Studies on Androids and Humanoids

When : Thursday, November 6, 2008 - 16:00
Speaker : Prof. Hiroshi Ishiguro
Affiliation : University of Osaka Japan
Where : Aula Magna 'A. Lepschy'

Abstract :

Prof. Hiroshi Ishiguro Professor of Department of Adaptive Machine Systems, Osaka University Visiting group leader of ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories. Android Science -From Human likeness to Humanlike presence ?
Abstract The challenge of android development was ?human likeness.? We have developed androids that have humanlike appearance and behaviors. However, the bottleneck was the AI. It is not possible to develop androids that can have long conversations with people. Our solution is to implement a function of tele-operated. The newly developed android is called Geminoid. The Geminoid is a tele-opereated android of an existing person. The person can talk with people who are in a distant place by using the geminoid. The most interesting phenomenon in this system is that the person operating the geminoid and the people talking with the geminod can quickly adapt to the system by talking each other and forget to be talking through the geminoid. This talk will discuss these issues and a new framework of Android Science. Android Science aims to understand human by building androids. Bio: He received D.Eng. degree from Osaka University in 1991. In 1991, he started working as a research assistant of Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Yamanashi University. Then, he moved to Department of Systems Engineering, Osaka University, Japan, as a research assistant in 1992. In 1994, he was an associate professor of Department of Information Science, Kyoto University, Japan, and started research of distributed vision using omnidirectional cameras. From 1998 to 1999, he worked in Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, San Diego, as a visiting scholar. From 1999, he is a visiting researcher in ATR Media Information Science Laboratories and he has developed interactive humanoid robots, Robovie. In 2000, he moved to Department of Computer and Communication Sciences, Wakayama University, as an associate professor and then he became a professor in 2001. Now he is a professor of Department of Adaptive Machine Systems, Osaka University, and a group leader of ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication laboratories. His current interests are interactive robots, android robots and perceptual information infrastructure.

Blighted Virtual Neighborhoods and Other Threats to Online Social Experiences

When : Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - 16:30
Speaker : Prof. Richard De Millo
Affiliation : Georgia institute of Technology USA
Where : Aula Magna 'A. Lepschy'

Abstract :

The rapid expansion of web presence into many new kinds of social networks has by far outpaced our ability to manage (or even understand) the community, economic, demographic and moral forces that shape user experiences. Online ticket queues, communities of online gamers, online retail malls and checkout sites, Facebook or MySpace communities, web-based town hall discussions, and Second Life destinations are just a few examples of places that users have come to regard as neighborhoods. They are virtual neighborhoods. They begin as attractive destinations and attract both visitors and inhabitants. Some users spend money, and some put down roots in the community. But like many real neighborhoods, virtual neighborhoods all too often turn into frightening, crime-ridden, disease- (or malware-)infested eyesores. Most users are driven away, real commerce is replaced by questionable transactions and billions of dollars of value is destroyed in the process. In blighted inner city neighborhoods you can find a familiar array of bad actors: loan sharks, vagrants, drug dealers, vandals and scam artists. Online neighborhoods fall prey to virtual blight: (1) Bot Blight, where the bad actors use bots and other non-human agents to overwhelm systems that are designed for human beings, (2) Human Blight, where individuals ranging from hackers to sociopaths and organized groups deliberately degrade a virtual neighborhood, (3) Entropy Blight, where abandoned property accumulates dead-end traffic of various kinds. The simple first-generation tools that were deployed to protect online properties have failed -- the collapse of Geocities and the recent apparent defeat of Captcha, a technology to let only humans enter the neighborhood, are evidence of that failure. There is a growing realization of how easily bad actors can create the virtual version of urban blight and how ineffective existing approaches to identity, trust and security will be in battling it.
Before joining the College of Computing at Georgia Tech as Dean in
2002, DeMillo was chief technology officer for Hewlett-Packard (HP),
where he had worldwide responsibility for technology and technology
strategy. Prior to HP, DeMillo was in charge of information and
computer sciences research at Telcordia Technologies. DeMillo has also
directed the Computer and Computation Research division of the
National Science Foundation and continues to be active in many aspects
of the IT industry. He is a fellow of the ACM and the American
Association for the Advancement of Science.

The Multi-Armed Bandit Meets the Web Surfer

When : Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - 16:30
Speaker : Prof. Eli Upfal
Affiliation : Brown University USA
Where : Aula Magna 'A. Lepschy'

Abstract :

Abstract: The multi-armed bandit paradigm has been studied extensively for over 50 years in Operations Research, Economics and Computer Science literature, modeling online decisions under uncertainty in a setting in which an agent simultaneously attempts to acquire new knowledge and to optimize its decisions based on the existing knowledge. In this talk I'll discuss several new results motivated by web applications, such as content matching (matching advertising to page contest and user's profile) and efficient web crawling. Bio: Eli Upfal is a Professor of Computer Science at Brown University. He received his Ph.D. from the Hebrew University in Israel. before joining Brown in 1997, he was a research staff member at the IBM Research Devision, and a Professor of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science at the Weizmann Institute. His main research interests are randomized algorithms and probabilistic analysis, with applications to optimization algorithms, communication networks, parallel and distributed computing, and computational biology.

