SURF-IT Research Projects  


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2006 SURF-IT Research Projects

The following faculty-mentored research projects are available during the 2006 SURF-IT Program. They are divided into their own unique areas of research. Select a link for an overview of the project, associated faculty mentors, project prerequisites, and related publications.

Undergraduate Research Projects Mentored by Calit2 Faculty

    1) A Distributed Infrastructure for the Synchronized Acquisition of Sensor Data 

    2) Automated Text Analysis of Documents from the Hurricane Katrina Response 

    3) Automatic Inference of Anomalous Events from (California) Traffic Patterns 

    4) Biomimetic Modular Design for Advanced Biomaterials 

    5) Can Computer Games Encourage The Empathic Involvement That Fosters Moral Treatment of Others? 

    6) Computational Simulation and Optimization of Impedance Based Biological Cell Sensing Using Interdigitated Electrodes 

    7) Development of Hybrid Atomic Force Microscope Tips with Focused Ion Beam 

    8) Earth and Planetary System Science Game Engine (EPSS-GE) 

    9) EcoRaft Project 

    10) Electronic Circuits with Single Molecule Components 

    11) High Performance Cooperative Data Distribution 

    12) Information Integration in Medical Databases 

    13) Molecular Communication: System Design, Modeling and Simulations 

    14) Nanoimprinting of 2-D Graphene Nanowires 

    15) Politics and Aesthetics of New Media in East Asia 

    16) Project RESCUE: Spatial Reference Extraction and Interpretation System 

    17) Project RESCUE: Undergraduate Research in Privacy Preserving Media Spaces 

    18) Project RESCUE: Undergraduate Research Utilizing 802.15.4 Wireless Sensors 

    19) Reconstruction of Spatially Varying Color Response of a Tiled Display 

    20) SuperSize Me: Visualizing Parallel Workspace Activities on a Next-Generation, Massively-Tiled Display System 

    21) Wide Area High Definition Video Streaming for Tiled Displays 

 Project #1:  A Distributed Infrastructure for the Synchronized Acquisition of Sensor Data
Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Ramesh C. JainComputer Science

Description:  With the "Responsphere" test-bed for emergency response, CalIT2 at UCI possesses a unique networked sensor infrastructure, supporting many different modalities ranging from video cameras, microphones, and person counters to thermometers. However, a sophisticated software infrastructure that would permit the synchronized acquisition of the wealth of data streams produced by those sensors and simplify the integration of multimodal sensor data analysis tools is still missing. This considerably hinders the scientific exploitation of the Responsphere test-bed – for instance, with regard to the acquisition and analysis of evacuation drill data in the ResCUE project.

Therefore, we in collaboration with the ResCUE group are currently developing a distributed sensor data acquisition infrastructure, an architectural sketch of which is provided by the following figure:

The depicted infrastructure permits the flexible instantiation of sensor data stream processing nodes on the network via a configuration manager; the nodes can be interconnected to form arbitrarily complex sensor data stream processing topologies. The infrastructure features different types of nodes: acquisition nodes responsible for gathering sensor data from sensors, synchronization nodes responsible for the alignment of parallel sensor data streams, processing nodes providing plugins for potentially multimodal sensor data processing tools and algorithms, and storage nodes for the archival of sensor data streams for later analysis.

The proposed SURF-IT fellowship aims at supporting these ongoing research efforts. In order to get accustomed to the system and problem domain of sensor data stream management, the fellow will begin with developing and integrating acquisition nodes for so far unsupported sensor types. As a second step, the fellow will use off-the-shelf video and sensor data processing libraries to integrate several basic sensor data analysis plug-ins for processing nodes: (1) a person counting analysis plug-in fusing movement detection in a video stream with a person counter sensor, and (2) a face detection plug-in based on a video stream. Thirdly, the fellow will implement a database driven storage node for long-term archival of sensor data streams for later analysis. The fellow will finally set up a demonstrator showing his work.

The project requires basic understanding of network programming and distributed systems as well as basic knowledge of the MPEG video format; it also requires the student’s capabilities to self-dependently search, identify, and evaluate publicly available video processing libraries for the work described here. The fellow will be given enough time and guidance by R. Jain and U. Westermann to acquire a thorough understanding of the problem domain of sensor data stream management and video processing at the beginning of the project.

Student's Research-Related Duties and Expected Outcomes:

While receiving all guidance necessary, the student is to work self-dependently on the outlined sensor stream management research topic. The expected outcome is:

1) working acquisition nodes for two at that point still unsupported sensor types, prospectively a type of wireless camera and a people counter sensor.

2) a working person counting plug-in for processing nodes based on a video stream and a person counter sensor data data stream

3) a working face-detection plug-in for processing nodes

4) a database-driven implementation of storage nodes

5) and, documentation of the performed work.

Prerequisites: The fellow should have experience with C and network programming. A strong interest in sensor data stream management and video content processing is expected.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   M. Modahl, I. Bagrak, M. Wolenetz, et al., “MediaBroker: An Architecture for Pervasive Computing”, In Proc. of the 2nd IEEE Annual Conference on Pervasive Com-puting and Communications (PERCOM’04), 2004.:

 Project #2:  Automated Text Analysis of Documents from the Hurricane Katrina Response
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Carter T. ButtsSociology

Description:  A major challenge in responding to disasters is the coordination of activities by a large number of organizations with highly varied structures, missions, and capabilities. One way in which emergency management organizations respond to this challenge is via the production of documents such as situation reports (SITREPs), which serve to collect and communicate status information to those involved in the response. The aim of this project is to investigate the use of automated text analysis tools for the extraction of information from such reports.

The data to be analyzed for this project consists of a corpus of organizational documents produced during the response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster. By use of word frequency, author-topic, and semantic network models, the following questions will be addressed:

1. In comparing across public/private status, scale of operations, and geographical location, which dimensions best serve to predict differences among organizational documents?

2. What are the primary topics addressed within the corpus, and how does their incidence vary across space and time?

3. What are the primary “themes” (i.e., networks of semantic associations) within the corpus, and how do these change over time?

This research is expected to contribute to our knowledge of events during the Hurricane Katrina response, and to suggest strengths and weaknesses of current analysis tools for use with organizational documents such as SITREPs. The findings from this work may help to inform the design of improved tools for tracking and summarizing organizational activities during disasters.

Student’s Research-Related Duties and Expected Outcomes:

In the course of this project, the student researcher(s) will be expected to analyze data from the Hurricane Katrina corpus, using a variety of methods. Anticipated activities include the use of word frequency models for topic extraction and analysis, scaling/clustering of documents via edit distances, and semantic
network extraction using Automap. In addition to quantitative analysis of organizational documents, student researcher(s) may be involved in building a concept thesaurus for the Katrina corpus, and in other aspects of the data preparation process. The student researcher(s) will also prepare their research findings for presentation to peers and faculty within the program.

Skills developed as a result of involvement with this project are expected to include familiarity with a number of text analysis tools and methods, as well as experience in the analysis of organizational data. This experience could serve well either in preparation for future work in natural language processing/data discovery, or for work in the social sciences.

