The following is the schedule of upcoming department seminars. Seminars will be added to the schedule throughout the year. All seminars are free of charge and are open to all members, affiliates, and colleagues of the university community. Seminars are typically held on Tuesday or Thursday at 1:00 pm. If you would like additional information or if you might be interested in presenting a seminar, please contact Jim Young or the Department of Computer Science.
Dr. Bertram UngerWhen: February 12, 2015 @ 1:00pm
Dr. Bertram Unger
Clinical Learning and Simulation Facility, University of Manitoba
Title: Hardware vs Software - Design and Evaluation of Temporal Bone Surgical Models
Current temporal bone surgical training focuses largely on apprenticeship models, supplemented by cadaveric dissection. Limited cadaveric supply, concerns regarding patient safety, and reductions in operative opportunities for resident staff, have led to the development of surgical simulations. The majority of such simulations, designed to teach critical surgical skills, rely on haptic technology and computerized depictions of temporal bone anatomy. Recent developments in rapid prototyping technology have allowed the creation of another form of simulation - drillable 3D models. Haptic models generally provide easy and inexpensive setup, interactive and modifiable anatomy, and objective metric analysis but present poor tactile realism. Printed models provide greater tactile realism but are not as amenable to metric analysis and may be more costly. Unfortunately there is no information on how these simulation modalities compare to each other or to currently accepted teaching methods.
In this talk we will review the state of the art in haptic and printed temporal bone simulation and discuss their respective advantages and disadvantages for surgical training. We will then describe the development of novel haptic and rapid-prototyped systems at the Laboratory for Surgical Modeling, Simulation and Robotics and present data from a recent study, comparing haptic and printed models to conventional cadaveric dissection and directly to each other. We will conclude with a description of a novel mixed-reality simulator currently under development which combines the advantages of haptic and printed simulations.
Dr. Bertram Unger holds undergraduate degrees in Medicine and Computer Engineering and a Medical Doctorate from the University of Manitoba. In 2008, he received his PhD. in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University, followed by a Postdoctoral Fellowship with the Faculty of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Medicine and Director of the Laboratory for Surgical Modeling, Simulation and Robotics. He is also Research Director of the University’s Clinical Learning and Simulation Facility and he holds an adjunct appointment in Department of Mechanical Engineering. He is core faculty with the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program and Chair of its curriculum committee. He also practices clinical medicine with the Section of Critical Care in the Department of Internal Medicine. Current research interests include medical simulation development and testing, using 3D printing, haptics and augmented reality.
Dr. Zahra MoussaviWhen: February 26, 2015 @ 1:00pm
Dr. Zahra Moussavi
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, UofM
Title: Application of Novel Virtual Reality Technologies in Neuroscience and Diagnosis of Neurodegenerative diseases
In the past decade, due to advancement of computing power, Virtual Reality (VR) experiments have gained much more popularity. A VR environment allows natural world emulation for different purposes by replicating real world tasks, such as navigation. Application of VR technologies has opened a new paradigm to test several theories on brain function.
As an example, an interesting and challenging brain function is our spatial ability and the strategies used in navigation. Despite the magnitude of effort in the field, the nature of spatial models depicting what strategies healthy humans use is poorly understood, let alone the way these strategies deteriorate with aging and Alzheimer’s. The majority of studies examining human spatial memory have utilized non-navigable tasks, typically table-top tasks using standardized paper-and-pencil tests (i.e. MMSE, ADAS-cog, route learning). These have been shown to be inadequate to discover spatial processing to navigate through real world environments; they are also insensitive for detection of Alzheimer’s at the early stages of the disease because they do not test dynamic sensory input to the brain. Modifying natural environment platforms for spatial cognition assessment is costly, time consuming and in many cases not feasible. In contrast, experiments in VR environment offer repeatability and flexibility to modify the testing environment. Moreover, monitoring movement parameters such as position and trajectories of a participant in a natural environment is fairly sophisticated, whereas in a VR environment it is relatively simple; for instance, participants’ movements in VR can easily be logged directly by the VR software. However, research on using VR for the elderly either as diagnostic tool for any neurological disorder or neuro-rehabilitation has been very limited. The current VR environments, on the other hand, still are not natural enough to be used by people, who are not familiar with computer games; also they commonly cause kinetosis (motion sickness) in adults.
We know that our cognition of the world is embodied; in other words, the way we perceive the world, controls our actions and vice versa. This implies that to mimic the brain’s perception of the natural world in a VR environment, we need to make the VR environment naturalistic by integrating all the sensory inputs (i.e. auditory, visual, proprioceptive, vestibular) that the brain receives in a real environment. Therefore, in our pilot study, we have developed a virtual reality navigational (VRN) environment to test our hypothesis on spatial ability and its relationship with aging.