3-dimensional Video: Technology and Applications

When : Tuesday, June 3, 2008 - 16:30
Speaker : Prof. Marcus Gross
Affiliation : ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Where : Aula Magna 'A. Lepschy'

Abstract :

In recent years, so-called 3-dimensional video has received a significant attention both in research and in industry. Applications are ranging from special effects in feature films to the analysis of sports events. 3D video is concerned with the computation of virtual camera positions or fly-throughs of a scene given multiple, conventional 2D video streams. The high-quality synthesis of such view-independent video representations poses a variety of technical challenges including acquisition, reconstruction, processing, compression, and rendering. In this talk I will outline the development of research in this area done at ETH over the past years. I will discuss various concepts for passive and active acquisition of 3D video using combinations of multiple cameras and projectors. Furthermore, I will address the issue of representation and processing of the massive amount data arising from such multiple video streams. I will highlight the underlying technical concepts and algorithms that draw upon methods both from graphics and from vision. Finally I will demonstrate some commercial applications targeting at virtual replays for sports broadcasts.
Dr. Gross is a professor of computer science and founding director of the Computer Graphics Laboratory of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich since 1994. His research interests include 3D video, point-based graphics, and physically-based modeling. He has published more than 200 scientific papers on computer graphics and scientific visualization and he holds various patents on core graphics and visualization technologies. Dr. Gross serves as a member of international program committees of many graphics conferences and on the editorial board of various scientific journals. He was a papers co-chair of the IEEE Visualization '99, the Eurographics 2000, and the IEEE Visualization 2002 conferences and he was chair of the papers committee of ACM SIGGRAPH 2005. Dr. Gross is a senior member of IEEE, a member of ACM and ACM Siggraph, and a fellow of the Eurographics Association. He serves in board positions of a number of international research institutes, societies and governmental organizations. He co-founded Cyfex AG, Novodex AG, LiberoVision AG, and Dybuster AG. Dr. Gross received a Master of Science in electrical and computer engineering and a PhD in computer graphics and image analysis in 1989, both from the University of Saarbrucken, Germany.

Power Semiconductors State-of-the-Art and future development trends

When : Friday, May 23, 2008 - 16:30
Speaker : Dr. Leo Lorenz
Affiliation : Infineon Technologies China
Where : Aula Magna 'A. Lepschy'

Abstract :

Curriculum vitae: Prof. Dr. Leo Lorenz received the Dipl. Ing. Degree from TU-Berlin and the Dr.-Ing. Degree from the University of Munich, Germany in 1972 and 1976 respectively. From 1976 til 1980 he was with AEG, R&D center for Power Electronics in Berlin. In 1980 he joined Siemens Semiconductor Division which became Infineon Technologies AG in 1999. Since this time he works on Power Semiconductor & Power IC's in different functions and responsibilities. In his position, as senior director he is responsible for all automotive and industrial technologies and for the time being located in Shanghai. He published over 250 technical papers and has many patents in these fields. In 2001 he was nominated to become Professor for System Integration at the University of Ilmenau (Germany). He is the president of the ECPE (European Center of Power Electronics) an IEEE Fellow and a member of German Academy of Science. Abstract: System integration and high power density design of monolithic devices, discrete components or multi-chip approach are the driving force for the progress in power electronic system development. Silicon utilization, system reliability, power units miniaturization and overall operating efficiency are the key factors. Power Semiconductor devices, smart power components and control IC's are the key elements of power electronic systems despite of the fact that their costs are minimal in many applications relatively to the overall system costs. Improving their characteristics along with an increasing functionality reduces the system cost and opens the opportunities for new fields of applications. New system trends are going towards high switching frequency reducing or eliminating bulky magnetics and capacitances as well as soft switching topologies for higher efficiency and low harmonics. In this presentation new technologies, advanced devices concepts and future system aspect for system-integration in the industrial and consumer segments are discussed. In both fields of applications there are huge requirements towards system dynamic characteristics overload capability, device ruggedness and build in reliability. There is a tendency towards higher operating temperature ratings and in the industrial field devices with high blocking voltage capabilities are needed. In the presentation a comparison of today and future device concepts like the Super Junction MOSFET for low and high breakdown voltage rating, the IGBT and the actual trends in SiC devices will be discussed in detail.