Prerequisites: This project can support 1-2 student researchers. Knowledge of basic programming techniques is expected; familiarity with R and Perl is recommended, but is not required. Some training in probability and/or statistics is necessary, and prior experience in working with textual data (either manually, or using automated techniques) will prove helpful. Beyond the above, successful researchers will be highly self-motivated, and capable of independent work.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   The following books and articles are suggested as background for those interested in learning more: • Auf der Heide, E. (1989). Disaster Response: Principles of Preparation and Coordination. St. Louis, MI: Mosby. • Carley, K.M. and Palmquist, M. (1992). “Extracting, Representing and Analyzing Mental Models.” Social Forces, 70(3), 601-636. • Manning, C. and Schtze, H. (1999). Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. • Steyvers, M., Smyth, P., Rosen-Zvi, M., and Griffiths, T. (2004). “Probabilistic Author-Topic Models for Information Discovery.” The Tenth ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining. Seattle, Washington.: n/a

 Project #3:  Automatic Inference of Anomalous Events from (California) Traffic Patterns
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Padhraic J. SmythComputer Science

Description:  In this project we will develop a web-based system that automatically identifies “anomalous events” on a freeway by analyzing traffic pattern data from sensors. By anomalous events we refer to unusual patterns of traffic on freeways i.e., traffic patterns we do not expect to see given the particular location, day, time etc. Our interest is from a disaster and crisis situation perspective; we are interested in detecting such events as they may be indicators of effects of a disaster that has occurred or even of potential terrorist activity. Such a system will integrate into the SAMI system for situational awareness, which is a system under development as part of the RESCUE project at Calit2/UCI.

Our team is developing statistical models to learn normal traffic behavior and innovative methods for detecting and characterizing unusual behavior. In this summer project we will create a Web browser, similar to what you see when you look at traffic maps with overlaid traffic data in real-time, that can display both the real-time traffic data and "toggle" to a display (color-coded) of what the model considers to be unusual. We will use publicly available traffic loop sensor data as input. We will leverage and implement the techniques developed in our ongoing research on smart sensing where we have developed a framework for unsupervised learning based on a time varying Poisson model that can also account for anomalous events.

A potential real use of this technology could be through integration into an emergency information portal currently under development (by the RESCUE) group for the City of Ontario, CA.

Student’s Research-Related Duties and Expected Outcomes:

The student will work with a small team that will modify the existing model to work in real time and adjoin geographical information to display the output of the model on a map in a Web browser.

The student will be primarily responsible for:
1. Developing code that can obtain near real-time loop sensor data for selected freeways in Southern California. (see PEMS link in the recommended readings section)
2. In collaboration with the team, running this data (continuously in real time) through our probabilistic event-detection models.
3. Developing a Web browser that can display both the real-time traffic data and "toggle" to a display (color-coded) of what the model considers to be unusual.
4. (if time permits) Extending the project to "overlay" additional data (e.g., crawl the Web to find schedules for known large-scale sporting and entertainment events that affect traffic, include relevant weather information, and so on).

Prerequisites: Undergraduate course work in linear algebra, discrete mathematics, and algorithms. Knowledgeable of basic concepts in probability. Proficient in at least 1 programming language (C/C++/JAVA) and in web interface development.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   We have an ftp account the student will use for obtaining the real time data, but this site can give the student a general picture of the type of data being collected and a visual representation of the data. Traffic loop sensor data :
   RESCUE web site for an introduction to the parent project:

 Project #4:  Biomimetic Modular Design for Advanced Biomaterials
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Zhibin GuanChemistry

Description:  This research explores a biomimetic modular polymer design as a new strategy to achieve advanced biomaterials. By mimicking Nature, the broad, long-term objective of this research is to develop rational design of biomaterials having well-defined high order structures for advanced properties. A specific challenge in biomaterials research is to design a polymer that has a combination of mechanical strength, fracture toughness, and elasticity - three fundamental mechanical properties that are highly desirable but usually exclusive to each other in polymeric materials. Many structural biopolymers, such as the muscle protein titin, employs modular domain structures to achieve the combination of these three fundamental mechanical properties in one system. A major research effort in Guan laboratory is to mimic the modular domain design in synthetic biomaterials. Specifically, we are synthesizing and investigating biomimetic modular polymers having the following modules: (1) quadruple hydrogen bonding modules, (2) peptidomimetic beta-sheet modules, and (3) small protein modules. The hypothesis for this research is that the introduction of well-defined modular domain structures into synthetic biopolymers should lead to biomaterials having a combination of mechanical strength, toughness, and elasticity. Whereas numerous biomedical applications can be envisioned for this type of ideal biomaterials, this proposal is focused on developing model polymers having modular domain structures with which to study fundamental structure-property correlation in synthetic biomaterials.

This project currently provides opportunities for TWO undergraduate students who will be working on the synthesis and studies of various modular polymers and single molecule AFM studies of their nanomechanical properties. Working on these projects will provide excellent training opportunities for undergraduate students on both chemistry and materials sciences.

Prerequisites: The applicants should have completed the majority part of sophomore organic chemistry and related laboratory courses, and have excellent academic standing.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   1. “Synthesis and Single-Molecule Studies of a Well-Defined Biomimetic Modular Multidomain Polymer Using a Peptidomimetic beta-Sheet Module” Roland, Jason T. and Guan, Zhibin. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2004, 126, 14328. 2. “Modular Domain Structure - A Biomimetic Strategy for Advanced Polymer Materials” Guan, Zhibin; Roland, J. T.; Bai, J.; Ma, S.; McIntire, T.; Nguyen, M. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2004, 126, 2058.:

 Project #5:  Can Computer Games Encourage The Empathic Involvement That Fosters Moral Treatment of Others?
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Kristen R. MonroePolitical Science

Description:  If violent computer and video games encourage violence, do analogous non-violent games foster non-violence? Unfortunately, no one knows, because no such games exist. The faculty of the UCI Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality, under the Directorship of Kristen Monroe, would like to involve motivated students in a project to (a) research the literature on existing computer/video games, (b) develop a prototype for such a game, and (c) develop psychological tests to determine if participation in such games results in shifts in attitudes toward those judged “different” in a negative sense.

Specific Student Duties and Expected Outcomes:

Weeks 1-4.
Students will concentrate research in the three theme areas:
* Research suggesting cooperation, altruism, and related forms of behavior are part of our human nature and hence should be incorporated into our models of human behavior. This includes work on cooperation/altruism in animal behavior, which suggests humans may have a predisposition toward helping and altruism as part of our primate nature, and research on the human biological/health benefits from friendship and caring.
* Work on any existing computer/video games and their effects on players, i.e., in fostering aggressive behavior.
* Psychological tests to measure shifts in tolerance and ethics that may occur as part of any program on ethics and on participation in computer/video games in particular.

Weeks 5-8.
Students will study existing scenarios designed to teach ethics in order to develop a prototype of a game designed to teach altruism, helping and cooperation. They will build on Professor Monroe’s work on real life experiences of rescuers, bystanders and perpetrators of ethnic violence and genocide during the Holocaust and utilize the initial game, developed in the Calit2 Program last year, to construct their own game.

Weeks 9-10.
Students will administer the preliminary game to other students after administering psychological tests to assess the impact of participating in such games and tests to assess the feasibility of developing such a game and whether there would be a market for such a game.

Required skills:
Students must be able to do social science library research and must have some familiarity with computer/video games. Minimal writing skills are required. We expect students to refine these skills during the full 10 weeks. In addition to this, we will ask computer science students to develop computer and video games to create role playing games that can teach tolerance. Students will be exposed to critical experiments in social and political psychology. They then will work with Professor Monroe to create computerized versions of these games. (Faculty in Social Ecology, Social Science, and Computer Science will also participate in the program.)

Broader Impact of the Project. The UCI program is part of a broader effort between the CEM and the Caucus of Concerned Scientists, Committee on Altruism and Ethics, established by the International Society of Political Psychology (hereafter ISPP). To disseminate results, we have established ties with appropriate human rights’ organizations, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Detroit Holocaust Museum, and will work to develop further projects to expand and broaden our work to include students other than UCI students. Students who do superior work will be asked to participate in a paper to be presented at a professional conference, and then submitted to a professional journal.

Research Facilities: UCI Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality, UCI Computer facilities.

Students: Individualized work under the supervision of Professor Monroe and graduate student assistants. Student assistants will be funding via a grant from the Biosophical Institute. Up to 10 students may participate.

Prerequisites: Computer skills, ability and willingness to do library research and independent work in an internship program and to work with others on a group project.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Web site for International Society of Political Psychology, Caucus of Concerned Scholars, Committee on Ethics and Morality. Relevant readings and publications for students to consult. Kristen Monroe’s The Hand of Compassion (Princeton UP 2004) or The Heart of Altruism (Princeton UP, 1996), any introductory text to social psychology. Summary articles on animal behavior (cooperative? altruistic? aggressive?) and on the biological benefits of friendship are available in the Center office, as is a summary of last year’s project. :

 Project #6:  Computational Simulation and Optimization of Impedance Based Biological Cell Sensing Using Interdigitated Electrodes
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Abraham P. LeeBiomedical Engineering

Description:  Impedance based cell sensing is becoming popular in microfluidic cell based assays. For such impedance sensors, microfabrication of electrodes is crucial since the sensitivity of the sensor depends upon the geometry of the electrodes. Moreover the sensitivity also depends on the electrical parameters such as frequency and voltage of the applied ac signal. The simulation and optimization of this microfluidic cell sensor is carried out using finite element and finite volume methods. Optimization for the width of electrodes and distance between the digits of the electrodes are carried out for the cell size and dielectric properties of the cells and cell media. Modeling of the impedance sensing has been done and our work will focus on optimization for high sensitivity cell sensing.

Week 1 and 2. Learn a simulation package (CFD-ACE+ or FEM Lab) and understand the concept of ac electrical field and dielectrivity.
Week 3 and 4: Construct a model geometry for electrodes
Week 5 and 6: Apply dc and ac electric fields and adjust the electrical parameters
Week 7 and 8: Program the geometry using Python and develop a table with results.
Week 9 and 10: Analyze the results and write a report/ present in the group meeting.

The undergraduate will develop skills like problem solving, analytical thinking, understand dielectric and cells under electric field and presentation of results.

Prerequisites: High school physics, chemistry and biology. Knowledge of a programming language.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   1. W. Franks, W. Schenker, P. Schmutz, and A. Hierlemann, Impedance characterization and modeling of electrodes for biomedical applications. IEEE T Bio-Med Eng, 2005. 52(7): p. 1295-1302. 2. Impedance measurements in biological cells, Schanne Ruiz P. Ceretti, John Wiley & Sons : n/a

 Project #7:  Development of Hybrid Atomic Force Microscope Tips with Focused Ion Beam
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Albert Fan. YeeChemical Engineering & Materials Science

Description:  Our group is currently developing new technologies to characterize the mechanical properties of nanoscale polymeric structures. The mechanical properties of these nanoscale polymeric structures are important because it is linked to the stability of these structures. The stability of nanoscale polymeric structures is important for their use as nanopattterning masks and sub-wavelength polymeric electro-optical devices. One of the direct ways of probing the mechanical properties of a material is with the use of a Dynamic Mechanical Analyser (DMA).1 However, the current commercial DMA systems do not have the sensitivity and stability to carry out tests on nanoscale structures. To overcome this difficulty, we are developing an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) based DMA system to locate and test nanoscale polymeric structures. One of the important parts of this hybrid AFM-DMA system is the probe that both images the topography and measures the properties of nanoscale structures. The probe is primarily a quartz resonator that is sensitive to changes in applied forces. In its present form the quartz resonator cannot be used as an AFM imaging tip or a DMA probe. This research and development work will be focused on the modification of the quartz resonator into an AFM tip and a DMA probe.

One way that we have identified to modify the quartz resonator is with the use of Focused Ion Beam (FIB) micromachining methods.2 The student will be involved in designing and fabricating a hybrid AFM-DMA tip-probe. He or she will primarily use a state-of-the-art Focused Ion Beam (FIB) system that has just been installed in Calit2 for the fabrication of this tip-probe. Experiments will be carried out to determine the optimum parameters to fabricate a sharp AFM imaging tip and a stiff and robust probe for DMA measurements. At the end of this ten week research, the student will learn FIB based nano-fabrication techniques and will have hands-on experience operating the FIB and AFM systems.

Prerequisites: To be eligible, the student will need to have a mechanical engineering, materials science or chemistry background.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   1. J. D. Ferry, Viscoelastic properties of polymers. (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1980). 2. S. Reyntjens and R. Puers, "A review of focused ion beam applications in microsystem technology," J. Micromech. Microeng. 11 (4), 287-300 (2001); S. Reyntjens and R. Puers, "Focused ion beam induced deposition: fabrication of three-dimensional microstructures and Young's modulus of the deposited material," J. Micromech. Microeng. 10 (2), 181-188 (2000).: References

 Project #8:  Earth and Planetary System Science Game Engine (EPSS-GE)
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Falko KuesterElectrical Engineering & Computer Science

Description:  Interested in working with an interdisciplinary team of researchers to broaden your computer science skills?

Do you have a solid background in C/C++ programming and experience with OpenGL?

Are you interested in learning more about state-of-the art multiplayer games?

If your answer to these questions is “yes” read on!

The Earth and Planetary System Science Game Engine project (EPSS-GE) is leading edge technology aimed at providing a research and visualization framework for the exploration of Earth system observation and model data using gaming technology. Players of EPSS-GE client applications will be able to explore environmental scenarios based on current trends and/or observations, then tweak boundary conditions to determine how geophysical systems and events might be altered through individual action, shifts in industry practice, changes in environmental policy, or geophysical forcing.

Summer undergraduate research positions are available for two exceptional SURF-IT Fellows to be “paid to play.” The students will work at the interface between science and the arts to develop unconventional scientific visualization strategies, in a multiplayer computer game context, to explore notions of geophysical scale (temporal and spatial); model interpretation and data exchange mechanisms.

The SURF-IT Fellows will complete a series of short term IT projects focused on geo-spatial registration and navigation using game controllers and other user interface components. Fellows will develop strategies for the integration of Earth system science data into existing game engines in combination with visualization and interaction paradigms. Fellows will have the opportunity to participate in weekly project meetings and discussions on scenarios, models, underlying geophysics, simulations and parameters that will drive interaction mechanisms, game play and visualization. At the conclusion of the summer program, the Fellows will present, and discuss, their work with a small group of invited Calit2 researchers from diverse Earth system science visualization programs
and experts in informal science education. The SURF-IT Fellows day-to-day experience will be in a laboratory “team type” environment using state of the art research facilities. The primary research location will be Calit2 GRAVITY visualization laboratory and the VizClass.

Prerequisites: Strong programming skills in C/C++, computer graphics or animation background; other desirable, but not required, skills are a knowledge of Unix and a game engine such as Torque.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Center of GRAVITY :
   Gloria J. Brown-Simmons. Sky Art Conference 2002, chapter Visualization of Earth and Planetary Data, pages 112–121. Cambridge: Center for Advanced Visual Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2004.: n/a
   David Johnston. 3D game engines as a new reality. In Proceedings of the 4th Annual CM316 Conference on Multimedia Systems. Southampton University, UK, Jan 2004. dj301.pdf downloaded Nov 2005:
   Sung-Jin Kim, Falko Kuester, and K. H. (Kane) Kim. A global timestamp-based scalable framework for multi-player online games. In Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Multimedia Software Engineering (MSE’02), pages 2–10. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, IEEE Computer Society, Dec 2002.: n/a
   Falko Kuester, Gloria J. Brown-Simmons, Christopher J. H. Knox, and So Yamaoka. Earth and planetary system science game engine. In Proceedings of Edutainment 2006. China Society of Image and Graphics, Eurographics, and International Federation of Information Processing (IFIP) Specialist Group (SG) on Entertainment and Computing, Springer Lecture Notes on Computer Science, 2006. (preprint available from GRAVITY).: n/a
   Falko Kuester, Ralph Bruckschen, Bernd Hamann, and Kenneth I. Joy. Visualization of particle traces in virtual environments. In Proceedings of the Virtual Reality Software and Technology Conference, VRST ’01, pages 151–157. ACM SIGCHI and SIGGRAPH, Nov 2001.: n/a
   Michael Lewis and Jeffrey Jacobson. Game engines in scientific research. Communications of the ACM, 45(1):27–31, Jan 2002.: n/a
   Craig Peeper. Gaming technologies. In Microsoft Faculty Summit 2005. Microsoft, downloaded 24 September 2005.: 2005 Peeper.ppt.
   Theresa-Marie Rhyne. Computer games’ influence on scientific and information visualization. IEEE Computer, 33(12):154–156, Dec 2000.: n/a
   Theresa-Marie Rhyne. Scientific visualization in the next millennium. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, 20(1):20–21, Jan-Feb 2000.: n/a
   Theresa-Marie Rhyne. Computer games and scientific visualization. Communications of the ACM, 45(7):40–44, Jul 2002.: n/a
   Bendik Stang. Game Engines: Features and Possibilities. Institute of Information and Mathematical Modeling @ The Technical University of Denmark (IMM DTU), Sep 2003.: n/a
   Michael Zyda. From visual simulation to virtual reality to games. IEEE Computer, 38(9):25–32, Sep 2005.: n/a

 Project #9:  EcoRaft Project
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Bill TomlinsonInformatics

Description:  This project involves the deployment and evaluation of an educational museum exhibit built on a multi-device technological platform. The installation consists of three stationary computers that represent virtual islands, and three mobile devices that represent rafts or boxes.

Each virtual island represents a different ecosystem. The ecosystems can be populated with hummingbirds, coral trees, and heliconia flowers. Participants can use the mobile devices to transport species from one island to another by bringing a mobile device near one of the stationary computers. This exhibit was designed in summer 2005, and exhibited at SIGGRAPH 2005. A video of the EcoRaft Project is available at:

In 2006, the research team will be revising and extending the project to enable it to withstand the rigors of 250,000 users per year. By transforming a research prototype into a robust and stable exhibit, the project will explore research questions in engineering, education and human-computer interaction design.

Student's Research-Related Duties and Expected Outcomes:

There are three potential positions available with this project.

1) Mechanical engineer. Primary responsibility will involve designing, building and testing a rolling cart with a Tablet PC mounted on the top and a large battery in the base. Experience with metal and electronics fabrication needed. Student will develop a deeper understanding of how to produce a physical artifact that is able to withstand a great deal of vigorous use.

2) Flash animator/programmer. Student will be responsible for creating a Flash version of the current 3D animated virtual world. Experience with ActionScript needed. Student will develop skills in Flash gaming and educational simulation design.

3) Human-computer interaction evaluator. Student will be responsible for designing and conducting an experimental protocol for evaluating the educational viability of the museum exhibit. Basic experience with HCI and human user studies needed. Student will develop an understanding of how to conduct interviews and analyze results of human interactions with technology.

Prerequisites: All students should be willing to work in a collaborative team, and undertake important parts of the project with a fair degree of autonomy.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 

 Project #10:  Electronic Circuits with Single Molecule Components
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Philip CollinsPhysics & Astronomy

Description:  One or more students will be given the opportunity to work in this exciting nanoscience collaboration. Our research groups have recently developed techniques for building operational electronic circuits at the single-molecule scale. Carbon nanotubes are used as the interconnecting wires, and a variety of interesting molecules including proteins and peptides are investigated. The resulting circuits are of commercial interest as chemical and biological sensors.

Our present research is focused on improving the attachment chemistry so that large numbers of circuits can be reliably fabricated and tested. Because each experiment involves the creation of only one chemical bond, traditional chemistry techniques lack the resolution to determine the reaction’s yield. Our laboratories are developing new ways of characterizing reactions with the necessary resolution.

Student’s Research-Related Duties and Expected Outcomes:

SURF-IT fellows will be integrated into a team working on the fabrication and testing of these circuits. Students will be trained in atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and nanocircuit preparation and handling. Depending on the student’s background and interests, the project will also focus on either chemical modification and optical characterization or else electrical measurement and characterization. These projects could lead to suitable Senior Honors Theses for students continuing research in the academic year.

Prerequisites: Minimum requirements include completion of Physics 52AB or Chemistry 51ABC. Preference will be given to students specializing in a related field through courses such as Phys 133 or Chem 153. Previous research experience is a plus but not a prerequisite.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Successful applicants will meet with Prof. Collins during the Spring Quarter and will be assigned readings of relevant material. Interested applicants may look at the following three journal articles, available online and in the library, to learn more about the topic. “Molecules get wired” by R. F. Service. Science vol 294, pg. 2442 (21 Dec 2001). “Carbon nanotubes – the route toward applications” by R. H. Baughman. Science vol 297, pg. 787 (2 Aug 2002). “Identifying and counting point defects in carbon nanotubes” by Y. Fan. Nature Materials, vol 4, pg. 906 (Dec 2005).: n/a

 Project #11:  High Performance Cooperative Data Distribution
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Stephen F. JenksElectrical Engineering & Computer Science

Description:  Current large file transfer approaches used in high performance cluster computing are point-to-point, normally based on GridFTP or Secure Copy (scp). If the file to be disseminated to local disks on cluster nodes, either each transfer happens separately or the connection to the front-end becomes a bottleneck. In either case, the overall distribution time is proportional to the number of destinations times a single transfer time. With files in the tens becoming common, this time becomes quite long.

Peer-to-peer filesharing offers a solution in the form of BitTorrent, which allows receivers to send data as well, thus multiplying the available bandwidth and decreasing download time of all participants. BitTorrent was designed for unreliable, shared, slow home Internet connections, however, and performs very poorly in high-performance environments with gigabit or faster networks. This project will merge the best ideas from BitTorrent with advanced parallel computing techniques to develop a cooperative data distribution approach that will work within clusters and across research networks, like OptIPuter. The goal is to make the total transfer time to multiple nodes approach the single transfer time of the file, which is a significant improvement.

Student Duties and Expected Outcome:

The student will be responsible for the detailed design and implementation of the client and server distribution approach, but will receive significant guidance from Prof. Jenks. Most students at this level will be adequate programmers, but will not know networking. The student will learn networking to a sufficient depth as part of the research and development process. The outcome will be a student with experience in networking and cluster computing, as well as an application that may be very helpful to cluster computing researchers worldwide, including HIPerWall and other clusters at UCI.

Prerequisites: The qualified student should have completed their lower-division programming courses with high grades. Knowledge of algorithms and networks is a plus, but not essential. Programming ability in C++ is also useful, but can be learned. I have been working with a current EECS Junior, John Aguilar, to define this project, so he will be the student of choice.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   UNIX Network Programming, Volume 1, Second Edition: Networking APIs: Sockets and XTI, Prentice Hall, 1998, ISBN 0-13-490012-X.:

 Project #12:  Information Integration in Medical Databases
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Chen LiComputer Science

Description:  We are starting an interdisciplinary project in which faculty from ICS, the Department of Neurosurgery, and other UC hospitals are involved. The goal of the project is to integrate clinical trial data from different hospitals. Clinical trials are extremely expensive, and currently researchers at each hospital can only use their very limited amount of local data to do analysis. A federated system that can integrate data from various heterogeneous, autonomous databases can provide tremendous statistical power for clinical research by the researchers at all the hospitals. As the first step, we want to integrate data of neuroscience clinical trials from the UCI Medical Center and the UCLA medical school. This pilot project requires techniques and tools to migrate data between databases. The student will develop tools to facilitate the process of converting data from one database (e.g., the UCI Hospital database or a UCLA database) to another database (e.g., the federated database).

Student’s Research-Related Duties and Expected Outcomes:

The student is expected to analyze the schemas of various databases. There will be a lot of interactions with clinical researchers in order to fully understand how they want to use the data to conduct research. The student will write programs to interact with the databases; retrieving data from the source database and populating the target database. The project will provide an excellent opportunity to the student to learn how to manage data from heterogeneous databases, and apply their database knowledge in a real-world application. The project also provides a great chance for the student to know how database systems are used in hospitals and clinical research.

Prerequisites: The student should have taken ICS184 or an equivalent database course. ICS185 is not a must but highly recommended. The student should have good database knowledge (ER diagrams, relational model, SQL, views, constraints, ODBC/JDBC) and strong programming skills in C/C++ and Java. The student should also have strong communication skills.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Query Processing and Optimization in Information-Integration Systems. Chen Li. Ph.D. Thesis, Computer Science Department, Stanford University, August, 2001:

 Project #13:  Molecular Communication: System Design, Modeling and Simulations
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Tatsuya SudaComputer Science

Description:  Molecular Communication is a new and interdisciplinary research area that spans the nanotechnology, biotechnology, and communication technology. Molecular communication allows nanomachines to communicate using molecules or chemical signals. Molecular communication is inspired by the observation that communication in biological systems such as inter/intra cell signaling is done through molecules. Current related research in biology and engineering focuses on observing and understanding existing biological systems such as how communication is done within a cell or between cells. Molecular communication would work towards the actual design and control of molecular-scale communication systems. Molecular communication is a completely new paradigm and would potentially enable new applications in bionanotechnology such as communication and computing for molecular scale devices. In the Summer Undergraduate Research project, undergraduate students will design potential molecular communication systems and investigate the characteristics of the designed systems through modeling and simulations.

Student's Research-Related Duties and Expected Outcomes:

Students will be involved in:
* System design of molecular communication systems in collaboration with other students and mentors who have different backgrounds including engineering, chemistry, biology and biochemistry.
* System evaluation and characterization through the use of modeling and simulations.

Students are expected to acquire/learn the various scientific skills and knowledge.
* Interdisciplinary approach to a network system design
* Collaboration and communication skills
* Advanced programming and computer simulation techniques
* Basic knowledge of biology and biotechnology
* Basic knowledge of mathematical modeling for biochemical networks
* Basic knowledge of simulation algorithms for biochemical networks

Prerequisites: * Programming experience (in any programming language) preferred * Basic knowledge in two or more of the following areas preferred: biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, and engineering.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Molecular Communication:
   T. Nakano, T. Suda, M. Moore, R. Egashira, A. Enomoto, and K. Arima, “Molecular Communication for Nanomachines Using Intercellular Calcium Signaling,” IEEE NANO 2005 , Japan , June 2005.: n/a
   T. Suda, M. Moore, T. Nakano, R. Egashira and A. Enomoto, “Exploratory Research on Molecular Communication between Nanomachines,” GECCO Late Breaking Papers, June, 2005: n/a
   S. Hiyama, Y. Moritani, T. Suda, R. Egashira, A. Enomoto, M. Moore and T. Nakano, “Molecular Communication,” Proc. of the 2005 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference, 2005.: n/a

 Project #14:  Nanoimprinting of 2-D Graphene Nanowires
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Albert Fan. YeeChemical Engineering & Materials Science

Description:  Recently it has been shown that two dimensional sheets of graphene could be fashioned into electronic devices. Field effect transistors (FET) and Hall bars have been fabricated to study the electronic properties of this new form of an ‘old’ material. Graphene is a single sheet of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice and scientists had thought that graphene would be too unstable to exist. In 2004, researchers from the UK and Russia pulled off the seemingly impossible feat of laying down graphene sheets onto silicon surfaces. These researchers showed that these graphene sheets could be made into metallic FETs and Hall bars with high electron mobilities and linear current-voltage characteristics.1 Although it is exciting to discover new physical phenomena in these graphene sheets, the most exciting aspect of these graphene sheets is the potential for non-transistor applications as evidenced from the body of work involving carbon nanotubes.

The fabrication of graphene based electronic devices has been carried out with conventional photo- and electron beam- lithography techniques. Conventional photolithography is ideal for mass production of graphene based devices but to tune the electronic properties of graphene for more advanced applications, it is necessary to form nanowires below 100 nm. This is easily achieved with electron beam lithography, but it is not suited for mass production because it is a serial process. Nanoimprint lithography is a technology developed to solve the problem associated with electron beam lithography and is a cost effective alternative to the very expensive solutions like the Deep- to Extreme- UltraViolet photolithography systems.2 By implementing nanoimprint lithography in the fabrication of graphene based devices, we would be able to demonstrate the viability of mass producing and eventually commercializing these devices.

