Friday March 26, 2010

Dr. Katherine Kuchenbecker and her students are attending the IEEE Haptics Symposium Conference in Boston this week. The IEEE Spectrum has highlighted one of their hands-on haptics projects, "Tactile Gaming Vest Punches and Slices".

Presenter: Weichuan Yu (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Wednesday April 7, 2010 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm

* Alternate Location: Levine 512 (3330 Walnut Street)*

In ultrasound image-based tissue deformation analysis, feature-motion decorrelation causes feature tracking results fail to represent the underlying true tissue deformation. We propose a new coupled filtering method to solve the feature-motion decorrelation problem. After explicitly modeling image variations caused by tissue deformation, we filter the image before tissue deformation and the warped image after tissue deformation with a pair of filters, respectively. We show through theoretical derivation that the two filtered images are identical to each other.

Presenter's Biography:

Weichuan Yu received his Ph.D. degree in Computer Vision and Image Analysis from University Kiel, Germany in 2001.  He was a postdoctoral associate at Yale University from 2001 to 2004, and a research faculty member in the Center for Statistical Genomics and Proteomics at Yale University from 2004 to 2006. Since August 2006, he has been with the faculty in the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

He is interested in computational analysis problems with biological and medical applications. He has published around 50 journal articles and referred conference papers on a variety of topics including bioinformatics, computational biology, biomedical imaging, signal processing, pattern recognition and computer vision. He was the recipient of the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Center) Fellowship.

Presenter: Fernando De la Torre (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Thursday March 25, 2010 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm

* Alternate Location: Levine 307 (3330 Walnut Street)*

Providing computers with the ability to understand human behavior from sensory data (e.g. video, audio, or wearable sensors) is an essential part of many applications that can benefit society such as clinical diagnosis, human computer interaction, and social robotics. A critical element in the design of any behavioral sensing system is to find a good representation of the data for encoding, segmenting, classifying and predicting subtle human behavior. In this talk I will propose several extensions of Component Analysis (CA) techniques (e.g.

Presenter's Biography:

Fernando De la Torre received his B.Sc. degree in Telecommunications (1994), M.Sc. (1996), and Ph. D. (2002) degrees in Electronic Engineering from La Salle School of Engineering in Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain. In 1997 and 2000 he was an Assistant and Associate Professor in the Department of Communications and Signal Theory in Enginyeria La Salle. Since 2005 he has been a Research Assistant Professor in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. De la Torre's research interests include computer vision and machine learning, in particular face analysis, optimization and component analysis methods, and its applications to human sensing. Dr. De la Torre co-organized the first workshop on component analysis methods for modeling, classification and clustering problems in computer vision in conjunction with CVPR'07, and the workshop on human sensing from video jointly with CVPR'06. He has also given several tutorials at international conferences (ECCV'06, CVPR'06, ICME'07, ICPR'08) on the use and extensions of component analysis methods. Currently he leads the Component Analysis Laboratory ( and the Human Sensing Laboratory (

Presenter: Larry Matthies (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Wednesday March 10, 2010 from 12:00pm to 1:30pm

* Alternate Location: Levine 307 (3330 Walnut Street)*

The main research focus in the Computer Vision Group at JPL is visual navigation for unmanned vehicles, including ground, sea, and air vehicles on Earth and rovers and landers in planetary exploration.

Presenter's Biography:

Larry Matthies obtained a PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1989, then moved to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he has supervised the Computer Vision Group since 1997.  His research interests focus on visual navigation for unmanned vehicles.  This started with a primary focus on 3D perception, egomotion estimation, and multi-sensor terrain classification for unmanned ground vehicles in static environments, and has gradually broadened to include perception of dynamic environments, unmanned sea and air vehicles, and safe and precise landing in planetary exploration.  He and his group developed the stereo vision, visual odometry, and lander velocity estimation algorithms used by the Mars Exploration Rovers.  He is also a member of the editorial boards for Autonomous Robots and the Journal of Field Robotics and an Adjunct Professor in Computer Science at the University of Southern California.

Presenter: P. S. Krishnaprasad (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Friday March 26, 2010 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

Geometric methods in control theory have had a useful role in the investigation of problems of collective behavior. In this talk, we discuss recent progress in understanding nonlinear phenomena in small networks governed by feedback control laws that fall in the category of pursuit laws. Depending on the choice of pursuit law, it is possible to discern Hamiltonian and dissipative characteristics in the closed loop dynamics.

Presenter's Biography:

Since receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard University, P. S. Krishnaprasad has taught at Case Western Reserve University (1977-1980) and the University of Maryland (1980- present). His research interests are in control, signal processing, robotics, and connections of these subjects to biology. In recent work, he has concentrated on questions pertaining to collective behavior in nature and machines.

Tuesday February 16, 2010

Ben Taskar has been awarded the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan 2010 Research Fellowship Award in the field of Computer Science.

Event Date(s):
  Thursday February 25, 2010 at 2:00pm

Spring 2010 MEAM Seminar

Thursday, February 25, 2:00 P.M., Towne 337

Hosted by: Katherine Kuchenbecker

Micron:  An Active Handheld Micromanipulator

Wednesday February 3, 2010

GRASP Lab participates in the National Robotics Week, exact date to be announced. Details in

Presenter: Ko Nishino (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Friday February 19, 2010 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

Images contain much more information than seen at first glance. Whether they are apparent to the naked eyes or not, they encode the intrinsic structures,

Presenter's Biography:

Ko Nishino is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at Drexel University. He received a B.E. and an M.E. in Information and
Communication Engineering (ECE) in 1997 and 1999, respectively, and a PhD in Computer Science in 2002, all from The University of Tokyo. Before joining Drexel University in 2005, he was a Postdoctoral Research Scientist in the Computer Science Department at Columbia University. His primary research interests lie in computer vision and include appearance modeling and synthesis, geometry processing, and video analysis. His work on exploiting eye reflections received considerable media attention including articles in New York Times, Newsweek, and NewScientist. He received the NSF CAREER award in 2008.

Presenter: Reza Ghaemi

Event Dates:
  Thursday January 28, 2010 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

* Alternate Location: Levine 307 (3330 Walnut Street)*

Addressing computational issues in Model Predictive Control (MPC) is critical in making MPC applicable for systems with fast dynamics and limited computational resources. One MPC implementation strategy which alleviates computational demands is to approximate the MPC optimal control solution by a nominal solution (often pre-computed or computed off-line) and a perturbation solution. For systems without constraints, an optimal perturbation analysis has been well developed in the literature.

Presenter's Biography:

Reza Ghaemi received the B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran, in 1998 and 2001, respectively. From 2001 to 2004, he conducted research on control and monitoring of power electronic systems at the Power Research Institute, Tehran, Iran. He is presently a graduate research assistant in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. His research interests include
optimal control theory and model predictive control.