The Daily Tar Heel

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Thursday March 30th

Lecture Series Speaker Explains 4D

Lecture Series Speaker Explains 4D

Takeo Kanade, a professor in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, led a lecture broadcast to campus from Duke University titled "Virtualized Reality: 4D Digitization of a Time-Varying Real Event and Its Application."

A crowd of mostly computer science graduate students and faculty viewed the broadcast and were engulfed by Kanade's enthusiasm about his work.

Kanade, who received a doctorate in electrical engineering from Kyoto University in Japan, will visit UNC and N.C. State University today for greater one-on-one contact with those interested in his topic. During the broadcast, Kanade spoke of his work in two main arenas.

One such arena, "4D virtualized reality," was utilized in Super Bowl XXXV to show smoother rotations about the point of action for a wider range of angular views. The system utilized 30 cameras placed along the second deck of the stadium to take successive shots of action on the field. These photos could then, in effect, be pieced together to form a smooth playback.

To the audience's delight, Kanade further showed the system's usefulness in graphically depicting a humorous skirmish between two of the game's bystanders.

A second area of Kanade's work, autonomous vision-based helicopters, is being used to scan an arctic meteorite. This system takes advantage of a vision-guided robot helicopter to search, locate and obtain images of a specified object and makes researching natural phenomena in extreme climates more feasible.

With his research, Kanade said he hopes to have a system developed for world soccer in Japan in 2002, provided the cameras will be allowed. Even further into the future, Kanade said, he aspires to develop the technology to digitize an entire country.

Andrew Zaferakis, a second-year computer science graduate student, gave Kanade positive reviews. "He's great," Zaferakis said. "I've read a lot of his papers in the past, and he's highly regarded in the field."

The series, organized by UNC computer science Professor Ming Lin and her counterparts at Duke and N.C. State universities, was created six years ago by UNC computer science Professor Jim Anderson to increase graduate students' access to renowned researchers.

Lectures in the series, nine of which are broadcast each year from either UNC, Duke or N.C. State, are funded by the U. S. Army Research Office.

Lin explained the value of the series. "You get to hear research of some of the greatest researchers in the world," she said. "That kind of personal interaction is something I don't think money can buy."

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