Professor Marty Banks

UC Berkeley

February 28, 2018 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm

Location: Packard 101

Talk Title: ChromaBlur: Rendering Chromatic Eye Aberration Improves Accommodation and Realism

Talk Abstract: Computer-graphics engineers and vision scientists want to generate images that reproduce realistic depth-dependent blur. Current rendering algorithms take into account scene geometry, aperture size, and focal distance, and they produce photorealistic imagery as with a high-quality camera. But to create immersive experiences, rendering algorithms should aim instead for perceptual realism. In so doing, they should take into account the significant optical aberrations of the human eye. We developed a method that, by incorporating some of those aberrations, yields displayed images that produce retinal images much closer to the ones that occur in natural viewing. In particular, we create displayed images taking the eye’s chromatic aberration into account. This produces different chromatic effects in the retinal image for objects farther or nearer than current focus. We call the method ChromaBlur. We conducted two experiments that illustrate the benefits of ChromaBlur. One showed that accommodation (eye focusing) is driven quite effectively when ChromaBlur is used and that accommodation is not driven at all when conventional methods are used. The second showed that perceived depth and realism are greater with imagery created by ChromaBlur than in imagery created conventionally. ChromaBlur can be coupled with focus-adjustable lenses and gaze tracking to reproduce the natural relationship between accommodation and blur in HMDs and other immersive devices. It can thereby minimize the adverse effects of vergence-accommodation conflicts.

Speaker's Biography: Martin S. Banks received his Bachelor’s degree from Occidental College in 1970. He majored in Psychology and minored in Physics. After spending a year in Germany teaching in their school system, he entered the graduate program at UC San Diego where he received a Master’s degree in Experimental Psychology in 1973. Banks then moved to the graduate program at the University of Minnesota where he received his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology in 1976. He was Assistant and Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin from 1976-1985. He moved to UC Berkeley School of Optometry in 1985 where he has been Associate and Full Professor of Optometry and Vision Science until the present. He was Chairman of the Vision Science Program from 1995-2002, and again in 2012.

Banks has received awards for his work on basic and applied research on human visual development, on visual space perception, and on the development and evaluation of visual displays. These include the Young Investigator Award from the National Research Council (1978), Boyd R. McCandless Award from the American Psychological Association (1984), Kurt Koffka Medal from Giessen University (2007), Charles F. Prentice Award from the American Academy of Optometry (2016), and Otto Schade Prize from the Society for Information Display (2017). He has also been appointed Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences (1988), Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2008), Fellow of the American Psychological Society (2009), Holgate Fellow of Durham University (2011), WICN Fellow of University of Wales (2011), Honorary Professor of University of Wales (2017), and Borish Scholar of Indiana University (2017).


Chris Metzler

Rice University

February 21, 2018 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm

Location: Packard 101

Talk Title: Data-driven Computational Imaging

Talk Abstract: Between ever increasing pixel counts, ever cheaper sensors, and the ever expanding world-wide-web, natural image data has become plentiful. These vast quantities of data, be they high frame rate videos or huge curated datasets like Imagenet, stand to substantially improve the performance and capabilities of computational imaging systems. However, using this data efficiently presents its own unique set of challenges. In this talk I will use data to develop better priors, improve reconstructions, and enable new capabilities for computational imaging systems.

Speaker's Biography: Chris Metzler is a PhD candidate in the Machine Learning, Digital Signal Processing, and Computational Imaging labs at Rice University. His research focuses on developing and applying new algorithms, including neural networks, to problems in computational imaging. Much of his work concerns imaging through scattering media, like fog and water, and last summer he interned in the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory's Applied Optics branch. He is an NSF graduate research fellow and was formerly an NDSEG graduate research fellow.


Steve Silverman


February 7, 2018 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm

Location: Packard 101

Talk Title: Street View 2018 - The Newest Generation Of Mapping Hardware

Talk Abstract: A brief overview of Street View from it's inception 10 years ago until now will be presented. Street level Imagery has been the prime objective for Google's Street View in the past, and has now migrated into a state-of-the-art mapping platform. Challenges and solutions to the design and fabrication of the imaging system and optimization of hardware to align with specific software post processing will be discussed. Real world challenges of fielding hardware in 80+ countries will also be addressed.

Speaker's Biography: Steven Silverman is a Technical Program Manager at Google, Inc developing and deploying camera/mapping systems for View. He has developed flash lidar systems which are part of the SpaceX Dragon Vehicle birthing system. He was the Chief Engineer for the Thermal Emission Spectrometers (TES and Mini-TES) for Mars Global Surveyor, both Mars Exploration Rovers, as well as the Chief Engineer for the Thermal Emission Imaging System (Themis) for Mars Odyssey. He graduated from Cal Poly SLO in Engineering Science, and has an MS in ECE from UCSB.


Professor Kristen Grauman

University of Texas at Austin

January 24, 2018 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm

Location: Packard 101

Talk Title: Learning where to look in 360 environments

Talk Abstract: Many vision tasks require not just categorizing a well-composed human-taken photo, but also intelligently deciding “where to look” in order to get a meaningful observation in the first place. We explore how an agent can anticipate the visual effects of its actions, and develop policies for learning to look around actively---both for the sake of a specific recognition task as well as for generic exploratory behavior. In addition, we examine how a system can learn from unlabeled video to mimic human videographer tendencies, automatically deciding where to look in unedited 360 degree panoramas. Finally, to facilitate 360 video processing, we introduce spherical convolution, which allows application of off-the-shelf deep networks and object detectors to 360 imagery.

