Computing That Serves

Surface Processing and Reconstruction


Thursday, March 11, 2004 - 10:00am


Dr. Ross Whitaker, University of Utah

A confluence of technologies in 3D sensing, high-performance computing, and interactive graphics is providing new opportunities for generating accurate, 3D models of complex scenes or objects.  However, as the variety of applications for these capabilities grows, so do the demands on the quality of the models.  In some applications, especially those that place time and space restrictions on the data acquisition, the requirements for model fidelity can exceed the raw capabilities of the sensor.  These developments suggest the need for new methods of processing surface data that will combine noisy measurements in a robust and efficient way while making the best use of all of the available information.  Furthermore, the ability to process shapes will surface modeling technologies that are capable of finding optimal shapes in reasonable amounts of time.  This talk describes a surface processing framework, computational strategies that make it practical, and applications to which is applicable.


Ross Whitaker received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton University in 1986, earning Summa Cum Laude.  From 1986 to 1988 he worked for the Boston Consulting Group, entering the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1989.  At UNC he received the Alumni Scholarship Award, and completed his Ph.D.  in Computer Science in 1994.  From 1994-1996 he worked at the European Computer-Industry Research Centre in Munich Germany as a research scientist in the User Interaction and Visualization Group.  From 1996-2000 he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Tennessee.  Since August of 2000 he has been at the University of Utah where he is an Associate Professor in the College of Computing and a faculty member of the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute.

Dr. Whitaker's research interests are in 3D image processing, surface processing and reconstruction, and the use of nonlinear partial differential equations for processing and modeling images and surfaces.  His main application area is medical imaging, but he has also conducted research in defense and industry related problems.  Dr. Whitaker has published more than 60 peer reviewed papers in these areas, and he has received support from the National Institutes of Health, the Office of Naval Research, the Army Research Office, the National Science Foundation, and the General Electric Corporation. He has taught courses in basic computer science as well as image processing, computer vision, pattern recognition, scientific visualization, and computational geometry.