CS & ITSC: The Pivotal Role of Computer Science in this $6.6 Million Project


A recent $6.6 Million funding award from New York State combines the talents and resources of three of Long Island’s major academic institutions. As partners in the Infrastructure, Transportation, and Security Center (ITSC), Farmingdale State College (FSC), Stony Brook University, and Nassau Community College will work to strengthen security at regional infrastructure and transportation systems.

Upon securing the Round IV NYSUNY 2020 funding to establish ITSC, Governor Andrew Cuomo, said, "As terrorism continues to threaten our way of life, we must do all we can to stay vigilant and strengthen our defenses. The new Infrastructure, Transportation and Security Center will be key in ensuring that the security experts of tomorrow are prepared with the best possible training and resources needed to keep us safe."

Each institution involved in the ITSC brings a variety of experience and research knowledge to the project. This experience will result in advanced courses for undergraduate and graduate students. Specifically, Stony Brook University’s (SBU) role involves two departments, Computer Science (CS) and Civil Engineering (CE), within the  SBU will significantly contribute to the transportation and security technologies in the region.

According to SBU President Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., MD, “Our programs in computer science, information technology and the newly created Department of Civil Engineering are well-poised to translate new discoveries into innovative approaches that improve our transportation infrastructure”.

Leading the project on behalf of CS are (Faculty and Project Director), (Faculty), and Arie Kaufman (Chair). To complete research and create educational opportunities, these three scientists will leverage their computer vision capabilities including human activity recognition for image and video analysis. The initial phase of the project will include security of air, water, and power grid infrastructure. This phase will address all related educational and research aspects of security topics with an emphasis on having underrepresented and minority student participation.

ITSC is based at FSC and upon graduation, students can pursue their graduate degree at SBU. SBU will focus on large scale computer vision analysis of existing infrastructure for automatic safety inspection of bridges and roads, driver and pedestrian activity modeling and recognition, large scale dynamic human activity analysis for transportation hubs, and efficient storage architectures for the large volumes of data generated by intelligent transportation systems. Customizable curriculum will be developed by both the CE and CS departments at SBU focused on transportation infrastructure monitoring and analysis, energy and smart grid infrastructure, government, consumer and industry audiences.

About the CS Researcher Team

Dimitris Samaras earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of Pennsylvania in 2001; M.S. in Computer Science from Northeastern University in 1994, and Diploma in Computer Engineering and Informatics from University of Patras, Greece. Samaras's research until now has focused on explaining visual data for Computer Vision, Computer Graphics and Image Analysis, through the appropriate physical and statistical models. A central interest is in modeling the interaction of 3D shape and illumination, (a major source of variability in images) for applications such as shape and motion estimation, object recognition and augmented reality.

Arie E. Kaufman is a Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Computer Science Department, the Director of the Center of Visual Computing (CVC), and the Chief Scientist of the Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology (CEWIT) at Stony Brook University (SBU). He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Ben-Gurion University in Israel. He joined the faculty at SBU in 1985 and was appointed Chair in 1999. Kaufman has conducted research for over 40 years in visualization, graphics, virtual reality, user interfaces, multimedia, and their applications. He is an IEEE Fellow, an ACM Fellow, recipient of the IEEE Visualization Career Award (2005), and was inducted into the Long Island Technology Hall of Fame (2013).

Minh Hoai Nguyen received a PhD in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of New South Wales. Before coming to Stony Brook, Minh Hoai was a post-doctoral research fellow with Andrew Zisserman at Oxford University. He was also a Kurti Junior Research Fellow at Brasenose College. Minh Hoai Nguyen's research interests are in computer vision, machine learning, and time series analysis. His recent research focuses on creating algorithms that recognize human actions, gestures, and expressions in video. Minh Hoai Nguyen's research extends to three areas that support it: computer vision, time series analysis, and machine learning. His work studies video data, and computer vision addresses video representation and processing.