Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

Configuring LibSVM to Work with Matlab in Windows x64

Friday, January 14th, 2011

I wanted to explore toying with the libsvm Support Vector Machine library via Matlab in Windows x64.  I ran into several road blocks and figured I would share with the rest of our viewers at home how I overcame them.


Nicholas to Speak at FIT About His Dissertation Research

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009


I come with excellent news today!  This Friday, October 30, from noon to 1pm, I will be giving a talk at the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) about my dissertation research, specifically my work with unsupervised building detection from Irregular LiDAR data Dr. Georgios Anagnostopulos, one of the professors who served on my Dissertation Defense Committee, asked me to give a talk at FIT.

The talk will be in Room 118.  FIT has a campus map hosted <here>.


Nicholas’ Boston Trip

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

During July 8 – 11, I made a trip to Boston, Massachusetts for the International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS 2008) conference. There I presented my research work dealing with the unsupervised registration of LiDAR data to a single aerial image. I’ve been meaning to post about this sooner, but I only just now have found some free time to dump into the blog.

I arrived in Boston on Tuesday, July 8th at around noon. The flight going up was pretty easy as I was absolutely exhausted from having to get up at 4:50am and going to bed at 2am. Consequently, I napped a good deal of the flight away. I taxi’d to the Sheraton Hotel, where I was staying, which is in fact adjacent to the Hynes Convention Center, where the conference took place. Downtown Boston is much more grandeur than downtown Orlando. Boston actually has more than 3 or 4 buildings that breach the Horizion when viewed at a distance. Downtown Boston is filled with several Historical landmarks – Boston Harbor, Samuel Adams and Paul Revere’s graves, and home to infinity billion Irish pubs!

Here is a picture of the Sheraton Hotel Entrance from Hynes Convention Center:
Sheraton Hotel



Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

I come to you this week plugging Ikarium. This game is like a Civilization MMO. It is a free web browser game. No client, no downloads, no payments. The game is kind of slow in the beginning but once you complete your first colony it really takes off. One piece of advice, keep restarting (make a new player) until you get on a colony with either wine or marble. All other resources are kind of useless to you in the beginning (sulfur and crystal glass). You do need a legitimate email address for each player you create however as an activation email is sent to the account. But you are able to use hotmail, gmail, etc. I definitely recommend this game, it is wicked amounts of fun! Futhermore, because everything takes time to mature in the game, your decisions are limited to 1 or 2 active choices in the game per hour. So it’s a nice small thing you can have open in your web browser while multi-tasking doing more important things. By the way, I’m playing as Yojo on the Gamma server.


Open GL – Que?

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Taken straight from OpenGL’s website:

“OpenGL is the premier environment for developing portable, interactive 2D and 3D graphics applications.”

Taken straight from OpenGL’s FAQ:

“OpenGL will not read or write image files for you.”

Que? O.o

How does one create a “premier environment for developing portable, interactive 2D and 3D graphics applications” without being able to support the ability to “read or write image files”?

Update: For those interested, I used CImg’s Library to read in and write images.

Paper Mileage

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

A good indicator of how many times I’ve read a paper (journal/article) is how much of the paper has been highlighted. It seems on successive rereads more highlighting is inevitable.

I’m currently reading “Unsupervised Segmentation of Color-Texture Regions in Images and Video.” It’s an image texture segmentation algorithm. You can actually download the publicly available code and tinker with the authors’ program yourself.

Hopefully, I’ll have my own, improved texture segmentation code available and an accompanying publication soon…


Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Behold the Omniscient One, residing in the veiled heavens above; cast aside the ominous clouds and bless me with Your blissful sunshine; for I have been enlightened and it is indeed a liberating feeling! No longer am I slave to the confines of my ignorance; for You have granted me the wisdom to defeat the Dark Phantom, the personification of my dissertation challenges, which attempts to keep me from my solutions.

