage. Online conversation spaces like email lists, newsgroups, and web boards, are rich social environments that are increasingly important spaces for civic discourse. Most conversational social cyberspaces suffer from the problem of "too much" and are vulnerable to disruption by a small minority. Sociological studies of these spaces are hampered by the limits of existing tools and interfaces. Social cyberspaces are in their early development and still lack many elements of the infrastructure of physical interaction spaces.

Information about basic social properties of online environments, their size, activity, and composition of their populations, for example, are entirely missing or difficult to construct with existing tools. Mutual awareness is a necessary component of most social institutions. In its absence many social cyberspaces become noisy conflictual spaces of limited value. Tools for navigating and evaluating the content found in social cyberspaces that are based on the analysis of social history can help support social institutions by encouraging accountability and highlighting the future value of identity and reputation. Built on mutual awareness, the resulting institutions may be more resistant to invasion and disruption. These tools serve the additional function of providing analysts with empirical data that covers a broad scope of social cyberspaces, allowing the formation of maps and measures that can answer basic questions about the dynamics, structure and variation of these novel interaction environments.

This talk will review recent work from the Microsoft Research Community Technologies Group, including the Netscan project that implements social accounting tools for the complete public Usenet newsgroup space.

BIO:
Marc A. Smith
www.research.microsoft.com/~masmith
http://netscan.research.microsoft.com

Marc Smith is a research sociologist at Microsoft Research specializing in the social organization of online communities. He leads the Community Technologies Group at MSR. He is the co-editor of _Communities in Cyberspace_ (Routledge), a collection of essays exploring the ways identity, interaction and social order develop in online groups.

Smith's research focuses on the ways group dynamics change when they take place in social cyberspaces. Many groups in cyberspace produce public goods and organize themselves in the form of a commons (for related papers see: http://www.research.microsoft.com/~masmith). Smith's goal is to visualize these social cyberspaces, mapping and measuring their structure, dynamics and life cycles. He has developed a web interface http://netscan.research.microsoft.com) to the "Netscan" engine that allows researchers studying Usenet newsgroups to get reports on the rates of posting, posters, crossposting, thread length and frequency distributions of activity. This research offers a means to gather historical data on the development of social cyberspaces and can be used to highlight the ways these groups differ from, or are similar to, face-to-face groups. Smith is applying this work to the development of a generalized community platform for Microsoft, providing a web based system for groups of all sizes to discuss and publish their material to the web.

Smith received a B.S. in International Area Studies from Drexel University in Philadelphia in 1988, an M.Phil. in social theory from Cambridge University in 1990, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from UCLA in 2001.
*
* *
*
Special CAT Colloquium
October 2003

Thursday October 2nd, 2003
1 pm
719 Broadway, 12th Floor Large Conference Room

Eric Singer
Title: Robots, MIDI, Pyrotechnics and Assorted Mayhem

Eric Singer will present a history of his work in music, art and technology. A former researcher at the CAT, Eric has gone on to found both the Madagascar Institute, a Brooklyn guerilla arts group, and LEMUR, an art/tech group creating musical robots. Along the way, he has created numerous projects in the areas of alternative controllers, interactive performance systems, integrated music/graphics systems, networked multimedia environments and computer-controlled pyrotechnics.
*
* *
*
Special CAT Colloquium
October 2003

Friday October 17th, 2003
3 pm
719 Broadway, 12th Floor Large Conference Room

Michael Cohen
Senior Researcher, Microsoft Research


Finding Beauty in an Image Stack
Digital photography provides a new freedom over traditional film. Images are almost free. Pixels within images are quickly becoming more plentiful. But aside from increasing the chances that at least one snapshot of scene will be a good one, few tools have been built to help the photographer find the beauty lying in the whole stack of images.

Artists have always found ways in many media to create beauty and meaning from their observations. This talk will draw its inspiration from the art world to aid in the development of a set of new tools for combining multiple images. These include combining images of one or more scenes taken from multiple angles, at multiple times, under different lighting conditions, or exposures. Newly developed technologies (high dynamic range, graph cut, Poisson blending) will be discussed that provide increasing possibilities both for the artist and for the casual photographer.

Bio:
Michael F. Cohen , Senior Researcher, joined Microsoft Research in 1994 from Princeton University where he served on the faculty of Computer Science. Michael received The 1998 SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award for his contributions to the Radiosity method for image synthesis. Dr. Cohen also served as paper's chair for SIGGRAPH '98.

