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Computer Science|College of Engineering and Applied Science

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Computer Science
Dept. 3315
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Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307)766-5190
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Computer Science Research Seminar

Date: 2:10pm, Friday, October 3
Location: Engineering 3070

This week in the Computer Science Research Seminar we have two of our Ph.D. students reporting on their research.

Speaker: Joost Huizinga, Ph.D. student in Computer Science (advisor: Jeff Clune)
Title: Evolving neural networks that are both modular and regular
An open question in biology is why and how brains evolved their regular, modular and hierarchical structures. An open question in computer science is how to produce intelligent neural networks that have these same structural properties as natural brains.   One popular method for producing artificial neural networks is to evolve them, but such evolved networks rarely contain these properties.
In this talk I will describe my research into combining two recent techniques, one for evolving neural modularity and one for evolving neural regularity, to produce neural networks that are both modular and regular. I will show that this combined technique improves the performance (intelligence) of these networks, and I will discuss how this suggests an explanation as to why and how these structures evolved in nature. Lastly, I will briefly touch upon my most recent research, where I apply these techniques to the brains of simulated robots that have to gather food and avoid predators to survive.

Speaker: Anh Nguyen, Ph.D. student in Computer Science (advisor: Jeff Clune, reporting on joint research with Amy Banic)
Title: 3DTouch: A wearable 3D input device for 3D applications
3D applications appear in every corner of life in the current technology era. There is a need for an ubiquitous 3D input device that works with many different platforms, from head-mounted displays to mobile touch devices, 3DTVs, and even the Cave Automatic Virtual Environments. We present 3DTouch, a novel wearable 3D input device worn on the fingertip for 3D manipulation tasks.  3DTouch is designed to fill the missing gap of a 3D input device that is self-contained, mobile, and universally working across various 3D platforms. This paper presents a low-cost solution to designing and implementing such a device.
Our approach relies on a relative positioning technique using an optical laser sensor and a 9-DOF inertial measurement unit. The device employs touch input for the benefits of passive haptic feedback, and movement stability. On the other hand, with touch interaction, 3DTouch is conceptually less fatiguing to use over many hours than 3D spatial input devices. We propose a set of 3D interaction techniques including selection, translation, and rotation using 3DTouch. An evaluation also demonstrates the device’s tracking accuracy of 1.10 mm and 2.33 degrees for subtle touch interaction in 3D space. We envision that modular solutions like 3DTouch opens up a whole new design space for interaction techniques to further develop on. With 3DTouch, we attempt to bring 3D applications a step closer to users.


UW Researchers Publish on Creative Thinking in Robots

UW Researchers Publish on Creative Thinking in Robots

Jeff Clune and his students are not only getting robots to think, but to think creatively. “The long-term goal is to build robots as nimble as natural animals, like hawks and jaguars, and as smart as humans,” says Clune, a University of Wyoming associate professor in the Department of Computer Science. “

Playing with Robots

Playing With Robots

UW professors welcome Laramie’s middle and high school students to play with robots and learn math, science and programming in the process.

UW Doctoral Student Researches How Robots Learn General Skills

UW Doctoral Student Researches How Robots Learn General Skills

To understand ourselves better, Roby Velez researches how robots learn general skills that help them explore their environment.

Doctoral Student from Netherlands Studies How to Evolve Artificial Brains to Mimic Those in Animals

Doctoral Student from Netherlands Studies How to Evolve Artificial Brains to Mimic Those in Animals

Joost Huizinga watches the six-legged “spider bot” he created scuttle across his computer screen. At first, it wobbles and walks unsteadily as it attempts to gobble up green-shaped pyramids that denote food.

Green house

Students Create Computer Model to Determine Surface Shade and Measure Snowmelt in Colorado River Basin

December 12, 2013 — In an attempt to measure snowmelt in a mountainous region northwest of Boulder, Colo., two University of Wyoming students are determining surface shade through a computer model they’ve created. They hope their high-performance computing research eventually can be scaled up for use on Mount Moran, UW’s high-performance computing cluster, and be a useful tool for modeling solar radiation for the entire Upper Colorado River Basin.

Why are English majors studying computer science?

December 3, 2013 — Ten years ago, professors in computer science departments everywhere wondered how undergraduates from a broad range of fields could be attracted to computer science (CS). We were convinced that this material would be vital for their careers, but we were up against negative stereotypes of programmers, and the prediction that most software jobs were about to be outsourced to the third world.

More Computer Science News

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Best Overall Video at AAAI 2014

Joost Huizinga, Jean-Baptiste Mouret, and Jeff Clune win Best Overall Video at AAAI 2014 for their video "Evolving Neural Networks That Are Both Modular and Regular.”

Art in a Virtual World

UW computer scientist Amy Banic assists Dennis Beck of Lovell during a class that exposes students to a whole new world of capabilities based on their own creative instincts.

Artificial Intelligence Lab at UW

Artificial Intelligence Lab at UW
Dr. Jeff Clune from the Department of Computer Science discusses the Evolving Artificial Intelligence Lab at UW - produced for the Front Range Consortium on Research Computing

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