(Stan Z. Li in Markov Random Field Modeling in Image Analysis extensively uses formulas to describe mathematical concepts related to Stochastic Image Processing. This exclusive use of formulas limits the scope of his audience, in which can comprehend his writings, solely to mathematicians. After days of research, examining several other related sources, I (a mathematician’s mortal enemy – an engineer) have deciphered his hieroglyphics. Stan Z. Li, my message to you sir is USE MORE FUCKING PICTURES!)

Markov Random Field Modeling Text Picture


Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

Computer parts will be here tomorrow. So no assembly pictures just yet. Due to the lack of the new computer, I decided to go to the lab and get some more research done (shows you were my priorities lie – wink).

I had just finished coding something and had decided to take a mental dump and go stare at the parking lot from the third floor of the engineering building (it’s surprisingly a nice view) when a professor, leaving the building, noticed me and commented on the building (adjacent to the Engineering building) which was under construction. I recognized the professor who had given a lecture recently at the University. He’s younger than the average EE, CpE or CS professor at the university and seems to have tons of energy (as opposed to being burnt out). I happened to know what his area of research was and when it was brought up in our conversation, seeing his enthusiasm in passionately speaking about his research, was indeed inspiring. But it’s not only his excitement about his research that’s admirable, when talking to you in casual conversation he was able to convey a gargantuan amount of knowledge and understanding from such a broad area of topics in a humble manner. His interest was not showing off that he was smarter than me, rather he went into depth in certain areas to ensure I comprehended his message.

Speaking with that professor reminded me of when I was considering the pros and cons of getting a doctorate of philosophy in electrical engineering. You don’t get a PhD for having the title of “Dr. So and So” or for graduate students to look up to you and salute you in the hallways. The 3+ years this endeavor entails will shred you to pieces if you seek this end degree for such shallow reasons. The motivations for a PhD, I think – at least for those who actually survive the degree, are ideals and virtues such as self understanding, mentoring/teaching, and contribution.

Attaining your PhD means at some point you made a novel and significant contribution to the academia. This significant contribution typically requires the merit of several journal publications and must be defended against a board of professors critiquing your work. To go through these trials is like stress testing or benchmarking your brain to see what ingenuity and creativity it is capable of. Furthermore, the duration of the degree will show how capable you are of being devoted to a given project that spans such lengths. It is these tests, these trials which enlighten you on how far you are willing to go for something.

Another Battle Won in the War!

Friday, September 28th, 2007

I have really excellent news! I just got word that I am good to go to submit a draft version of my proposed building detection method (from LiDAR data) for The Third International Symposium on Communications, Control and Signal Processing Conference. It has been a long home stretch for pushing for this conference. I have had less than 3 beers for the entire month of September and have not played any video games for the last 3 weeks.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!

Despite the above lack of R&R, I have made some nice progress towards my PhD Dissertation. I view the entire Dissertation as a war. Within this War you have several decisive battles which mark key victories in your campaign. After winning some many battles, you eventually force your enemy into submission (via Dissertation Defense) and declare victory over the War. What are the battles you may ask? They are publications! How are the battles won? They are won by turning out working ideas/implementations/theories for your publications. After so many dissertation related publications, all culminating in a final strike, you undeniably WIN! At this point I rehearse my favorite motivational war quote:
“We will accept nothing less than complete victory!” – Dwight D Eisenhower, June 6, 1944
Today marks another battle won in the great campaign! The paper is only in draft form and the results are preliminary, but its worth publishing. As soon as I have the final draft furnished, I will be sure to post a link!

What really surprised me is the day after this long campaign for this publication, I took one break and actually played some video games and then after that went right back to continuing my work. I really do enjoy learning and coding and spent an entire semester choosing my topic, researching various areas related to my interests, and then another semester pleading with companies to donate data for my dissertation.

Conjuring a break through in your research work is typically a tough feat as most of the time it involves suffering through a long train of failures. What you have to inevitably realize, is these failures mark progress! They are unavoidable failures that will reveal truth – so really they are not failures at all. Albeit those failures in themselves do not warrant publications, the line of thinking those failures lead you to, the ideas they then instill upon you do grant great victories!