Cyberspace Arriving: Using Computer Vision to Reconstruct and Connect Space
Guest Speaker: Blaise Aguera y Arcas, Microsoft Architect, MSN and Virtual Earth; co-creator, Photosynth
Date: May 22nd, 2009 Time: 11am-Noon Location: Calit2 Auditorium, Atkinson Hall, UC San Diego [webcast] Host: David Kleinfeld, Physics and Serge Belongie, CSE
DESCRIPTION/ABSTRACT: For the past 15 years, computer graphics has been coming of age, moving from the lab to a commodity on the desktop, notebook, and now the mobile phone. Much of graphics can be described as the rendition of three-dimensional models as two-dimensional images. Its inverse problem, computer vision, concerns the reconstruction of three-dimensional environments from two-dimensional images, and -- like most inverse problems -- is much harder. We are now in a transitional period, with vision techniques beginning to break out of the well-controlled environment of the lab, with its calibrated cameras and powerful workstations, and into the real world of cheap digital cameras and pocket-sized computers. With the combined capabilities of vision and graphics, we finally have the tools to realize the mirror world envisioned by authors who popularized the idea of 'cyberspace'. After surveying computer vision techniques and seminal results, we'll review the algorithms underlying Photosynth, a tool allowing one to reconstruct 3D from digital photography, and chart its convergence with mapping and Virtual Earth.
This talk is a joint Calit2-Institute for Neural Computation-Biological Physics Seminar at UC San Diego.
SPEAKER BIO: Blaise Aguera y Arcas is the Architect of MSN and Virtual Earth at Microsoft. He works in a variety of roles, from designer and coder to strategist. He joined the company when his startup company, Seadragon, was acquired by Microsoft's advanced R&D organization, Live Labs, in 2006.
Shortly after the acquisition of Seadragon, Blaise directed his team in a collaboration with the University of Washington and Microsoft Research, leading to the first public previews of Photosynth several months later. The Photosynth software/service launched on August 20, 2009. Blaise's background is in applied math. He has worked in a variety of fields, including computational neuroscience and the computational analysis of early printing.