Chris Johnson Honored with 2010 Visualization Career Award
CHRIS JOHNSON, director of the University of Utah’s Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute, has been honored with the 2010 Visualization Career Award. The award was made in Salt Lake City on Oct. 27, 2010 during VisWeek2010, the premier forum for computer visualization researchers. It is sponsored by IEEE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Johnson’s award was bestowed by the IEEE’s Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee, which honored him for “sustained technical contributions in scientific visualization, especially in the areas of biomedical and computational field visualization. His research in scientific visualization and scientific computing is important not only because it is innovative, but also because it has important real-world applications in a number of areas.” It is the latest in a string of honors for Johnson, a distinguished professor of computer science and 2010 winner of the University of Utah’s highest honor, the Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence.
Best Paper Awarded at PacificVis 2014
Congratulations to Bei Wang, Paul Rosen, Guoning Chen and their collaborator from Slovenia, Primoz Skraba whose paper:
P. Skraba, Bei Wang, G. Chen, P. Rosen. “2D Vector Field Simplification Based on Robustness,” In Proceedings of the 2014 IEEE Pacific Visualization Symposium, PacificVis, Note: Awarded Best Paper!, 2014.
won "Best Paper" at PacificVis 2014. Their paper presents a new approach to simplification of vector flow fields necessary to reveal essential features within a vector flow field. Traditional methods based on the topological skeleton successively remove pairs of critical points connected by separatrices, using distance or area-based relevance measures. These geometric metrics do not consider the flow magnitude, an important physical property of the flow. The new simplification scheme proposed is based on the recently introduced notion of topological robustness. Robustness enables the pruning of sets of critical points according to a quantitative measure of their stability, that is, the minimum amount of vector field perturbation required to remove them. This leads to a hierarchical simplification scheme that encodes flow magnitude in its perturbation metric.
Big Data, Big Business
From the University of Utah: Feb. 7, 2014 – The University of Utah's College of Engineering received approval this week for its new graduate certificate program in big data.
This emerging field – which addresses large sets of data too complex, diverse or rapidly changing for one computer to handle – affects everything from studying traffic patterns to managing sensitive information online. Big data is also big business – for example, using big data to improve efficiency and quality in the health care sector is estimated to be worth more than $300 billion each year.
"We're seeing a revolution in the availability of data. It's easy to collect information, but processing and analyzing large stores of data is becoming increasingly difficult. We are at the point where the traditional analytical tools for attacking this problem are breaking down," says Jeff Phillips, assistant professor of computer science and coordinator of the new program.
SCI Graduate student Michael Liu was a key member on the team that took the Social Impact award at "Hackdance", the first ever celebrity-driven hackathon at the Sundance Film Festival. The team, working with celebrity member Sarah Austin (StartUps: Silicon Valley on Bravo), developed a prototype browser extension that monitors cyber bullying. Once installed, the extension uses a parts of speech tagger to look for harrassing comments and sentences in any conversations or content. If language is detected in their child's feed that is related to cyberbulling they are sent an alert message via email immediately. The team, which included fellow members Faris Chebib, Joe Reis, Sam Hart and Eric Smith, was awarded a $5,000 investment from the University of Utah’s Sorensen Global Impact Investment Center plus $10,000 worth of business incubation and a trip to meet Jim Sorensen. Congratulations Michael!
Computer Simulation of Blood Vessel Growth: Early Step toward Treatment for Diseases that Affect Blood Flow
Jan. 22, 2014 – University of Utah bioengineers showed that tiny blood vessels grow better in the laboratory if the tissue surrounding them is less dense. Then the researchers created a computer simulation to predict such growth accurately – an early step toward treatments to provide blood supply to tissues damaged by diabetes and heart attacks and to skin grafts and implanted ligaments and tendons.
Chris Johnson and Ross Whitaker Elected IEEE Fellows
Congratulations to Professors Chris Johnson and Ross Whitaker who have been elected IEEE Fellows for the class of 2014. Dr. Johnson was elected in recognition of his leadership in scientific computing and scientific visualization. Dr. Whitaker is recognized for contributions to image and geometry processing, visualization, and medical image analysis. This honorary designation is limited to no more than one-tenth of one percent of the total voting IEEE Institute membership each year.
itk-SNAP 3.0 Released
The itk-SNAP project, a collaboration between UPenn's Paul Yushkevich and SCI's Guido Gerig, has released a major new version 3.0. SNAP is a software application used to segment structures in 3D medical images. It provides semi-automatic segmentation using active contour methods, as well as manual delineation and image navigation. In addition to these core functions, SNAP provides a number of supporting utilities. Version 3.0 is the first major release of itk-SNAP that is funded by the NIH grant R01 EB014346, "Continued development and maintenance of the itk-SNAP 3D image segmentation software." This version includes an almost complete rewrite of the software, along with new features focused on multi-modality image support.
Congratulations to Professor Chris Johnson who was awarded the IEEE Computer Society 2013 Sidney Fernbach Award at Supercomputing 2013. This award recognizes Professor Johnson "For outstanding contributions and pioneering work introducing computing, simulation, and visualization into many areas of biomedicine."
The Sidney Fernbach Award is one of the IEEE Computer Society's highest awards, and recognizes outstanding contributions in the application of high performance computers using innovative approaches. The award also includes a $2,000 honorarium.