Monthly Archives: March 2014

Congratulations to Jiangyang Zhang for passing His Defense

Congratulations to Jiangyang Zhang for passing his defense on March 24th. Jiangyang’s PhD thesis title is “Advanced Visual Processing Techniques for Latent Fingerprint Detection and Video Retargeting,” and his thesis committee includes: Jay Kuo (Chair), Sandy Sawchuk and Aichiro Nakano (Outside Member). All committee members were greatly impressed by Jiangyang’s excellent presentation, beautiful slides, and well-organized contents. The two main chapters of his thesis have already been published in IEEE Trans. on Information Forensics and Security and IEEE Trans. on Image Processing. The last chapter will be submitted to a top-ranked conference.

After his graduation, Jiangyang will close up his startup, start looking for jobs and hopefully soon move to San Francisco, a place where he truly feels belong to. In summer 2014, together with some friends he will spend about 2 months biking across America, 3800 miles, from San Francisco to Washington DC. He is doing this not only for achieving his own dream, but also for supporting “Free lunch for Children”, a charity campaign in China ( For more details about his motivation and action plans, please visit:

By |March 29th, 2014|News|Comments Off on Congratulations to Jiangyang Zhang for passing His Defense|
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    Ultra-High Definition (UHD) Video Acquisition, Process and Display System Installed at MCL

Ultra-High Definition (UHD) Video Acquisition, Process and Display System Installed at MCL

Moving from HD to Ultra HD (UHD) has become a trend in the display industry as UHDTV systems can provide better user experience such as stronger sensations of reality and superior picture quality. In SMPTE 2013 symposium, it is forecasted that the shipments of UHDTV sets are expected to reach four million units by 2017.

Act as one of the leading groups in video processing research, MCL lab is currently one of the pioneers in exploring UHD video processing technology. The lab has setup a UHD display with high performance playback system. The purpose of the system is to provide the playback of 4K UHD (i.e., 3840×2160 resolution) raw video data in real-time: 60 frame/sec at minimum and up to 120 frames/sec. Besides, to address the concern that a lack of native UHD contents will limit the research, a professional UHD acquisition system will also be available in the lab soon. We expect that this UHD system can help us create more research topics and produce more UHD contents for the researchers who are interested in the technology of video processing.

The UHD system in MCL lab:

Acquisition: Sony 4K professional handheld camcorder
Display: 65” Samsung 4K Ultra HD Smart TV
Playback: High performance Dell Precision workstation supporting 4K raw video playback up to 120 FPS

By |March 23rd, 2014|News|Comments Off on Ultra-High Definition (UHD) Video Acquisition, Process and Display System Installed at MCL|
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    Prof. Kuo Being Appointed as Dean’s Professor in Electrical Engineering Systems

Prof. Kuo Being Appointed as Dean’s Professor in Electrical Engineering Systems

The MCL Director, Prof. Jay Kuo, has recently been appointed as the Dean’s Professor in Electrical Engineering Systems in recognition of his outstanding academic achievements.

Prof. Kuo said, “This is a great honor by considering that there are so many outstanding faculty members in our Department. I appreciate very much the recognition by Dean Yortsos and the Dean’s Professor Selection Committee for what I have achieved in the last 25 years at USC. Actually, this honor should be shared by all alumni and current students in the Media Communications Lab since I would not be able to do much alone without the dedicated efforts of the whole team. It is my privilege to be able to work with so many talented PhD students.”

Besides scholarly publication, Prof. Kuo is most well-known for his two major contributions. First, Prof. Kuo has guided 120 students to their PhD degrees, which places him as the top advisor in the Mathematics Genealogy Project. Second, Prof. Kuo is tightly connected to the IT industry and has received about 150 funded research projects from 60+ industrial companies. His well-trained PhD students are extremely popular in the high tech industry.

Congratulation to Prof. Jay Kuo for this well-deserved honor!

By |March 15th, 2014|News|Comments Off on Prof. Kuo Being Appointed as Dean’s Professor in Electrical Engineering Systems|

MCL Students Attended Google LA PhD Summit

The Google LA PhD Summit 2014 was held on February 14th at Google LA site. Jian Li, Hao Xu, Jia He and Xin Zhang from MCL attended the event. They were invited to several events from Google including a keynote talk “Music Understanding”, presentations about “Large-Scale Machine Learning”, “Language Understanding”, “Chrome Security” and “Vision + Quantum”. Besides, they had a good chance to talk with leading Google PhDs, and got the opportunities to meet with Google engineers and project managers.


During the information session, engineers from Google mainly introduced researching differences between academia and Google. Two key differences are about available resources and the motivation of the research. Firstly, Google has the most powerful computer center, which offers almost infinite computation resources. They can train very complicated models, adopt more training samples, and obtain results almost instantly with the help from Google. This is crucial for current computer vision research. Secondly, as of motivation, researchers have no pressure on the quantity of publication. Instead, the quality of the publication plays more important role when they publish papers. Additionally, Google has no limit on sharing the work to research community, but they prefer to share the practical work instead of theories only. Several research scientists pointed out that they fundamentally traded the community work to coding when they move from academia to Google.


Besides, they have learned more about the ongoing research work in Google. Hartwig Adam, who is the technical lead manager of the Visual Search team in LA office, shared his work there. His team is focusing on developing computer vision algorithms and a scalable computer vision application such as image and video searching, data mining. He also works for Google Goggles and Glass. They [...]

By |March 9th, 2014|News|Comments Off on MCL Students Attended Google LA PhD Summit|

Interview with Visiting Scholar Prof. Wen-Jiin Tsai

Prof. Wen-Jiin Tsai began her term as Visiting Scholar in Media Communications Lab since August 2013. She received Ph.D and B.S. degrees in Computer Science from National Chiao Tung University (NCTU). Since 2011, Prof. Wen-Jiin Tsai has been an Associate Professor in NCTU. She took the time to answer some questions about her research.

Could you share your research experience and interest with us?

Before joining NCTU, I have eight years working experience in the industry. I was a senior manager of software department in Zinwell Corporation, and I was in charge of software development for digital TV receivers, which include receiving satellite, cable and terrestrial signals. However, because of family issue, I decided to move to NCTU as an Assistant Professor in 2005, and I became an Associate Professor later in 2011. My research interests include video codec, video streaming, digital TV, and video analysis. In addition, I also teach Digital TV system design and some undergraduate courses in Computer Science department.

During your time as a visiting scholar in MCL, what has been the focus of your work?

Continued from my research field, my research topic here is “perceptual lossless HD/UHD video coding”, which is the same one with another visiting scholar, Dr. Kim. The objective of this project is to amplify the coding efficiency and perceptual quality during compression, so that viewers can receive best visual quality under fixed constraint.

Besides, a graduate student, Qin Huang, in MCL that worked with me in this project has caught my attention; he is responsible and hard-working; I am impressed by his attitude and dedication toward the task assigned to him. It is a great experience to work with such a high-quality student, and I am also amazed by [...]

By |March 3rd, 2014|News|Comments Off on Interview with Visiting Scholar Prof. Wen-Jiin Tsai|