Radiation Effects and Soft Errors in Advanced Technologies

When : Monday, March 17, 2008 - 15:30
Speaker : Prof. Ron Schrimpf
Affiliation : Vanderbilt University
Where : Aula Magna 'A. Lepschy'

Abstract :

Abstract Scaling of semiconductor technologies has created concern that future generations of integrated circuits will exhibit unacceptable levels of reliability due to radiation-induced soft errors. Each error is a transient effect produced by the interaction of a single ionizing particle with a sensitive device. These particles may be produced by the reactions of cosmic rays in the atmosphere or they may originate from trace amounts of radioactive materials in packages or the surrounding environment. While these issues are particularly serious for space systems, they are becoming an increasing concern for terrestrial applications that demand high reliability. In addition to soft errors, electronics also may suffer parametric degradation or catastrophic failure caused by exposure to radiation. This talk will include an overview of critical radiation-related issues that affect advanced semiconductor technologies. A new simulation-based methodology for analyzing radiation effects, based on simulating large numbers of individual events on a cluster supercomputer, will be described.

Ron Schrimpf is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at Vanderbilt University, where his research activities focus on microelectronics and semiconductor devices. In particular, he has a very active research program dealing with the effects of radiation on semiconductor devices and integrated circuits. Ron also is the Director of Vanderbilt?s Institute for Space and Defense Electronics (ISDE). The engineering staff of ISDE performs design, analysis, and modeling work for a variety of space- and defense-oriented organizations, as well as commercial semiconductor companies. Ron received his BEE, MSEE, and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Minnesota in 1981, 1984, and 1986, respectively. He was at the University of Arizona from 1986-1996, where he served as a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Ron joined Vanderbilt in 1996 and was an Invited Professor at the University of Montpellier II, France, in 2000. He recently served as the Chairman of the IEEE NPSS Radiation Effects Steering Group. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, four-time winner of the Outstanding Paper Award at the IEEE Nuclear and Space Radiation Effects Conference, and he received the IEEE NPSS Early Achievement Award. Ron has authored or co-authored over 250 journal papers dealing with radiation effects and semiconductor devices.

Which Kind of Information Can Music Convey?

When : Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 15:30
Speaker : Prof Claudio Ambrosini
Where : Aula Magna A. Lepschy, DEI

Abstract :


Music is generally considered to convey emotional contents such as feelings, or to recollect events or to describe locations. When words are added to music other elements can be introduced as love or politics or religion.But can other forms of 'data' (such as space or time or movement information) be carried by music as a form of 'lateral' (rather than subliminal) message?Using extracts from his own compositions the author will give some hints of the possibility to create something like a 'secondary' or 'side-communication'.

Claudio Ambrosini, born in Venice, studied Electronic Music and Ancient Instruments at Venice Conservatory. After finishing also his classical studies, he graduated at Venice (History of Music) and Milan (Linguistics) Universities. Important to his development were his meetings with Bruno Maderna and Luigi Nono.Ambrosini has composed vocal, instrumental, electronic works, oratorios, operas and ballets, all characterized by his extensive instrumental research and by his personal style. He also had many experiences in multimedia (video, photography, installations) in museums or art galleries.Ambrosini has received various prizes and has taken part in international festivals such as the Festival of Contemporary Music of the Venice Biennale; of that of Avignon, Strasbourg, Brussels, Helsinki, Huddersfield, Stockholm, Vancouver, Montreal, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Sidney, Ludwigsburg; as well as series of concerts at the IRCAM in Paris, at La Scala in Milan, at the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon and the Gaudeamus in Amsterdam, at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the Akademie der Kunste in Berlin, the Musical Autumn in Warsaw, the Maggio Musicale in Florence, the season of the Munich Philharmonic, Radio France's series 'Perspectives du XX siècle', GRAME etc.Ambrosini has received several commissions, principally from the Venice Biennale, the Italian Radio (RAI), the West German Radio (WDR), the French Ministry of Culture, the Festival of Nations, L'Itineraire, Milano Musica and several other and institutions and theatres, like La Fenice.His music has been conducted, among the others, by Riccardo Muti, Lev Markiz, D. Masson, P. Mefano, G. Nowak, Robert HP Platz, Y. Prin, Stefan A. Reck, Ed Spanjaard, John Störgards, Pierre-André Valade.In 1976 Ambrosini began to take an interest in computer music at the Padua Center for Computational Sonology (CSC). He also collaborated with Luciano Berio's Tempo Reale Institute.Since 1979 Ambrosini has led the Ex Novo Ensemble and since 1983 also the CIRS, International Center for Instrumental Research, both of which he founded in Venice.In 1985 Ambrosini was the first Italian composer to receive the Prix de Rome from France and to stay at the Villa Medici, the French Academy in Rome. In the same year he was chosen to represent Italy over the European Year of Music. In 1986 he was chosen to represent Italy at the UNESCO Paris Rostrum.In 2007 he was awarded the Golden Lion for Music at the Venice Biennale.