Speaker's Biography: Kristen Grauman is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research in computer vision and machine learning focuses on visual recognition. Before joining UT-Austin in 2007, she received her Ph.D. at MIT. She is an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow and Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellow, a recipient of NSF CAREER and ONR Young Investigator awards, the PAMI Young Researcher Award in 2013, the 2013 IJCAI Computers and Thought Award, and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2013. Work with her collaborators has been recognized with paper awards at CVPR 2008, ICCV 2011, ACCV 2016, and CHI 2017. She currently serves as an Associate Editor in Chief for the Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (TPAMI) and an Editorial Board Member for the International Conference on Computer Vision (IJCV), and she served as a Program Chair of CVPR 2015 in Boston.


Professor Jacob Chakareski

University of Alabama

March 14, 2018 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm

Location: Packard 101

Talk Title: Drone IoT Networks for Virtual Human Teleportation

Talk Abstract: Cyber-physical/human systems (CPS/CHS) are set to play an increasingly visible role in our lives, advancing research and technology across diverse disciplines. I am exploring novel synergies between three emerging CPS/CHS technologies of prospectively broad societal impact, virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR), the Internet of Things (IoT), and autonomous micro-aerial robots (UAVs). My long-term research objective is UAV-IoT-deployed ubiquitous VR/AR immersive communication that can enable virtual human teleportation to any corner of the world. Thereby, we can achieve a broad range of technological and societal advances that will enhance energy conservation, quality of life, and the global economy.
I am investigating fundamental problems at the intersection of signal acquisition and representation, communications and networking, (embedded) sensors and systems, and rigorous machine learning for stochastic control that arise in this context. I envision a future where UAV-IoT-deployed immersive communication systems will break existing barriers in remote sensing, monitoring, localization and mapping, navigation, and scene understanding. The presentation will outline some of my present and envisioned investigations. Interdisciplinary applications will be highlighted.

Speaker's Biography: Jacob Chakareski is an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Alabama, where he leads the Laboratory for VR/AR Immersive Communication (LION). His interests span virtual and augmented reality, UAV-IoT sensing and communication, and rigorous machine learning for stochastic control. Dr. Chakareski received the Swiss NSF Ambizione Career Award and the best paper award at ICC 2017. He trained as a PhD student at Rice and Stanford, held research appointments with Microsoft, HP Labs, and EPFL, and sits on the advisory board of Frame, Inc. His research is supported by the NSF, AFOSR, Adobe, NVIDIA, and Microsoft. For further info, please visit


Dr. Fu-Chung Huang

Nvidia Research

February 14, 2018 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm

Location: Packard 101

Talk Title: Accelerated Computing for Light Field and Holographic Displays

Talk Abstract: In this talk, I will present two recently published papers at the annual SIGGRAPH ASIA 2017.
For the first paper, we present a 4D light field sampling and rendering system for light field displays that can support both foveation and accommodation to reduce rendering cost while maintaining perceptual quality and comfort.
For the second paper, we present a light field based Computer Generated Holography (CGH) rendering pipeline allowing for reproduction of high-definition 3D scenes with continuous depth and support of intra-pupil view dependent occlusion using computer generated hologram. Our rendering and Fresnel integral accurately accounts for diffraction and supports various types of reference illumination for holograms.

Speaker's Biography: Fu-Chung Huang is a research scientist at Nvidia Research. He works on computational displays where high performance computation is applied to solve problems related to optics and perception. Recently, his research focus specifically on near-eye displays for virtual reality and augmented reality.

He received Ph.D. in Computer Science from UC Berkeley in 2013 and his dissertation on Vision-correcting Light Field Displays won the Scientific America’s World Changing Ideas 2014. He was a visiting scientist at MIT Media Lab with Prof. Ramesh Raskar during 2011 to 2013 and at Stanford University with Prof. Gordon Wetzstein during 2014 to 2015.


Dr. Patrick Llull


March 7, 2018 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm

Location: Packard 101

Talk Title: Temporal coding of volumetric imagery

Talk Abstract: 'Image volumes' refer to realizations of images in other dimensions such as time, spectrum, and focus. Recent advances in scientific, medical, and consumer applications demand improvements in image volume capture. Though image volume acquisition continues to advance, it maintains the same sampling mechanisms that have been used for decades; every voxel must be scanned or captured in parallel and is presumed independent of its neighbors. Under these conditions, improving performance comes at the cost of increased system complexity, data rates, and power consumption.

This talk describes systems and methods with which to efficiently detect and visualize image volumes by temporally encoding the extra dimensions’ information into 2D measurements or displays. Some highlights of my research include video and 3D recovery from photographs, and true-3D augmented reality image display by time multiplexing. In the talk, I show how temporal optical coding can improve system performance, battery life, and hardware simplicity for a variety of platforms and applications.

Speaker's Biography: Currently with Google's Daydream virtual reality team, Patrick Llull completed his Ph.D. under Prof. David Brady at the Duke University Imaging and Spectroscopy Program (DISP) in May 2016. His doctoral research focused on compressive video and multidimensional sensing, with research internship experience with Ricoh Innovations in near-eye multifocal displays. During his Ph.D. Patrick won two best paper awards and was an NSF graduate fellowship honorable mention. Patrick graduated with his BS from the University of Arizona's College of Optical Sciences in May 2012.


Previous SCIEN Colloquia

To see a list of previous SCIEN colloquia, please click here.