In this talk, an overview of the VR state of art and its applications will be presented followed by our pilot study as a particular example; the challenges and future directions will also be discussed.
Dr. Zahra Moussavi received her B.Sc. from Sharif University of Technology, Iran, M.Sc. from the University of Calgary, and Ph.D. from University of Manitoba, Canada in 1997, all in Electrical Engineering. She then joined the respiratory research group of the Winnipeg Children’s Hospital and worked as a research associate for 1.5 years. In 1999, she did her postdoctoral fellowship at the Biomedical Engineering Department of Johns Hopkins University. Following that, she joined the University of Manitoba, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering as a faculty member, where she is currently a full professor, a Canada Research Chair in Biomedical Engineering and also the director of Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program. She is also an adjunct scientist at the TRTech of Winnipeg, a research affiliate of Riverview Health Center and a distinguished Lecturer of IEEE-EMBS. She is a recipient of “Women of Distinction Award” in Science and Technology (2014) from the YWMCA and Manitoba Government as well as “Canada’s Most Powerful Women (Top 100) in Trailblazers and Trendsetters category (2014)”. With over 184 publications in prestigious journals and conferences, her current research includes acoustic sleep apnea detection, respiratory and swallowing sound analysis, and early diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer disease. She has given 57 invited talks/seminars (28 outside of Canada) including a recent Tedx Talk and 3 keynote speaker seminars at international conferences.
Dr. Cenk SahinalpWhen: March 12, 2015 @ 1:00pm
Dr. Cenk Sahinalp
Computational Biology Lab, Simon Fraser University
Title: High Throughput Algorithms for Big Data Genomics
Sequencing projects involving thousands of individual genomes are underway and the need for algorithmic speedup is bigger than ever. We will go through some of the algorithmic developments introduced by the Lab for Computational Biology at SFU to address challenges in big data genomics. These algorithms involve one or more techniques in data compression, streaming, memory hierarchy awareness and parallelization. Application areas range from read mapping to variant calling, novel isoform and fusion gene identification to clonality inference
S. Cenk Sahinalp is a Canada Research Chair in Computational Genomics at the School of Computing Science at Simon Fraser University and a Professor of Computer Science at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is also a researcher at the Vancouver Prostate Centre. Sahinalp is the director of the MADD-Gen Gradute program in Vancouver, the first bioinformatics program focusing on big data challenges in genomics and bioinformatics. Sahinalp received his B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from Bilkent University and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of Maryland, College Park. His research focuses on computational genomics and biomolecular sequence analysis, RNA structure and interaction prediction and network biology.
Dr. Pradeepa YahampathWhen: March 19, 2015 @ 1:00pm
Dr. Pradeepa Yahampath
Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Manitoba
Title: Hybrid Digital-Analog Coding For Mobile Multicast of Audio Visual Conten
Mobile multicast of audio and video content is currently one of the most sought after wireless services. When transmitting the same content to multiple mobile receivers which are subject to very different channel conditions, the bandwidth efficient approach would be to send a single scalable bit stream. However, conventional schemes such as layered scalable video coding is highly vulnerable to packet losses. Simultaneously realizing both bit-rate scalability and robustness to data losses is difficult within the current framework of video coding in the application layer and the separate channel error protection in the physical layer. In this talk, an emerging new approach to multicast of analog content such as audio and video is discussed which is inherently scalable and robust. This approach, referred to as hybrid digital-analog (HDA) coding, relies on the direct (uncoded) transmission of analog (audio or video) signal samples, along with a coded bit-stream over the wireless channel, thus integrating application layer source coding and physical layer channel coding. HDA coding allows each mobile receiver to obtain a quality of service commensurate with its specific instantaneous channel conditions from a single transmitted analog-digital signal. In this talk, both fundamental information theoretic considerations of HDA coding and recent advances in its practical implementation will be discussed.
Dr. Pradeepa Yahampath is an associate professor with the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Manitoba. He received M.Sc. degree in telecommunications from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in 1995 and Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering from University of Manitoba in 2001. He has held research positions in the Communications Group at UNIK, University Oslo, Norway during the 2007-2009 period. He has served in the technical program committees of a number of international conferences in the areas of communications and signal processing. He is a Senior Member of IEEE. His research interests include statistical signal processing in communication systems, vector quantization and its applications in signal processing and communications, multimedia coding, joint source-channel coding for wireless systems and networks, distributed coding for sensor networks, and signal processing and digital communication in smart-power grids.