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ODU Vision Lab Gets Visit from Regent University's Summer Government Campers

Wearing shorts and sandals, the students who visited the ODU Vision Lab on Thursday, July 16, looked just like a typical cluster of high schoolers.

However, they were among a select group of student leaders participating in Regent University's Summer Government Camp. The students visited the ODU Computational Intelligence and Machine Vision Laboratory to learn about cutting-edge, innovative research being done into counter-terrorism through the field of vision.

In small groups, the students were escorted around the laboratory, seeing live or video demonstrations of the Vision Lab's work-the camera that automatically follows a face moving around, then identifies it; the computer program that creates a three-dimensional image of a subject's head from a number of angles; and the popular remote control robot, which tracks objects or people through a camera mounted above its wheel base.

Following along with his students, and just as interested in the presentations, was Gerson Moreno-Riano, chair of Regent University's Department of Government, History and Criminal Justice, and director of Summer Government Camp.

"The theme of our camp is national security, intelligence and counter-terrorism," Moreno-Riano said. "The Vision Lab is a great place for us to come, because of its groundbreaking research and development of security and identity technology."

The five-day camp gave the students an opportunity to see, sense and be part of what is normally off limits to civilians. They had access to high-level military, political and corporate installations, interacting with top military, political, academic and corporate leaders in national security and counter-terrorism.

The Vision Lab's work in threat identification, facial expression analysis and long-range surveillance made it a natural for inclusion in the Summer Government Camp. For the lab, it was also a good opportunity to show itself off to some of the best and brightest high school students in the state.

"I believe this is an extremely good opportunity to show the research laboratory environment of our university to the high school students in this region," said Vijay Asari, professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of the ODU Vision Lab, as he led one of the student tours himself.

"The message will be spread to other students in their respective high schools, and hence may help in attracting more highly motivated students to ODU," he said.

Other visits made by the 25 students in Summer Government Camp were to Langley Air Force Base, the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Portsmouth, and the former Blackwater Worldwide Training Center in Moyock, N.C.

This article was posted on: July 20, 2009

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