Saturday, December 03, 2005

Brian Barsky: See what you see

Yesterday I attended an excellent talk of Brian Barsky. He's professor at UC Berkeley with affiliation to both computer graphics and optometry group. This mixture resulted some really interesting projects which contributed to both, developing medical tools to test and improve the human sight, and rendering scenes in computer graphics by modeling the eye instead of using a simple camera model.
A small part was extremely interesting for me: For detecting the aberrations, irregularities, defects of the cornea, they have developed a tool which resulted images of a human eye like this (CWhatUC paper):

The irregularities of the cornea surface can be seen by the deviations of the circular reflection lines. Basically, the very same tests is used in CAD or other geometric modeling tools to asses the quality of surfaces generated. Compare the picture above to this Solidworks example:
Actually, I am working right now on exactly such a surface quality estimation test in my internship at Autoform, who is producing simulation software mainly for automotive industry. I always love to see different research areas meeting at some points, it is great to know that things can be reused, combined almost to infinity, and the results can be really astonishing.
And I want to note again that the talk was just great. Brian Barsky seems really a funny and easy going guy... He could really put some highlights of his research work into a presentation which was really fun to listen to and interesting. What I especially like about such established professors like him, is that they are really working and researching in an area what actually their passion/hobby is. So listening to his talk on Friday really made my day.

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