COS Independent Work Seminar:
Understanding the World with Sensors

Spring 2016

General Information:

Instructor: Thomas Funkhouser (office hours: Mon at 1:30PM and Fri 1:30PM, Room CS 422)
Preceptor: Maciej Halber (office hours: Fri at 3:00PM, Room CS 414)
Meeting time and place: Tuesdays 7:30-8:50PM, CS 302
Links: Description, Schedule, Resources, FAQ, Piazza


The theme of this seminar is to investigate algorithms and applications where computers utilize sensors to understand the world around them. Today's computers are equipped with numerous sensors, including cameras, microphones, and radio antennae, and new sensors are being developed at an amazing rate. For example, cameras that capture 3D depth (like Microsoft's Kinect) are just now becoming available for tablets and soon will be available for cell phones (e.g., Google's Tango and Intel's RealSense, Apple's acquisition of PrimeSense, Occipital's Structure Sensor, etc.). These sensors provide great opportunity for computers to gather information and behave intelligently in their environments. Classical applications include human-computer interfaces, tracking, localization, communication, etc. However, new applications are now possible too -- including smart rooms, mobile navigation, scene recognition, etc. Students in the seminar will choose a target application and then develop and test a prototype system in which one or more sensors is used to help a computer understand the world for that application.


Date Topic
Feb 1 Information meeting for all IW students (Small Auditorium (COS 105), 4:30-5:30PM)
Feb 2 Introduction
Feb 9 Develop project plans
Feb 16 Develop project plans
Feb 23 Written project proposals due
Feb 23 Proposal talks
Mar 1 Discussion and feedback
Mar 8 Discussion and feedback
Mar 15 Spring break
Mar 22 Demo Day 1
Mar 22 Checkpoint form due
Mar 29 Discussion and feedback
Apr 5 Discussion and feedback
Apr 12 Discussion and feedback
Apr 19 Demo Day 2
Apr 18-22 Oral Presentations
Apr 26 Paper review
Apr 29 Written final report due
May 5-6 Poster session for all IW students




Frequently Asked Questions: