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CATS Seminars – Past Seminars, Spring 2006
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Current Seminar Schedule
Past Seminars
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CATS Seminar, April 19, 2006, 2:30m-3:30pm, CII 3051

Real-time Non-intrusive User Affect Recognition and Assistance

Qiang Ji, Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering

User emotional states can seriously affect user's psychomotor and decision-making capabilities. The goal of this research is to develop a system to recognize task-specific negative user affective states, and to provide the appropriate intervention to compensate performance decrement resulted from these negative states. The proposed system consists of two major components: multi-modality user state sensing, and user affect recognition and assistance.
For user state sensing, we develop a real time non-invasive system that provides user state measurements from sensors of different modalities.
The sensory measurements include physical appearance (facial expression, eye movements, and head movements) extracted from remote video cameras, physiological measurements collected from an emotional mouse we developed, behavioral data from user interaction with the computer, and performance measures. During this talk, I will discuss and demonstrate the computer vision technologies as well as the physiological sensor we have developed for acquiring different user state measurements.
For user affect recognition and assistance, we develop a unified probabilistic framework based on the Dynamic Influence Diagram. The framework allows to systematically models the stochastic and dynamic relationships among user state, sensor observations, and assistance. Using the framework, affective state recognition is achieved through active probabilistic inference from the available sensory data and the related contextual data. User assistance is formulated as a decision-making process that probabilistically determines the most appropriate user augmentation and its application timing in order to maximize the chance of returning user to a productive affective state while minimizing the associated costs.
A real time non-intrusive prototype human state monitor was built based on integrating the proposed affect model with the sensing techniques. Preliminary validation of the prototype system using both synthetic and real data demonstrates its promise of accomplishing the two functions of user affect recognition and user assistance.

Qiang Ji received his Ph.D degree in electrical engineering from the University of Washington. He is currently an associate Professor with the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Prior to joining RPI in 2001, he was an assistant professor with Dept. of Computer Science, University of Nevada at Reno. He also held research and visiting positions with Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Air Force Research laboratory in Rome, NY.

Refreshments served at 2:00pm

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CATS Seminar, March 29, 2006, 2:30m-3:30pm, CII 3051

Applications of Synchronized Phasor Measurements in Large Power Systems

Joe H. Chow, Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering

Synchronized phasor measurements refer to time-tagged high-sampling rate voltage and current measurements form power stations, most likely at high-voltage transmission levels, using GPS clocks. The US Western Power System already has a network of phasor measurement units (PMUs) with continuous recording to capture disturbance events. Since the August 14, 2003 Northeast Blackout, the Eastern Interconnection Phasor Project (EIPP) has been formed to initiate the installation of a similar network of PMUs in the US Eastern Interconnected Power System. This presentation will discuss some potential applications of PMU data for power system dynamic security analysis.

Professor Joe Chow received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He worked in the power system business in General Electric Company before joining Rensselaer in 1987. He was the Acting Chair of ECSE in 1999 and 2000, after which he spent a sabbatical at the New York Independent System Operator. He is the Associate Dean of Engineering for Research and Graduate Programs. His research interests include power system dynamics and modeling, Flexible AC Transmission System Controllers, power markets, and large-scale multivariable control systems.

Refreshments served at 2:00pm

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All CATS seminar will be held in CII 3051 2:30pm-3:30pm. Refreshment starts at 2pm.

2/1: Yves Bellouard (Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, The Netherlands)

2/1: John Wen (CATS, ECSE)

2/15: Suvranu De (MANE)

3/1: Dan Sexton (General Electric Global Research)

3/29: Joe Chow (ECSE)

4/19: Qiang Ji (ECSE)

Other seminars of interest

1/20: Imin Kao (SUNY Stony Brook) CII 4050 10:30-11:30

1/25: Thomas Bortfeld (MGH and Harvard) JEC 3117, 4:00-5:00

3/22: Miki Amitay (MANE) JEC 3045, 12:00-1:00

MANE Faculty Seminar, March 22, 2006, 12:00m-1:00pm, CII 3045

Fluidic Control of Fluid/Thermal Systems


Michael Amitay, Mechanical, Nuclear, & Aerospace Eng. Dept., RPI

Fluidic control has been implemented to improve the performance of fluid and thermal systems. The research conducted in the Flow Control Research Lab (FCRL) at RPI over the last three years will be presented. Specifically, the following topics will be discussed: (1) integration of flight control and flow control on a Cessna 172 and a Stingray UAV, (2) the interaction of a free jet with steady or synthetic control jets, (3) fluidic control of a particle-laden jet, (4) control of a spray for electronic cooling applications, and (5) synthetic jet impingement cooling. In addition, future research venues will be discussed.

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CATS Seminar, March 1, 2006, 2:30m-3:30pm, CII 3051

Wireless Sensor Networks for Monitoring Applications

Daniel Sexton, GE Global Research

Under a Department of Energy grant for the Industries of the Future, General Electric Global Research has been studying the use of the IEEE802.15.4 wireless data communications standard in applications centered around industrial equipment condition monitoring. This application space has similar challenges present in many other application spaces and shares many of the same requirements. A description of this program along with a discussion of the major challenges with wireless systems operating in the 2.4GHz ISM band will be presented. A description of techniques that can be used to mitigate many of the physical limitations will be presented as well as results of current testing and deployments in true industrial environments.

As a project manager working for GE’s Global research department, Mr. Sexton has been leading and participating in research projects in wireless communications and wireless sensor system development. He is current leading a project for the Department of Energy to develop wireless sensors and networks for use in industrial environments. Mr. Sexton has 25 years of experience in industrial automation, controls and communications. He holds 19 granted US patents in both the communications and automation technologies. He is a leader in the ISA SP100 activity to define wireless systems for industry. He holds a Bachelors (1978) and Masters degree(1982) in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech and is a member of IEEE.

Refreshments served at 2:00pm

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CATS Seminar, February 15, 2006, 2:30m-3:30pm, CII 3051

Haptics and its Application to Digital Surgery

Suvranu De, Sc.D., Assistant Professor, Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Currently there is much interest in developing virtual reality-based surgical training systems which can be used to train surgical residents much like flight simulators are currently used used to train pilots. However, one of the major components of such "digital surgery" simulators, whch is distinct from flight simulators, is the necessity for physical interaction of the surgeon with the organs. This calls for the development of virtual environments which sustain such interactions through the use of haptic interface devices. However, real time haptic interactions with deformable bodies is a formidable task due to the necessity of maintaining an update rate of 1 kHz. In this talk, we will address the current state of the art in haptic interactions and rendering algorithms with reference to real time digital surgery problem.

Suvranu De is an Assistant Professor in the department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute since January 2002. He has an appointment in the department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT as a Visiting Scientist. He received his Doctor of Science degree from MIT in September 2001 and was affiliated with the department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT as a Research Scientist from October 2000 to December 2001. He is on the editorial board of Computers & Structures (Elsevier) and has been a guest editor of a special issue of this journal dedicated to meshfree methods. He is the chair of the Committee on Biotechnology of the US Association of Computational Mechanics (USACM). He is on the “Who’s who in Computational Science and Engineering” and is the recipient of the ONR Young Investigator Award in 2005 for his work on the development of multiscale meshfree methods for energetic materials.

Refreshments served at 2:00pm

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CATS Seminar, February 1, 2006, 11:00am-12:00pm, CII 8015

Research activities at the Micro- /Nano-Scale Engineering group at the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TU/e) – The Netherlands

Yves Bellouard, PhD, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering Department, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, The Netherlands

This presentation will give an overview of the current and future research activities at the Micro-/Nano- Scale Engineering (MNSE) at the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TU/e) in the Netherlands. The group was recently established in mid-2004. It currently involves three faculty (1 full-chair Prof. and 2 assist.-Prof.) and 7 staff members. The group research plan is to cover every aspect of micro-/nano- scale engineering with a strong emphasis on system design and integration on non-conventional substrate. Among the topics currently addressed are the development of integrated technologies for portable bio-analytical devices precision engineering for micro-/nano- scale, smart materials and micro-robotics.

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CATS Seminar, February 1, 2006, 2:30pm-3:30pm, CII 3051

CATS Overview: Current State and Road Map to the Future

John T. Wen , Director, Center for Automation Technologies & Systems, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

The Center for Automation Technologies & Systems (CATS) is part of the New York State Center for Advanced Technology program.  It was founded in 1988 and was re-designated in 1999.  The mission of the center is  to foster and conduct industrially driven research in the area of automation.  The CATS has embarked on a new direction since July 2005.  In this talk, we will give an overview of the CATS operation, its vision and strategy for the future, and challenges and opportunities ahead. We will also discuss the various mechanisms that faculty, students, and companies can work with the CATS. 

John Ting-Yung Wen received his B.Eng. from McGill University in 1979, M.S. from University of Illinois in 1981, and Ph.D. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1985, all in Electrical Engineering.  From 1981-1982, he was a system engineer at Fisher Controls where he developed a plant-wide coordination control system for pulp and paper plants.  From 1985-1988, he was a member of technical staff at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he developed new modeling and control algorithms for large space structures and space robots.  Since 1988, he has been with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he is currently a professor in the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering with a joint appointment in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering.  He is also the director of a New York State sponsored interdisciplinary center, Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS).  He was an ASEE/NASA Summer Faculty Fellow in 1993, and a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Senior Visiting  Scientist in 1997. His research interest lies in the general area of dynamical systems modeling, control, and planning with applications to vibration suppression, robot manipulation, biomedical systems, advanced material design, and network flow and power control. Dr.Wen is a Fellow of IEEE.

Refreshments served at 2:00pm.

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Electrical, Computer, & Systems Engineering Seminar. January 25, 2006, 4:00pm-5:00pm, JEC 3117

Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy - New Challenges for Engineers and Applied Mathematicians

Professor Thomas Bortfeld, Dept. of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School

In intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) the intensities of many small radiation "beamlets" are individually adjusted to shape the spatial radiation dose distribution to the tumor target volume while sparing surrounding healthy tissues and "organs at risk". The rate of clinical acceptance of IMRT in the US since the first treatment in 1994 has been remarkable. Today IMRT is a treatment option at most radiation oncology departments, and it has in fact become the standard treatment of many cancers, such as prostate cancer. A key component of IMRT is the treatment planning software that optimizes the intensities of the 1,000 - 10,000 beamlets, with the objective to determine the best treatment plan for individual patients. In this talk we will review the "standard models" of IMRT planning and delivery, including the sub-problem to decompose intensity maps into shapes of beam segments (apertures). We will then discuss new challenges in IMRT planning, in particular multi-objective optimization strategies, and the integration of organ motion into IMRT treatment planning. An outlook into the use of intensity modulation for proton treatments (IMPT) will also be given.

Dr. Thomas Bortfeld is the director of Physics Research in Radiation Oncology at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston. He is also an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Bortfeld's main research interest is the optimization of photon and proton radiation therapy. He is one of the key developers of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), which has become the standard of practice in radiation therapy for many tumors. Before moving to Boston, Dr. Bortfeld was a senior scientist at the German Cancer Research Center, and vice chairman of the department of Medical Physics. He received his MS, PhD, and Habilitation in Physics from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Dr. Bortfeld is the author of over 70 peer-reviewed papers in periodicals, and editor of 3 books, including two recent ones about Image-Guided IMRT, and New Technologies in Radiation Oncology.

Refreshments served at 3:30

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Mechanical, Aerospace, & Nuclear Engineering Seminar (Jointly sponsored by CATS) January 20 , 2006, 10:30am-11:30am, CII 4050

Intelligent Fault Detections and Diagnosis (FDD) and Applications to Pneumatic-Mechanical and Manufacturing Systems

Professor Imin Kao, Dept. of Mechanical Eng., Director of Manufacgturing Automation Laboratory (MAL), State University of New York at Stony Brook

Intelligent fault detection and diagnosis (FDD), as applied to systems to perform prognosis and diagnosis of various faults, has become increasingly popular in the recent years. This development, coupled with the advance in the technology of miniaturized sensors and actuators, has enabled system-oriented approaches by using distributed sensors and sensor networks to perform FDD. In this talk, recent research results on intelligent FDD and characterization of a MEMS flow sensor will be presented. Methodologies using vectorized maps from 2D to N-manifold are developed with calibration for the purpose of intelligent FDD. As a result, both physical-based and signal-based intelligent FDD techniques and methodologies can be applied for various types of systems and applications. Experimental results on a mechanical-pneumatic system suggest that intuitive choices of parameters and features, based on the understanding of physics of the system, can be applied with success to intelligent detection and diagnosis of faults. Ongoing results of FDD research as well as analysis and experiments on and study of MEMS sensor include: correlation of flow and deflection of sensory element, analysis and modeling, vibration characteristics, fatigue tests, backflow characterization, etc. Specifically, the results of fatigue tests provide information and feedback regarding the design and fabrication of MEMS sensors, since long fatigue life is essential for the flow sensors to sustain as a transducer. The objective of this research is to integrate various types of sensors, as well as the fusion of various miniaturized sensors in a sensor node, for the purpose of intelligent fault detection and diagnosis of systems.

Imin Kao received MS and PhD Degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, California in 1986 and 1991, respectively.  He is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at SUNY Stony Brook, and Director of the Manufacturing Automation Laboratory (MAL).  His research interests include intelligent fault detection and diagnosis (FDD), manufacturing process modeling and free abrasive
manufacturing (FAM) processes, wafer manufacturing, robotics, contact interface, stiffness control, and MEMS.  He has served on the editorial boards of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation and the International Journal of Advanced
Manufacturing Systems.

Refreshments served

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