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Undergraduate Summer Research @ CIS

Example Summer Research Projects


Simulation of Fruit Senescence and Decay

One important element of realistic computer generated scenes is the appearance of aging. Without surface imperfections, a scene can look obviously synthetic. The decomposition of organic materials in a scene provides helpful visual cues of aging that can enhance the realism of an image. In this project, we present a physically based approach for simulating the decay process in fruits.

Samantha Raja

(Advisor: Dr. Norman I. Badler + Joseph Kider)




SUBTLE: Situation understanding Bot through Language and Environment

The SUBTLE team brings together researchers with expertise in a wide range of disciplines: computational linguistics, including formal language theory, computational semantics and parsing; syntax, semantics and pragmatics within linguistic theory; probabilistic modeling and machine learning; robotics; and human-robot interaction (HRI). This project aided in the development of a browser-based virtual game with users playing the roles of a commander and a robot on a mission to rescue hostages in a hostile environment. The chat conservations produce natural language corpus for further analysis of HRI.

Ryan Gormley

(Advisor: Dr. Mitch Marcus)


Animation of Non-Humanoid Characters

This project aims to generate animations of non-humanoid characters from human motion capture data. Various deformers and mappings are empolyed to animate non-humanoid characters that utilizes motion data from a human subject performing motions in real-time. The method is demonstrated on a variety of characters and with a variety of motion styles.

Kourtney Kebodeaux, Kelsey Hurley

(Advisor: Dr. Alla Safonova)




Analysis of Ground Reaction Forces in Natural
Human Motion

This project aims to enhance popular human motion editing tools to maintain physical correctness and naturalness. Despite widespread use, common techniques in human animation lag behind the animation of other natural phenomena (such as fluids and deformations), in their ability to synthesize realistic, natural-looking motions. To aid our study of human movement, our lab houses a multimodal motion capture facility that is capable of collecting ground reaction forces. Once the meaningful characteristics of human motion are identified, we can incorporate these aspects into editing tools and then organize user-studies to determine the quality of our results.

David Yang
(Advisor: Dr. Alla Safovona)



Procedural Generation, Population, and Animation of a Realistic City Environment

Create and animate knowledge bases for urban populace simulation. This project entails creating a simulated community for studying how to animate functional groups of agents who move and interact in a geographical and spatial-temporal context. Various other components contribute to this goal, including interactive and directed simulation, virtual reality immersion, event sensing, and agent behavior authoring (user interface) tools.

Gianna Chen, Alice Yang, Gaby Moreno-Cesar

(Advisor: Dr. Norman I. Badler)




Natural Language for Parameterized Action Representation

Natural Language often describes actions at a high level, leaving out many of the details that have to be specified for animation. The Parameterized Action Representation (PAR) bridges the gap between natural language and animations. PAR gives a description of an action. The PAR has to specify the agent of the action as well as any relevant objects and information about path, location, manner, and purpose for a particular action. There are linguistic constraints on how this information can be conveyed by the language; agents and objects are nouns, actions are given by verbs, and position or path is often a prepositional phrase. This project seeks to build a computational semantics for objects that connects their geometric features and parts with prepositional phrases that can be used in commands to position or move an animated agent.

Shai Nir

(Advisor: Dr. Mitch Marcus + Dr. Norman Badler)