Mizzou scientists develop software that detects humans and objects in videos, creating new possibilities for safety and surveillance

When searching for basketball videos online, a long list of websites appears, which may contain a picture or a word describing a basketball. But what if the computer could search inside videos for a basketball? Researchers at the University of Missouri are developing software that would enable computers to search inside videos, detect humans and specific objects, and perform other video analysis tasks. 

The precise conditions inside a white dwarf star in the hours leading up to its explosive end as a Type Ia supernova are one of the mysteries confronting astrophysicists studying these massive stellar explosions. But now, a team of researchers, composed of three applied mathematicians at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and two astrophysicists, has created the first full-star simulation of the hours preceding the largest thermonuclear explosions in the universe.

In a paper to be published in the October issue of Astrophysical Journal, Ann Almgren, John Bell and Andy Nonaka of Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division, with Mike Zingale of Stony Brook University and Stan Woosley of University of California, Santa Cruz, describe the first-ever three-dimensional, full-star simulations of convection in a white dwarf leading up to ignition of a Type Ia supernova. The project was funded by the DOE Office of Science.

by Abby Vogel

Video gaming computers and video game consoles available today typically contain a graphics processing unit (GPU), which is very efficient at manipulating and displaying computer graphics. However, the unit’s highly parallel structure also makes it more efficient than a general-purpose central processing unit for a range of complex calculations important to defense applications.

Researchers in the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) and the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering are developing programming tools to enable engineers in the defense industry to utilize the processing power of GPUs without having to learn the complicated programming language required to use them directly.

Dryad lets you intuitively create beautiful trees for your virtual world or game. In Dryad, you create a tree by visually navigating to it through a design space: the space of all trees. This space has close to a hundred dimensions and Dryad lets you move around it as if it were a city map. To help you find your way, Dryads around the world communicate to share which trees were picked in the past. A collaborative mapping of the tree space emerges, which your Dryad uses to gently steer you towards high-quality finds. We call this collaborative design space exploration.

Source: Stanford

by Adam Finkelstein and Lee Markosian, Princeton Dept. Computer Science

Summary

Modeling for 3D computer graphics is a painstaking task that is typically relegated to trained experts. In contrast, drawing is easy for many people. One reason for the difficulty of 3D modeling is that existing tools trade off ease of use for very precise control (which is often undesirable). A second reason stems from the emphasis in computer graphics on photorealism. When the subject matter is a natural scene, realism demands a vast amount of detail. In practice, artists and illustrators nearly always choose some degree of stylization (non-photorealism) to evoke the complexity of the scene indirectly. The result can be much simpler than a literal representation, yet also more expressive. Currently no such option is available to computer graphics designers – no tools exist to model both a geometric shape and the stylized look to be applied to it.

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