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Colloquium Series

Once every week while school is in session, EECS invites a distinguished researcher or practitioner in a computer science or electrical and computer engineering-related field to present their ideas and/or work. Talks are generally targeted to electrical engineering and computer science graduate students. This colloquium series is free and open to everyone.

Upcoming Colloquia

Towards Querying and Mining of Big - Graphs

Thursday, February 26, 2015 - 10:00am to 11:00am
KEC 1007
Speaker Information
Arijit Khan
Post-doctorate Researcher
Systems Group
ETH Zurich

Given a massive network of interconnected entities such as the Google knowledge graph, how can a user search for an activity at a child-friendly tourist-attraction site inside the New York City that is also close to an Asian restaurant? Freebase that powers Google’s knowledge graph alone has over 22 million entities and 350 million relationships in about 5428 domains. Before users can query anything meaningful over this data, they are often overwhelmed by the daunting task of attempting to even digest and understand it.

Speaker Bio
Speaker Biography: 

Arijit Khan is a post-doctorate researcher in the Systems group at ETH Zurich. His research interests span in the area of big-data, big-graphs, and graph systems. He received his PhD from the Department of Computer Science, University of California, Santa Barbara. His PhD dissertation was focused on efficiently answering queries in large-scale social and information networks that are noisy and often lack a fixed schema. Arijit is the recipient of the prestigious IBM PhD Fellowship in 2012-13. He published several papers in premier database and data-mining conferences including SIGMOD, VLDB, ICDE, SDM, and EDBT. Arijit co-presented tutorials on emerging graph queries and big-graph systems at ICDE 2012 and VLDB 2014, and served in the program committee of KDD, ICDM, EDBT, BDMR, and SIGMOD best demo selection committee. Arijit is serving as the co-chair of Big-O(Q) workshop to be co-located with VLDB 2015.

The Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) – Background, Technology & Challenges

Friday, February 27, 2015 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
KEC 1001
Speaker Information
Michael Thorburn
Former Head
ALMA Department of Engineering & Joint ALMA Observatory Project Manager (Presently at DIRECTV)

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in partnership with the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) has completed the construction the largest and most capable earth-based astronomical project in the world. The Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) is located at five kilometers above sea level in the Andes Mountains in northern Chile’s Atacama Desert.

Speaker Bio
Speaker Biography: 

Michael Thorburn was Head of the ALMA Department of Engineering from 2011 through 2013 and was the Joint ALMA Observatory Project Manager from 2012 through 2013. In those roles, he was responsible for overall coordination of the construction and commissioning activities that were conducted together with the North American, European and Japanese Project Managers and for optimizing and implementing the engineering operation including all radio-telescope systems and infrastructure. Michael presently is a Sr. Director of Communications Systems Engineering at DIRECTV within the Space and Communications Group. He has a broad range of experience from the space science and aerospace engineering sectors in the United States, including several years at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Space Systems/Loral.

Visual understanding of human actions

Thursday, March 5, 2015 - 10:00am to 11:00am
KEC 1007
Speaker Information
Hamed Pirsiavash
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

The aim of computer vision is to develop algorithms for computers to “see” and understand the world as humans do. Central to this goal is understanding human behavior; for instance, in order for a robot to interact with humans, it should understand our actions to produce the desirable response. As such, my work explores several directions in computationally representing and understanding human actions.

Speaker Bio
Speaker Biography: 

Hamed Pirsiavash is a postdoctoral research associate at MIT working with Prof. Antonio Torralba. He obtained his PhD at the University of California Irvine under the supervision of Prof. Deva Ramanan. He does research in the intersection of computer vision and machine learning, more specifically in understanding human actions.

First-Person Activity Recognition: Understanding Videos from One's Own Viewpoint

Friday, March 6, 2015 - 9:00am to 10:00am
KEC 1007
Speaker Information
Michael S. Ryoo
Research Staff
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

We are entering the era of big video data where cameras are ubiquitous. In particular, the amount of videos from wearable cameras and robots is explosively rising. These videos, taken from an actor's own viewpoint, are called 'first-person videos' or 'egocentric videos'. Millions of individuals are already recording their lives using wearable cameras and, soon, robots in public places will obtain similar videos capturing their operations and interactions in the world.

Speaker Bio
Speaker Biography: 

Michael S. Ryoo is a research staff at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. His research interests are in computer vision and robotics, including semantic understanding of video data, first-person vision, and intelligent interaction/collaboration between humans and wearbles/robots. Dr. Ryoo received the B.S. degree in computer science from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in 2004, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006 and 2008, respectively. He has authored a number of pioneering papers on human activity recognition, has been providing tutorials on activity recognition at major computer vision conferences including CVPR 2011, AVSS 2012, and CVPR 2014, and is the corresponding author of the activity recognition survey paper published by ACM Computing Surveys on 2011. He organized the first ICPR contest on human activity recognition (SDHA 2010) and the 3rd workshop on Egocentric Vision at CVPR 2014.

Past Colloquia

There are no speakers currently scheduled.