Michael received his Ph.D. in 1992 from the University of Utah. He also holds undergraduate degrees in Art and Civil Engineering from Beloit College and Rutgers University respectively, and an M.S. in Computer Graphics from Cornell. Dr. Cohen also served on the Architecture faculty at Cornell University and was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Utah. His work at the University of Utah focused on spacetime control for linked figure animation. He is perhaps better known for his work on the radiosity method for realistic image synthesis as discussed in his recent book "Radiosity and Image Synthesis" (co-authored by John R. Wallace). Michael has published and presented his work internationally in these areas.

At Microsoft, Dr. Cohen has worked on a number of projects ranging from image based rendering, to animation, to camera control, to more artistic non-photorealistic rendering. One project focuses on the problem of image based rendering; capturing the complete flow of light from an object for later rendering from arbitrary vantage points. This work, dubbed "The Lumigraph" is analogous to creating a digital hologram. He has since extended this work through the construction of "Layered Depth Images" that allow manipulation on a PC. Michael also is continuing his work on linked figure animation. He and colleagues have focusing on means to allow simulated creatures to portray their emotional state, and to automatically transition between verbs. Recent work also includes creating new methods for non-photorealistic rendering, low bandwidth teleconferencing, technologies for combining a set of "image stacks", as well as developing new approaches to the low level stereo vision.

His work can be found at:
http://www.research.microsoft.com/~cohen
*
* *
*
Special CAT Colloquium
November 2003

Friday, 11/21, 2003
1 pm
719 Broadway, 12th Floor *SMALL* Conference Room

Dr. Vic Nalwa
President, FullView
Title- Panoramic Cameras: Designs and Applications
Panoramic photographs have long held a fascination for both photographers and the public at large, this fascination dating almost to the very invention of photography in 1827.

Of late, this interest has been reinvigorated by three technological trends: ever improving digital imaging, which allows the rapid capture of high-quality digital images; ever improving digital computing, which allows the rapid creation of and manipulation of digital panoramic images; and, finally, ever improving digital communication, which allows the rapid transmittal of digital panoramic images, in whole or in part, between different physical locations.

Although the optics of the various techniques currently used for panoramic photography are mature, advances in digital imaging, computing, and communication have made possible implementations and applications that were hitherto infeasible. I shall discuss both.
*
* *
*
Special CAT Colloquium
November 2003

Monday, November 24th, 2003
12:00 noon
719 Broadway, 12th Floor Large Conference Room

Jaron Lanier
scientist with SGI

Title:
Phenotropics, or Prospects for Protocol-adverse Computing

Abstract:
Whenever we pass a variable to a function, or send a message to an object, we're simulating the sending of pulses down a wire. The way that works is the sender and receiver agree in advance on a format that makes the pulses interpretable, also known as a protocol. Protocols aren't the only way information can travel between places, however. When a physical coffee mug sits on a table, it's possible to imagine that there's a protocol that exists between the two things, but it's an awkward way to think. And yet that's what we often do when we try to build scalable simulations of the world. We can end up with a "coffee mug module" connected to a "table module" via a protocol. In the early years of computing, many researchers wished that the world was a little more like a protocol, so that would be easier to interface computers to it. Early natural language researchers, for instance, were unhappy to find that it wasn't so. What happened instead was that processors eventually became powerful enough to run pattern classification algorithms that could gather information even though the world didn't agree with us in advance on a format. Some examples are face recognition and feature tracking, voice recognition, and scene understanding. The idea of phenotropics is to use similar pattern recognition techniques to connect software modules together inside the computer. Hopefully systems built in that way will display more informative failure modes, and therefore be more amenable to adaptive improvement. Another potential benefit is that scientific simulations might not be distorted by protocols (as in the example of the coffee mug on the table), and might be more easily integrated into a new iteration of the scientific method in which they could be usefully published, tested, and reused.

BIO:
Jaron Lanier is a computer scientist best known for coining the term "Virtual Reality". He is currently Visiting Scientist at SGI, and recently served as Chief Scientist for Advanced Network and Services, the engineering office of Internet2, a coalition of American research universities sharing an experimental next generation network. While there, he lead the Nation Tele-immersion Initiative, which was responsible for providing the "driver" applications for Internet2.
www.jaronlanier.com
*
* *
*
Email
For additional information, contact: info@cat.nyu.edu


*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
November
*
*
October
*
*
September
*
*
July
*
*
June
*
*
May
*
*
April
*
*
March
*
*
February
*
*
January
*
*
*
*
 
*
*
*
Nystar
*
NYU CAT