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U.S. Homeland Security Delegation Tours ODU Vision Lab

A delegation of local military and law enforcement officials working for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security visited Old Dominion University's Computational Intelligence and Machine Vision Laboratory (Vision Lab) on Monday, April 16.

"The future is in good hands with your generation," Robert Mathieson of the U.S. Marshals Service told Loc Tran, a Ph.D. student in electrical and computer engineering, and one of the students who led a tour of the facility.

Vision Lab director Khan M. Iftekharuddin, professor of electrical and computer engineering in the Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology, was excited to demonstrate the Vision Lab research technology to the delegation from Homeland Security.

"We create exciting technologies that have direct bearing to many Homeland Security needs," Iftekharuddin said. "Active collaboration with user communities, such as this delegation, can make these tools even more effective."

Mark Laria, port director for U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Michael Lamonea, assistant special agent in charge with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and Capt. Mark Ogle, sector commander, Sector Hampton Roads, with the U.S. Coast Guard, joined Mathieson for the visit. All four men work under the umbrella of the local office of the Department of Homeland Security.

Among the technologies demonstrated for the delegation were a Vision Lab computer algorithm that creates three-dimensional facial images, an experimental computer program that allows the user to control simple movements of a remote device with brain waves, and a high-quality, long-range video camera that can be used for long distance facial recognition.

The visitors frequently remarked how useful the Vision Lab technology would be for various Homeland Security tasks their officers undertake.

Vision Lab researchers focus on developing new algorithms and architectures for real-time applications in the areas of signal processing, image processing, computer vision, pattern recognition and biologically inspired object recognition.

The lab's work has been recognized by grant-funding agencies, particularly in the homeland security field, for several years.

Among the new projects being undertaken by Vision Lab researchers are an algorithm to aid in long-distance facial recognition, 3-D face modeling using static image frames, and an automatic image stabilizer that uses data points from moving images to create a more visible still image. Work is also going on in the area of brain tumor detection under another National Institutes of Health-funded project.

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