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Picker ISI Announces 2017-18 Awards

By Picker Interdisciplinary Science Institute on April 9, 2018

The Picker Interdisciplinary Science Institute (Picker ISI) announces this year’s grant awards supporting interdisciplinary approaches in innovative research. The grants bring together Colgate faculty and other researchers with complementary expertise to open new areas of study and to tackle existing problems in creative new ways.

This year there is one project award:

Elodie Fourquet, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, and her collaborator Flip Phillips, Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience at Skidmore College, have received a two-year award of $101,262 from the Picker Interdisciplinary Science Institute for their project “Representing and Perceiving Depth in Digital Images”. Humans easily and reliably perceive relative depth in two-dimensional images, such as photographs, realistic paintings, and even sketches. We do this despite the inaccurate depiction or absence of many depth cues that exist in natural 3D environments. Can we understand and digitally reproduce the visual information that makes this possible?

To produce 2D images of 3D scenes, this project uses computer graphics algorithms based on the projective geometric calculations of Renaissance artist-mathematicians. Psychophysical methods measure observers’ perception of the 3D scenes as the 2D pictorial information varies, providing critical insight into the human visual system’s interpretation of 3D space. The results of these experiments will guide improvement of the depiction of 3D depth in 2D imagery. This, in turn, will facilitate richer content in computer-generated images for illustration and visualization — two important research areas in computer graphics.

The mission of the Picker Interdisciplinary Science Institute at Colgate University is to foster the creation of new knowledge that is obtainable only through the development of sustained interdisciplinary research. The Institute supports internal and external collaborations among faculty who bring expertise from different disciplines to bear on current and emerging scientific problems that remain intractable to the methods used within a single discipline. The Institute also encourages interdisciplinary approaches to learning through innovative curricular and research opportunities for students that may arise from the pursuit of interdisciplinary research projects.

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