The student will be involved in developing a nanoimprint based patterning process for graphene. Studies will be conducted on a candidate polymeric material for patterning purposes and the student will also be characterizing this material after processing with atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. At the end of this ten week research, the student will learn nanotechnology based fabrication and characterization techniques and have hands-on experience operating several state-of-the-art equipment. We expect that the results of this work will have a substantial impact in the research of graphene based devices and nanotechnology in general.

Prerequisites: To be eligible, the student will need to have a materials science or chemistry background, preferably with some physical polymer science knowledge.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   1. K. S. Novoselov, A. K. Geim, S. V. Morozov, D. Jiang et al., "Electric field effect in atomically thin carbon films," Science 306 (5296), 666-669 (2004). 2. X. D. Huang, L. R. Bao, X. Cheng, L. J. Guo et al., "Reversal imprinting by transferring polymer from mold to substrate," J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 20 (6), 2872-2876 (2002). : References

 Project #15:  Politics and Aesthetics of New Media in East Asia
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Jonathan M. HallComparative Literature

Description:  Information arts and new media experimentalism occupy special places in the recent history of East Asia. Artists, groups, and movements as globally important and diverse as Nam Jun Paik, Experiments in Arts and Technology, Fluxus, Ono Yoko, dumb type, Shu Lea Cheang, the Taj Mahal Travellers, Feng Mengbo, and recent “noise” activists have each pioneered innovative uses of information technology that question information’s relation to state and multinational politics, to gender, to sexuality, and to conventions in visual and acoustic aesthetics. In some cases, these uses have questioned the national and corporate interests that inhere in state advocacy of an “information society” (jôhô shakai, in the case of Japan) while in other instances, state telecommunications monopolies (such as Nippon Telephone and Telegraph, again in the Japanese example) have been major champions of information-technology-based aesthetics. This project offers a broad survey of the emergence of information arts and new media in a regional East Asian context and within an international and global purview. It locates media experimentation within specific local histories and within the emergent space of globally accessible information art.

Summer 2006 Duties and Expected Outcomes:

UC Irvine has national prominence for its emphasis on Asian film studies as well as for its attention to new media. The objective of this project is to examine the intersection of these spaces and to articulate present and future directions of new media in an East Asian context. The research student will survey, evaluate, and document computer- and internet-based arts that engage, originate from, and/or are targeted to East Asia. This analysis of new media will engage their historical location, their use of language, their presumptions of accessibility, as well as the political concerns raised by each author and each text/object. When appropriate the student will help organize interviews with active artists. The research student will be expected in the first few weeks of the research project to investigate the historical emergence of new media both globally and within the context of East Asia. Then, the student will dedicate her/himself to researching specific artists, collectives, and movement from the 1960s to the present. These “contents” will be uploaded to a searchable web-based site that will emphasize the interconnections between individual projects and their regional and global production and dissemination.

Results: Results are to be summarized on a website made accessible publicly.

Prerequisites: Students with a working knowledge of an East Asian language, such as Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, in addition to English, are strongly preferred, but applications are encouraged from all students with experience in film and media, studio arts, the humanities, and computing and information technologies. Significant amounts of time will be dedicated to research work both online and in archives. Since activities include contacting active artists via letter, email, and videoconference, good communication skills are a must. Web construction experience is also desirable, but not absolutely necessary.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Students should be familiar with both classics and recent texts on new media intersection with the arts. See work by Lev Manovich, Mark Poster, Mark Hansen, Chris Berry, Reiko Tomii, Jennifer Terry, and Peter Krapp.: n/a

 Project #16:  Project RESCUE: Spatial Reference Extraction and Interpretation System
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Nalini VenkatasubramanianComputer Science

Description:  In this project we will develop a prototype system which extracts and synthesizes references to specific locations in responder communications (such as communications between police, fire or other first responders) or in 911 calls, and interprets the location references on maps of the region in question. The summer project will be in close collaboration with members of the RESCUE project team who have been actively working on research issues in extraction and synthesis of location information in free text, particularly in transcribed responder type communications. Specifically the summer project will be focused on the implementation of such location extraction techniques and the visualization and interpretation of location references on local maps. The summer fellow will work closely with RESCUE Research Scientist

Student Research Related Duties:
1. Implement location extraction techniques
2. Demonstrate and test on existing RESCUE datasets
3. Develop map oriented Graphical User Interface (GUI)

The fellow will be expected to utilize current and developing location extraction techniques on a varying amount of datasets in order to analyze their efficiency and accuracy. The fellow must efficiently extract the datasets out of the RESCUE databases, so database knowledge is necessary. The output will then need to be displayed on a GUI that is scalable enough to efficiently handle and display all appropriate output for responder communications. This final artifact will be due at the end of the 10-week period.

Prerequisites: Undergraduate course work in databases/data management. Proficient in at least 1 programming language (C/C++/JAVA) and having skills in web interface development.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   RESCUE Project:

 Project #17:  Project RESCUE: Undergraduate Research in Privacy Preserving Media Spaces
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Sharad MehrotraComputer Science

Description:  The proposed Surf-IT fellowship will support ongoing research in privacy and privacy preserving technologies. The proposed research will explore policy and design scenarios within UCI's Responsphere Smart-Space infrastructure. The fellow will be responsible for applications systems programming and analysis for the multi-media sensing environment within Rescue's Responsphere infrastructure. The fellow will be implementing a policy-based system and an automated triggering mechanism within this infrastructure that supports privacy-aware constraints. This research project will entail java-programming as well as video systems integration. As such, it requires a high-level understanding of computer science.

The Rescue project will provide two mentors for the proposed SURF-IT fellow. Sharad Mehrotra, Rescue project Director, will provide research direction and serve as the faculty mentor for the student. Chris Davison, Rescue project Technology Manager, will provide day-to-day supervision as well as engineering support and technology integration assistance. The fellow will work with the Privacy team at Rescue for general guidance as well as user requirements

Student's Research-Related Duties and Expected Outcomes:

The proposed SURF-IT fellow will address the following research problem domains:
1) Privacy and privacy-preservation within media-instrumented spaces.
2) Privacy policy and dynamic policy implementation engines.
3) Software integration of multi-media equipment.

The fellow will be expected to provide a working policy-based media controller Rescue project. This media controller will be web-based (possibly with a registered url) that integrates a multi-camera infrastructure into a dynamic policy engine for privacy preservation. Alarm triggers for policy violations will be designed and implemented. The fellow's work will support Rescue's research in the Privacy domain.

High Level Requirements for the policy-based media controller:
Equipment: Linksys WV54G cameras with audio
Rescue Contact: Chris Davison /Sharad Mehrotra
The fellow will perform vision processing on cameras to monitor media-instrumented spaces. Any policy violations will result in an alarm trigger and notification through e-mail or other medium. The policy-based media controller will be deployed within the UCI's Responsphere infrastructure.

Activities for the fellow include user requirements documentation, systems analysis, and java as well as web-based programming.

