Monthly Archives: April 2014

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    Professor Kuo Received Two Distinguished Teaching/Mentorship Awards

Professor Kuo Received Two Distinguished Teaching/Mentorship Awards

The MCL Director, Professor Kuo, received two distinguished awards for his contributions in graduate students teaching and mentorship this week – the 2014 Northrop Grumman Excellence in Teaching Award and a 2014 Mellon Faculty Mentoring Graduate Students Award.

The Northrop Grumman Award was announced during the Viterbi School of Engineering annual award luncheon at the USC Town and Gown on April 22, 12-2pm. The Mellon Award ceremony was held, in the Vineyard Room at the USC Davidson Conference Center on April 24, 4:30-6pm.

Prof. Kuo said, “In my 25-year academic career at USC, nothing has been more rewarding than serving as a mentor for a large variety of talented and hard-working graduate students.” He further added, “What mentorship attempts to accomplish is not only to nurture a maturing researcher, but also to mold a decent and respectable person in our society. In this sense, a mentor is like a pot maker. We have a responsibility to shape the values and perspectives of our students. A mentor is fundamentally a role model for mentees. Although what we say is important, both who we are and what we do are much more important.”

In his personal letter to Prof. Kuo, Dean Yannis C. Yortsos of the Viterbi School of Engineering wrote, “This honor is a great testament to your role in creating a culture of mentoring in USC Viterbi and demonstrating the commitment to nurture the new generation of scholars. On behalf of the entire Viterbi family, I wanted you to know how proud we are of your many accomplishments.”

Congratulations to Prof. Kuo for his distinguished achievements and received honorable recognition by both the Mellon Foundation and the Northrop Grumman Corporation.

By |April 27th, 2014|News|Comments Off on Professor Kuo Received Two Distinguished Teaching/Mentorship Awards|
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    Media Communications Lab Begins Research Projects with Google Glass

Media Communications Lab Begins Research Projects with Google Glass

Google Glass provides a great foundation for developing various Computer Vision algorithms and applications. Our group is now actively working on a number of different problems and has several pending algorithms to be implemented on this exciting platform.

One objective is to perform landmark recognition, object recognition, and facial recognition. These applications can help people in numerous aspects of their lives, ranging from tourist navigation to hardware training. With object detection and augmented reality, we can provide tools to train junior engineers with visual instruction instead of verbal guidance. We believe this could effectively improve the quality of training while reducing its cost.

Google Glass is also a promising venue in the application of information retrieval. In an ideal scenario, Glass would be able to pull up information on whatever the viewer sees. Traveling to a new place would mean automatically recognizing it and displaying pertinent local information, such as nearby restaurants or places of interest. Catching a glimpse of a movie poster would allow instant identification of the movie and an option to play the trailer. There are no limits in application, but important challenges exist throughout the process of recognition, retrieval, curation, and display of such content.

One final computer vision application our group is particularly interested in is visual saliency detection, which tries to detect where humans look in an image or video. Automated visual saliency detectors attempt to extract the regions that humans are interested in and are a fundamental process for many other computer vision applications, such as object detection and image retrieval. While Glass has no tracking of the human eye, it does provide an insight into this problem by capturing the motion of a person’s gaze as it turns to [...]

By |April 20th, 2014|News|Comments Off on Media Communications Lab Begins Research Projects with Google Glass|
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    12th Pratt & Whitney Institute for Collaborative Engineering Board Meeting

  • PWICE board meeting visit mirabel

12th Pratt & Whitney Institute for Collaborative Engineering Board Meeting

On Wednesday, April 3rd, 2014 the board of directors for the Pratt-Whitney Institute for Collaborative Engineering (PWICE) met for an annual discussion of current and future projects between UTC Pratt-Whitney, Korean Airlines, USC, and Inha University. Viterbi School of Engineering Dean Yannis Yortsos represented USC at the meeting along with Director of Corporate and Foundations Relations Hossein Pourmand. Also in attendance were Media Communications Lab’s Dr. Jay Kuo and Ph.D. student Martin Gawecki, who presented their ongoing work on transient engine gas-path diagnostic systems.

Gas Path Analysis (GPA) is a well-founded and understood aspect of engine health management within the gas turbine jet engine industry. However, state of the art methods are limited by the technology constraints and a focus on steady-state phases of flight, like cruise. Newer engines’ higher sensing capabilities, fleet-wide health data integration, and a need for full-flight analytics will require modern algorithms to approach this problem from a Big Data perspective. Current work on this problem includes developing such comprehensive approaches with the use of machine learning and developing appropriate calibration metrics between real-world and simulated data.

PWICE is an ongoing venture joining industry and academia in the United States and Korea in an effort to promote unparalleled collaboration at the university level along with practical R&D for the aerospace industry. The Media Communications Lab has been a part of PWICE for the last 6 years, having worked on 3 separate projects within the institute.

Link to PWICE: http://viterbi.usc.edu/academics/globalization/international-research-center/pwice.htm

By |April 12th, 2014|News|Comments Off on 12th Pratt & Whitney Institute for Collaborative Engineering Board Meeting|
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    MCL and AdShare Developed Fast Audio Matching Technology

MCL and AdShare Developed Fast Audio Matching Technology

The USC Media Communications Laboratory, led by Professor C.-C. Jay Kuo and two PhD students – Harshad Kadu and Jian Li, and the AdShare engineering team have co-developed a new technology, called fast audio matching (FAM), to detect clean and/or degraded audio that has the master sound recording mixed with dialogue and sound effects such as in a movie, TV show or commercial.

This technology extracts inherent audio fingerprints from an audio clip that are robust to manipulations/degradations. The FAM system can detect songs of partial durations, say, less than 15 seconds and provide a confidence level on a scale from 1 to N, where N being a perfect match. It can be run on a personal computer running Linux, MySQL, Apache, and PHP now, and will be implemented in mobile devices with a cloud environment in the near future.

The joint R&D team has continuously worked on system performance optimization to meet real-time processing requirements. The team also keeps developing a more advanced technique that handles sounds distorted by other methods such as pitch shifts, white noise, and instrument swaps.

By |April 6th, 2014|News|Comments Off on MCL and AdShare Developed Fast Audio Matching Technology|