UTSA researcher receives Department of Army grant to catch bad guys
(Sept. 7, 2015) — Qi Tian wants computer science to make the world a better place, and not in the way you might think. The UTSA Computer Science professor has received a $399,067 grant from the Department of the Army to use image searching to make combing through surveillance videos easier.
“It’s large-scale image retrieval search,” Tian said. “This isn’t just big data, this is very big data.”
When the Boston Marathon was bombed in 2013, officials painstakingly searched surveillance video of the area where they knew the bomb had been planted, and were able to identify the Tsarnaev brothers in the crowd. What Tian is developing through the grant is a way to capture a person’s face in such a crowded, hectic situation and search across huge amounts of surveillance videos from other locations across a city or even a country to find another instance of that person.
“You can find the bad guys a little quicker,” he said. “Otherwise, you’re sitting and looking at an unimaginable number of surveillance videos, looking for this person.”
Cities like London, which is known for its wealth of surveillance cameras, already have numerous instances of criminals being caught by tracking them through public surveillance.
“It’s computer science making the world better,” Tian said. “And hopefully safer.”
Tian’s algorithm will also be able to detect a suspicious vehicle, although that’s relatively easier, since it’s rigid. A human face is harder to search for because it’s non-rigid and changes with every expression.
“This is closely rooted with the computer vision field,” Tian said. “We teach the computer to see, to recognize a world or an object, and yes, a person’s face, which can be especially challenging. That’s the future. One day you might not need your credit card. You can pay with your face.”
Learn more about the Department of Computer Science here.
The Roadrunner community and nearby residents are highly encouraged to cast their votes at UTSA, a designated early voting site for the March 3 Texas presidential primary election.H-E-B Student Union, Bexar Room (HSU 1.102), Main Campus
The best way to learn what UTSA has to offer is to experience it for yourself. Come to our Open House and see all that UTSA has to offer. The day features admissions and financial aid workshops and presentations, campus tours and much more.Various Locations, Main Campus
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in health care, you won’t want to miss UTSA’s 14th annual Health Professions Day. Meet with representatives of health professions programs at schools such as Texas Tech University Health Science Center, University of Texas Medical Branch, University North Texas Health Science Center, University of the Incarnate Word, and many more. Free and open to UTSA students, local area college and high school students, and community members.Student Union, Retama Galleria (SU First Floor Corridor), Main Campus
An FBI subject matter expert will discuss the threat to U.S. technology and public sector from foreign adversaries, specific technologies sought and vectors used to illicitly obtain them, how to best safeguard intellectual property.Durango Building (DB 2.112A), Downtown Campus
Why just leap when you can dash? The Alumni Association’s 36th annual Diploma Dash 5K and City Championship is a great opportunity to run or walk for a great cause: scholarships for UTSA students.Main Campus
Students are encouraged to attend to obtain important information about Spring Commencement and life after UTSA. Graduating students can order their cap and gown and other items, win prizes and capture lasting memories with fellow Roadrunners at a selfie station. Participants should take a UTSA student ID for entry.H-E-B Student Union, Ballrooms (HSU 1.104/1.106), Main Campus
UTSA’s first Wellbeing Fair is a part of the President’s Initiative of Enriching Campus Wellbeing. UTSA is committed to the well-being of each member of the campus community and recognizes that numerous factors contribute to overall wellness: physical and mental health, diet and nutrition, physical activity, stress management and self-care, social behaviors and more. The fair will give students, faculty and staff an opportunity to participate in well-being activities, obtain well-being information and learn about available services. Participants will become more competent in making healthy decisions to take a more proactive approach in their own well-being.Paseo Principal, Student Union, Main Campus