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Bridging the Gap to the Real

Date and Time
Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Computer Science Small Auditorium (Room 105)
CS Department Colloquium Series
Wojciech Matusik, from Disney Research Zurich
Szymon Rusinkiewicz
Devices and systems for measuring real-world shape, motion, and appearance have contributed to progress in computer graphics over the last 15 years. For example, digital photography and image-based rendering have had a profound impact on rendering. Motion capture has transformed computer animation. Geometry acquisition using 3D scanners has driven developments in geometry processing. In data-driven computer graphics, we have replaced hand-modeled and procedurally-defined components with real-world measurements. Furthermore, we have developed tools to modify and edit these data-driven representations.

With these new methods in hand, computer graphics has succeeded in recreating reality on a computer screen. The next big challenge for computer graphics and interactive techniques is to expand beyond a computer display. In the next years, the field will be working on algorithms and tools that will allow us to design and automatically fabricate physical output. This trend will dramatically increase the scope of computer graphics and it will exert significant impact on our daily lives.

In my talk, I will show two instances of a process that bridges the gap between the digital and real worlds. First, I will describe a mathematical modeling of light reflection from surfaces, based on measurements of physical materials, as well as the reverse process: manufacturing physical materials with desired reflectance properties. Second, I will present an analogous process for measurement, modeling, and fabrication of objects with desired deformation behavior. Not only do these research projects showcase how the scope of computer graphics methods can be greatly extended, but they also prompt fundamental research into the representation and processing of data types that go beyond images and video.

Wojciech Matusik is a senior research scientist at Disney Research Zurich. He received a B.S. in EECS from the University of California at Berkeley in 1997, a M.S. in EECS from MIT in 2001, and a Ph.D. in 2003. In 2004, he was named one of the world's top 100 young innovators by MIT's Technology Review Magazine. He received an ACM SIGGRAPH Significant New Researcher Award in 2009. His primary research is in the field of computer graphics, with broad applications in other disciplines such as digital communications, materials science, optics, and biomechanics.

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