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MSU CSE Colloquium Series 2014-2015: Jason J. Corso Title:  Perceiving Action in Space-Time: Computational and Human Perspectives

Dr. Jason J. Corso
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Time: Friday, Nov 21h, 2014, 11am
Location: EB 3105


Humans are highly articulated, which leads to complex and idiosyncratic actions in space-time.  This complexity has challenged computational models of human action for some time now, and yet humans themselves are highly adept at parsing action.  In this talk, I will motivate the challenge of interpreting human action from spatial, temporal, and spatiotemporal points of view.  Then, I will present both computational and human perspectives on modeling action.  First, I will describe how video can be decomposed into a multilevel semantic scale-space using a Markov approximation framework.  Within this semantic scale-space, we have conducted a visual psychophysical study of how humans perceive action, and I will report our findings in that study.

Second, I will present a computational model for human action.  The method, called Action Bank, creates a high-level action space that is spanned by individual space-time actions.  Query videos are projected into this action space and non-linear classifiers are learned for recognition.  Experiments demonstrate how space-time, action-specific modeling can outperform conventional feature-based methods that do not leverage space-time continuity.  Third, I will bring these two perspectives together in a "full-circle" experiment leveraging ideas from both camps.  Time-permitting, I will relate these findings to other work in my group in computational neuroscience and cognitive robotics.


Corso is an associate professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan.  He received his PhD and MSE degrees at The Johns Hopkins University in 2005 and 2002, respectively, and the BS Degree with honors from Loyola College In Maryland in 2000, all in Computer Science.  He spent two years as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles.  From 2007-14 he was a member of the Computer Science and Engineering faculty at SUNY Buffalo.  He is the recipient of the Army Research Office Young Investigator Award 2010, NSF CAREER award 2009, SUNY Buffalo Young Investigator Award 2011, a member of the 2009 DARPA Computer Science Study Group, and a recipient of the Link Foundation Fellowship in Advanced Simulation and Training 2003.  Corso has authored more than ninety peer-reviewed papers on topics of his research interest including computer vision, robot perception, data science, and medical imaging.  He is a member of the AAAI, IEEE and the ACM.


Dr. Arun Ross and Dr. Xiaoming Liu