Georgia State Hosts NSF Research Experience
Georgia State University recently hosted an NSF-sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) focusing on immersive media computing. The program, which lasted for eight weeks during the months of June and July, was designed to let undergraduate students from across the country learn about immersive media computing by working directly with faculty members, graduate student mentors, and other participants. The program will be held again in the summers of 2020 and 2021, with a new crop of students participating each year.
The following ten students from across the U.S. were selected on a competitive basis to participate in this summer’s program:
Evelyn Bailey, University of Pennsylvania
Joseph Hamlett, Virginia Commonwealth University
Abu Nadim Kabir, Georgia State University
Lillian Le, University of Georgia
Diane Phuong Nguyen, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Trenton Plager, Rochester Institute of Technology
Derek Roberts, Kentucky State University
Michael Tinglof, San Diego State University
Richard Wiedenroth, University of Alabama
Raquel Zempoalteca Roman, California State University, Monterey Bay
Participants received a $4,000 stipend, a $1,350 meal allowance, a $500 travel allowance, on-campus university housing, and travel support to present their work at conferences.
Immersive media computing is a growing field that includes virtual reality (VR), computer vision, video streaming and networking, computer systems for media applications, GPU rendering, parallel computing, and image processing. These technologies combine physical and digital worlds in a way that leaves users feeling deeply immersed in both worlds simultaneously. Immersive media computing is revolutionizing, on a large scale, the way that humans interact with technology.
With Atlanta being the third largest media industry center in the nation, Georgia State’s REU program provides students with an invaluable opportunity to interact with and learn directly from industry advisors. Students are exposed to specialized immersive media computing facilities that are not available elsewhere, allowing them to gain a one-of-a kind development experience. According to REU organizer Dr. Zhisheng Yan, “Students will work with faculty members and their graduate student mentors on one specific research project related to the field. Research areas include augmented reality, VR, multimedia, image processing, computer vision, and image compression. There will be a final presentation and a report to summarize their projects.”
Georgia State’s REU is a joint effort between the Department of Computer Science and the Creative Media Industries Institute (CMII), with funding provided by the National Science Foundation. Georgia State received a $330,000 grant to host the REU for three years. Dr. Yan, an assistant professor of computer science, was the principal investigator for the grant, with associate professor Ying Zhu serving as co-PI. Dr. Zhu holds a joint appointment in CMII and the Department of Computer Science. NSF funds a number of REU sites each year in various locations around the country in order to introduce undergraduate students to the complex world of research that defines the tech field.
Story by Elizabeth Hazzard
Photos by Dr. Zhisheng Yan