Monthly Archives: January 2016

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    Congratulations to Xiaqing Pan for Passing His Qualifying Exam

Congratulations to Xiaqing Pan for Passing His Qualifying Exam

Xiaqing Pan successfully passed his Qualifying exam on Jan 19th, 2016. The title is “Feature extraction and content-based retrieval of 2D shapes and 3D mesh models”. His Qual Exam Committee includes: C.-C. (Jay) Kuo (chair),  Antonio Ortega, Justin P. Haldar, B. Keith Jenkins, Aiichiro Nakano (outside member).

In this proposal, a robust two-stage shape retrieval (TSR) method is proposed to address the 2D shape and 3D shape (mesh model) retrieval problem. A challenge existing in most state-of-the-art retrieval methods is that they may retrieve globally dissimilar shapes in high ranks. He decomposed the decision process into two stages. He first removed globally irrelevant shapes in Stage I and then ranked the globally irrelevant shapes in Stage II. He designed more robust global features for each problem. The retrieval performances were significantly improved by integrating our global features with the proposed TSR method.

By |January 24th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Congratulations to Xiaqing Pan for Passing His Qualifying Exam|

Sachin Chachada passed his defense

Sachin Chachada, a MCL member, has passed his defense on Jan 14, 2016. Congratulations!
His dissertation title is “Classification and Retrieval of Environmental Sounds”. Speech and music signals have been extensively studied for several decades. Need for Environmental Sound Recognition (ESR) system has picked up the pace in recent years. Environmental sounds are quotidian sounds, both natural and artificial, i.e. sounds one encounters in daily life other than speech and music. In this thesis, Narrow Band Time Frequency features are proposed which characterize a signal using TF representation of its band limited filtered signal. In order to further improve the performance, use of a novel multi-classifier approach, Para-Boost (PB) model, is proposed. It takes the advantages of all the features and improves the overall performance of ESR system. Finally, considering the exponential growing environmental sound data on the Internet, the thesis tackles the problem of a good content based retrieval system. A two stage content based environmental sound retrieval system is proposed. This query-by-example retrieval system assumes that the database is partially labeled. In Stage I, a broad categorization of environmental sounds based on their signal-characteristic is done. For each category, a classifier is trained to predict labels for unlabeled data in the database and also narrow search range for a query by assigning it multiple, yet limited, class labels. In Stage II, a novel feature and a scoring scheme to do local matching and ranking is proposed. An audio signal is first segmented in an unsupervised manner using Mean Shift algorithm and each segment is represented by its point of convergence in the feature space. The audio signal is finally represented by its energy distribution over each segment thereby capturing the temporal variations [...]

By |January 17th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Sachin Chachada passed his defense|
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    Congratulations to MCL alumnus Dr. Lance Kaplan being elevated to IEEE Fellow

Congratulations to MCL alumnus Dr. Lance Kaplan being elevated to IEEE Fellow

As an exciting news at the beginning of this new year, MCL alumnus Dr. Lance Kaplan, is elevated to the rank of IEEE fellow, effectively Jan 1st 2016.

Dr. Lance Kaplan received his PhD degree at 1994, as Prof. Kuo’s 4th graduated PhD student in MCL. After his graduation, he worked on staff in the Reconnaissance Systems Department of the Hughes Aircraft Company until 1996.  From 1996-2004, he was a member of the faculty in the Department of Engineering  and a senior investigator in the Center of Theoretical Studies of Physical Systems (CTSPS) at Clark Atlanta University (CAU), Atlanta, GA. Currently, he is a team leader in the Networked Sensing and Fusion branch of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. Dr. Kaplan serves as Associate Editor-In-Chief and EO/IR Systems Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems (AES). In addition, he is the tutorials editor for the IEEE AES Magazine, and he also serves on the Board of Governors of the IEEE AES Society. He is a three time recipient of the Clark Atlanta University Electrical Engineering Instructional Excellence Award from 1999-2001. He has made significant contributions to several emerging areas: target tracking and localization in distributed sensor networks, extended fractal analysis, trust estimation in social sensing, Joint SAR image formation and detection, etc. His current research interests include signal and image processing, automatic target recognition, data fusion, and resource management.

MCL student Chen Chen got a precious opportunity to have a short interview with Dr. Kaplan.

Q: “How does the study in USC and MCL affect your academia career?”

A: “It was a good foundation. The group was small and researches being conducted were specific to image compression and image processing. Everything in the group were [...]

By |January 9th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Congratulations to MCL alumnus Dr. Lance Kaplan being elevated to IEEE Fellow|

Interview with MCL member Zhi Tong

Zhi Tong graduated as a master student from USC in May 2013. He worked as a research assistant at MCL from May 2013 to May 2015. He decided to go back to his home country and he recently got an offer from Changjiang Securities, one of the top 10 securities companies in China. Congratulations to Zhi! We got new year greetings from Zhi to all group members. We had an interview with him.

Q: Can you briefly introduce your current work, e.g., your responsibility, position, etc.?
A: My current role is a product manager at Changjiang Securities. My responsibility is designing transactions and management systems for prime brokers (e.g. private equity and trust companies), capital management and proprietary trading.

Q: What makes you stand out among other candidates applying for the same position?
A: First, good manners. It can give interviewee a good impression. Second, out-going characteristic. It shows you can communicate with colleagues effectively and suit for teamwork. Third and most importantly, clear logic, the ability to analyze problems and define problems.

Q: How’s the learning experience in USC and MCL differentiate you from your colleagues in your company?
A: I think when we are doing research with professor Kuo, we learn how to analyze problems and define problems. Such abilities are crucial and desired no matter what field you are in or what job you have. Second, good math and knowledge of machine learning. Recently, my boss is interested in using machine learning techniques to predict certain performances of stocks. Good thing for me is that only I can do it in my team.

Q: Can you share your job hunting experience in China ? Do you have any suggestions for group members who want to [...]

By |January 3rd, 2016|News|Comments Off on Interview with MCL member Zhi Tong|