Prerequisites: The fellow should have experience with java programming as well as an interest in privacy and privacy preservation. Experience with vision processing helpful but not required.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Privacy Preservation for Pervasive Spaces:
   Rescue Project:
   Rescue Project Privacy Research:

 Project #18:  Project RESCUE: Undergraduate Research Utilizing 802.15.4 Wireless Sensors
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Nalini VenkatasubramanianComputer Science

Description:  The proposed SURF-IT fellowship will support ongoing research in creating an 802.15.4 (ZigBee) Sensor network. The proposed sensor net will consist of Sun's SunSPOT (Small Programmable Object Technology) Sensors and other ZigBee sensors. The fellow will be responsible for deployment of ZigBee coordinators, Full Function Devices (FFDs) as well as Reduced Function Devices (RDDs). Additionally, the fellow will be responsible for systems integration with existing 2.4Ghz networks and other IP networks. This research project will entail multi-disciplinary talent as it requires both a high-level understanding of computer science as well as engineering.

The Rescue project will provide two mentors for the proposed SURF-IT fellow. Nalini Venkatasubramanian, Rescue project PI, will provide research direction and serve as the faculty mentor for the student. Chris Davison, Rescue project Technology Manager, will provide day-to-day supervision as well as engineering support and technology integration assistance. The fellow will work with the Quality Aware Sensor Architecture team at Rescue for general guidance as well as user requirements.

Student's Research-Related Duties and Expected Outcomes:

The proposed SURF-IT Fellow will address the following research problem domains:
1) Provide quantitative metrics regarding the 802.15.4 low-data rate protocol.
2) Explore integration issues with 802.15.4 and existing wireless and wired IP networks.
3) Investigate the applicability and usability of the Java VM with regard to sensors within a Disaster Response setting.

The fellow will be expected to provide a working ZigBee sensor net to the Rescue project. This sensor net will provide low data-rate environmental sensing for other areas or Rescue research including DrillSim and QUASAR.

High Level Requirements for Sensing Platform:
Equipment: Sun SunSPOT sensors
Rescue Contact: Chris Davison /Rescue QUASAR and DrillSim
Stream sensor readings back to ZigBee Coordinator. The data will then be packaged in IP format and disseminated to the Responsphere environment.

Activities for the fellow include electrical engineering (soldering, power systems creation -solar, and commercial, mote and other sensor communications) as well as computer science tasks (systems integration, networking, data collection and dissemination).

Prerequisites: The fellow should have experience with java programming as well as an interest in and experience with hardware integration. Some experience with 802.15.4 is preferred, but not necessary.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   IEEE. (2006). IEEE 802.15 Working Group for WPAN:
   Quality Aware Sensing Architecture:
   Rescue Project:
   Sun Labs.Sun SPOT System. Retrieved February 10, 2006:
   ZigBee Alliance:

 Project #19:  Reconstruction of Spatially Varying Color Response of a Tiled Display
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Aditi MajumderComputer Science

Description:  High resolution displays are becoming desirable for visualization of high resolution data that can be easily generated even by inexpensive data capture devices like scanners and cameras. A common way to build such high resolution displays is to tile multiple projectors together to create one single seamless high resolution display. The two common problems that are encountered in such scenarios is that of geometric and color calibration. Geometric calibration assures that the image does not look broken at the boundary of the projectors. Color calibration assures that the spatially varying brightness and color is balanced across multiple projectors. Traditional way to approaching the geometric misalignment is to mount projectors on mounts that have six degrees of freedom and control the six degrees manually to get the adjacent projectors aligned. Similarly for color calibration, the projector controls like brightness, picture is manually controlled to achieve a color balance across the projectors. As is evident, this process takes several man hours, is not scalable, and needs constant expensive manual maintenance to assure that the display does not run out of calibration. In addition, there are several geometric and color anomalies in today’s commodity devices (that cannot afford expensive optics) like radial distortion (bending of straight lines to curved lines), hot spot effect (higher brightness at the center than at the fringe of the projectors), and color blotches (variation in hue and saturation within a single projector) that cannot be really corrected by such manual efforts. Recently, there has been a plethora of camera-based automated calibration methods to address these problems, especially the problem of geometric calibration. In these methods a camera connected to a computer is used to ‘look’ at the display and capture the images of certain known patterns projected on the display. Using image processing on the captured images, parameters of geometric models that define alignment is deciphered. Then this is used to precondition the image by applying the inverse warp so that when projected, alignment is achieved. The same approach has been recently taken by the PI of this proposal for color calibration. Using a camera only the brightness of the display was captured and then compensated using an image preconditioning. Brightness is relatively easy to capture using the camera since the entire range of brightness of the display can be captured using different shutter speed, aperture and exposure of the camera. However, reconstruction of the full color variation (including brightness, hue and saturation) is difficult since camera can only capture a limited gamut of colors and issues like the projector color being out of the gamut of camera capability comes into picture. In fact, to the best knowledge of the PI, there is no work that finds the complete color parameters that defines the camera without using any specialized optical instruments on a optical bench in order to address this issue.

Research in this particular project:

The PI has come up with a mathematical model and algorithm that can be used to calibrate the camera fully in terms of 3D color. This will be achieved by capturing a bunch of pictures with different exposures and white balance. By mathematically analyzing these images, we reconstruct the model parameters for the camera. This achieves a full color calibration of the camera without the use of any sophisticated optimal instrument or the optical bench. This entails the first part of the project. Projectors can be considered as dual of cameras in terms of the color model used. So, the next phase of the project would involve using this calibrated camera to reconstruct the spatial variation in color of a tiled display. This is essentially reconstructing a five dimensional function F(x,y,b,h,s) where (x,y) is the spatial display coordinate; b, h and s are the color brightness, hue and saturation respectively. All of this work will be done in the Visualization Lab in 2nd Floor of Calit2 Building.

Student Research Related Duties and Outcomes:

The above work is well formulated and the algorithms are in reasonable shape. So, it is a very reasonable task for an UG student to complete this work in 10 weeks. Note that this
will be a new research and has the potential of the student publishing a paper in a reputed venue if he/she completes the work successfully. Such venues may be but are not limited
to IEEE Visualization, Eurographics, CVPR (Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition) which are premier conferences of graphics and vision.

Week 1: Getting acquainted with camera and software interface to it
Week 2: Interface it with a laptop and write the code for taking multiple images
Week 3, 4, 5: Understanding the camera model and the implementing the algorithm to extract the camera parameters from the captured images
Week 5: Interface the camera model with the existing methods that calibrated the tiled display
Week 6, 7, 8, 9: Implement reconstruction of the color variation in the tiled display and its visualization
Week 10: Writing a report which can be extended by the PI for a technical paper.

