February 2014

NSF Awards Grant to Computer Engineer for Smart Cameras Project

Christophe Bobda

As a computer engineer, Christophe Bobda works to make the design and implementation of multi-camera sensor networks easier — and his research has the potential to save lives.

Airport security, for example, relies on video processing to determine potentially dangerous circumstances. 

If luggage has been left in

in an area it should not be, the situation is time sensitive and should be investigated immediately. Processing all of the video images takes a lot of computing power and time.

Solving this problem would be a form of “intelligence,” i.e. local processing in individual cameras, automated cooperation among cameras, and “smart mapping” of tasks onto hardware or software within the cameras, according to Bobda, an associate professor of computer science and computer engineering in the College of Engineering.

“We’re dealing with a huge amount of data and the decision needs to be made right there to detect what is going on,” said Bobda. “The network is important. These ‘smart cameras’ need to communicate with each other quickly.”

The National Science Foundation has awarded Bobda a $370,586, three-year grant for a research project that would create self-coordination in cooperative smart camera networks by incorporating “system-on-chip reconfiguration.” His research team will design and deploy a set of collaborative, embedded and self-coordinating smart cameras, with the goal of monitoring large areas.

Bobda’s group at the U of A, which includes almost a dozen graduate students, have built smart cameras and attached them to model racing cars that simulate the movement of mobile devices that would hold the recorders.

The bombings at the Boston Marathon in April 2013 is another example of the importance of the potential deployment of distributed embedded cameras. If there were better intelligence and coordination of these cameras, Bobda said, perhaps security officers would have detected two people who placed their backpacks on the street and left the area. It was later discovered that the suspects remotely detonated pressure cooker bombs inside the packs.
 
Bobda’s other research interests include protocol and architecture for dynamic on-chip networks, high-performance embedded systems and adaptive multiprocessors on chips. His research applies to various fields, including the design and implementation of multi-camera sensor networks.

 

Naseem Named Fellow of National Academy of Inventors

 

Hameed Naseem

Hameed Naseem, a professor of electrical engineering, has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.
Naseem is the first faculty member from the U of A to be elevated to fellow status by the academy.
Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society, according to the academy.
“I was really pleased to hear that I had been elected fellow of the National Academy of Inventors,” said Naseem, who is named on eight issued patents to the U of A and was initiated into the academy last spring. “This recognition is a great honor for me, as all my academic life I have emphasized the awakening the ‘inventor spirit’ in my graduate students. In all my patents and patent applications students are co-inventors with me.
“The University of Arkansas provides a research environment conducive to quality research and a very supportive technology licensing office,” he said.
Naseem directs the campus’ Photovoltaics Research Lab. Through the last two-and-a-half decades he and his graduate students have found ways to increase sunlight-to-electricity conversion efficiency and reduce the cost of expensive materials needed for solar-cell production.
The U of A is a charter member of the National Academy of Inventors, a nonprofit organization founded in 2010.

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Advancement for Associate Professors Offered Again

Ro Di Brezzo

Advancement for Associate Professors, a faculty development initiative of the office of the provost, will be offered again for the 2014-15 academic year.

This will be the second year of the program, following positive feedback from the inaugural participants. The program is designed for faculty members who have held the rank of associate professor for at least seven years at the University of Arkansas and are interested in re-emphasizing their research agendas.

The deadline for applying to the program is Thursday, Feb. 20. Selection of the candidates will be announced shortly thereafter. For questions, call Ro Di Brezzo, vice provost for academic affairs, at 479-575-2152.

Learn More

Office Presents RazorGrant Training

 

Planning to submit a research proposal? The office of research and sponsored programs is now working live in our new RazorGrant electronic routing and approval system. To ensure successful use of RazorGrant routing and approval, the RSSP team will provide training at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20 in room 472B in Mullins Library. 

For questions, call Emily Ebbing at 479-575-3845.

To Register

IN THIS ISSUE

NSF Awards Grant to Computer Engineer for Smart Cameras Project

Naseem Named Fellow of National Academy of Inventors

Advancement for Associate Professors Offered Again

Office Presents RazorGrant Training

IN OTHER NEWS

APEI Announces Partnership in $140 Million Institute

Climate Study Projects Major Changes in Vegetation Distribution by 2100

Physicists Quantify Temperature Changes in Metal Nanowires

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Grant Award Winners

The following is a sampling of the top grants awarded to faculty halfway through the current fiscal year, with the principal investigator, the award amount and the sponsor. An asterisk (*) indicates the continuation of a previous award.
• Brent Williams, $5,080,774, Arkansas Department of Education
• *Alan Mantooth, $1,665,727, Arkansas Science and Technology Authority
• Burt Bluhm, $778,000, National Science Foundation
• Roger Koeppe, $684,485, National Science Foundation
• Christian Tipsmark, $614,500, National Science Foundation
• Nan Zheng, $550,000, National Science Foundation
• Brent Smith, $470,383, U.S. Department of Justice
• Christophe Bobda, $370,586, National Science Foundation
• Micah Hale, $367,345, Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department
• Woodrow L. Shew, $361,347, National Science Foundation

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