Prerequisites: Pedagogical Preparation: • The student should have a background in Computer graphics OR computer vision. If the student has taken ICS 183 and/or some other introductory course in computer graphics and/or vision, that would be great. • The student should also be conversant with linear algebra, since we will need to deal with matrices. If the student has done Math 6C, that will be great. Software Skills: • The student should have good programming skills. Most of the work will be done in matlab. So, if the student has seen matlab before it will be great, but it is not a strict prerequisite.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   1. Recovering High Dynamic Range Radiance Maps from Photographs, Paul Debevec, Jitendra Malik, Proceedings of SIGGRAPH, 1997. 2. Scalable Alignment of Large Format Multi-Projector Displays Using Camera Homography Trees, Han Chen, Rahul Sukthankar, Grant Wallace, Kai Li, Proceedings of IEEE Visualization, 2002. 3. Perceptual Photometric Seamlessness in Tiled Projection-Based Displays, Aditi Majumder, Rick Stevens, ACM Transaction on Graphics, 2005:

 Project #20:  SuperSize Me: Visualizing Parallel Workspace Activities on a Next-Generation, Massively-Tiled Display System
Faculty Mentor:  Professor André van der Hoek Informatics

Description:  We wish to develop SuperSize Me: a visualization of parallel workspace activities on a next-generation, massively tiled display system. Large-scale visualizations have been effectively used in all kinds of disciplines, but have never been explored to advance the activity of software development itself. The goal of SuperSize Me is to change exactly that by developing an experimental prototype that uses a 50 tile (10x5 tiles), 200 mega-pixel display (28,160 x 8,000 pixels) massively tiled display system to show which project files are modified by whom, where, and by how much. The result will be the world’s first system to display, in a manner scalable to hundreds of developers worldwide, what is going in a software development project. This is critical to: (1) managers, who will be able to much better understand their ongoing projects and make effective and efficient task assignments as a result, (2) developers, who will understand their role in large-scale projects as well as the relationships of their work to that of others, and (3) projects, which, for the first time, we will be able to understand by peeking inside individual workspaces and combining all this data for a visualization of actual reality that is continuously updated. SuperSize Me brings together the Workspace Activity Viewer and HIPerWall. The Workspace Activity Viewer, shown below, left side, is a large-scale visualization that shows in 3D ongoing activities in a software development project. That is, it shows per file which developers are working on it and how much they have changed it. The larger a cylinder, the larger the modifications a developer is making. Stacks of cylinders represent parallel work (and thus potential troublesome situations): more than one developer is working on the same source file at the same time. The closer a stack it to the forefront of the visualization, the more recent a change is. Different colors represent different developers. The visualization scales and can be rotated to allow different perspectives. Thus far, the Workspace Activity Viewer has been limited to use on a single monitor, significantly restricting the size of the projects we can examine.

HIPerWall, shown above, right side, is a massively tiled display system consisting of a large number of individual display tiles. It is one of the world’s largest display systems in terms of available pixels, and is assembled and in use in the Calit2 Visualization Lab. HIPerWall is driven by a middleware system that distributes a single large picture over the multiple monitors. Different kinds of visualizations have been developed in the past. Our goal is to bring Workspace Activity Viewer onto the HIPerWall, and running it to examine several archives that we have obtained – some from open source projects and one from an industrial project. We hope that by doing so, we can begin understand how projects evolve and, in a way, “live”. The implementation of SuperSize Me will be able to leverage existing code in both the Workspace Activity Viewer and HIPerWall. From Workspace Activity Viewer, we can reuse the code accessing data archives and, in modified form, logic and viewing mechanisms. From HIPerWall, we can reuse the middleware to display the visualization. The project, thus, entails bringing those two technologies together, designing and implementing the visualization, and then testing, improving, and using the visualization to demonstrate the technology in use. Should time permit, we would like to explore alternative mechanisms of viewing our data archives. The visualization shown above is just one of the potential ways of displaying the data, and we are looking for input on how to do so in other ways.

Research facilities: The research will be performed in the Calit2 Center for Gravity.
Number of students needed: 1-4: If more than one student is interested, students will form a team to tackle the problem together.

Research questions include:
* Can the visualization effectively illustrate important project characteristics and if so, which ones?
* Can the visualization provide developers with a better understanding of their project role and impact?
* Can the visualization help managers to steer and guide their project in more effective ways?
* Can the visualization illustrate interesting properties (evolution, dynamics, etc.) for the selected open source projects?

Duties assigned to students:
Students will be responsible for all aspects of the research. Students will be responsible for learning the necessary technology, leveraging existing Workspace Activity Viewer and HIPerWall code, and interacting with the faculty advisors and doctoral students (working on Workspace Activity Viewer and HIPerWall) on a continuous basis to actively manage the project. The objective of this undergraduate research project is to pursue tangible research outcomes that will result in the publication of a collaborative research paper, and provide the foundation for long-term research that will support the retention and recruitment of the best students into our graduate programs. These kinds of visualizations are unique, as much of today’s software development still takes place in a low-tech environment.

Overall educational value/skills students will acquire:
Students will gain a strong appreciation of cutting-edge research and software development. Both Workspace Activity Viewer and HIPerWall are at the forefront of research in the fields of software engineering and scientific visualization, respectively, and SuperSize Me will not be trivial to develop. Students will learn critical team values, including skills fundamentally important to collaborative research, and – with some luck and determination – be involved in writing a scientific paper based on the work at the end of the internship. Students will also interact with the graduate and undergraduate students in both faculty mentor’s research groups, as well as visitors to Calit2 and the Informatics and EECS departments. Live demonstrations of the prototype technology will be a semi-regular occurrence.

Prerequisites: Experience: * Java and C/C++ programming * Graphics programming * Software design Interest / understanding / familiarity: * Middleware * Visualization * High-end computing * Software engineering

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   A particularly useful paper is "Using Visualizations to Analyze Workspace Activity and Discern Software Project Evolution”, :
   web site:

 Project #21:  Wide Area High Definition Video Streaming for Tiled Displays
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Falko KuesterElectrical Engineering & Computer Science

Description:  High definition video streaming over wide area networks, such as OptIPuter, for display on tiled displays, such as HIPerWall, presents several research problems that are central to Calit2’s mission: capturing high definition video is difficult due to the large bandwidth of the data stream and the latency induced by compression; because the stream’s throughput is much higher than gigabit Ethernet can handle, transmitting such a stream over wide area networks is difficult; and delivering the appropriate portions of the video frames to the appropriate tiles of the display, while retaining the ability to scale and move the image on the display, needs addressing. This project will focus on the second and third problems, those of wide area transmission and delivery to a display wall, but attention will be paid to stream capture to avoid lengthening the already noticeable latency.

The project’s goal will be to develop an OptIPuter-compatible bidirectional high definition video streaming mechanism that will support real-time video collaborations between researchers at UCI Calit2’s HIPerWall and researchers on any other OptIPuter enabled tiled display. The OptIPuter HD video streaming interface has been defined by Dr. Jason Leigh at UIC and will form the starting point of this effort. The UIC approach makes different assumptions about tiled display rendering approach and network bandwidth than the reality of HIPerWall at UCI, so significant effort will be required to reconcile the two into a working system.

Student Duties and Expected Outcome:

The student will be responsible for the detailed design and implementation of the streaming software, but will receive significant guidance from Profs. Kuester and Jenks. Most students at this level will be adequate programmers, but will not know networking and graphics. Since these topics are taught by Profs. Kuester and Jenks, the student will learn them to a sufficient depth to complete the research and development. The outcome will be a student with experience in networking and video stream rendering unlike any other in the world. HIPerWall will also have a working bidirectional streaming system interoperable with OptIPuter.

Additional Faculty Mentor: Professor Stephen Jenks (EECS)

Prerequisites: The qualified student should have completed their lower-division programming courses with high grades. Knowledge of algorithms, networks, or computer graphics is a plus, but not essential. Programming ability in C++ is also useful, but can be learned.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   UNIX Network Programming, Volume 1, Second Edition: Networking APIs: Sockets and XTI, Prentice Hall, 1998, ISBN 0-13-490012-X.: