This category discusses new courses, or novel aspects of classical courses that are developed as part of the goals of the laboratory to integrate teaching and education. Most novel aspects of educational work within the laboratory deal with how to design and instruct interdisciplinary courses.

Estimating the central axis of a ceramic vessel given 3D Measurements of a vessel fragment

This video blog demonstrates a new technique we have developed to estimate the central axis of an axially symmetric vessel given 3D measurements from the surface of one of the vessel fragments. The approach uses a 3D surface segmentation technique to decompose the measured fragment surface into a collection of quadric surface patches. A 3D algebraic surface is fit to each of these surface patches and the coefficients of these algebraic curves are then used to provide a noisy estimate of the central axis for each of the quadric surface patches. The axis estimates are then merged into a global estimate of the pot axis using a weighted average that weights estimates based on the number of surface measurements that gave rise to the axis estimate and their goodness-of-fit to the associated quadric surface. A video blog showing the steps of the technique may be viewed at the link below.


Segmenting 3D Surfaces

This video blog demonstrates how the ShaRP program may be used to decompose an arbitrary surface into a collection of surface patches, each of which corresponds to a region of the 3D surface that is well-fit by a quadratic surface patch. There are many potential uses for such an algorithm. Of particular interest to our group are applications that seek to uncover ridges, valleys, and symmetric areas that lead to higher-level semantic interpretations of the 3D surface mesh. For example, we have collected many 3D scans of archaeological ruins in Mexico (Mayan stone buildings) and in Israel (ruins of a Crusader fortress). Finding ridges and valleys within these scans allow us to develop algorithms to automatically detect the mortar and bricks of the interior and exterior walls, intersections between walls, and special structures such as doors, vaults, windows, and columns. This blog uses the developed algorithm to segment a pottery fragment surface into a collection of quadric patches. In this case, we seek to use the estimated quadric patches to estimate the central axis of the vessel which is important in identifying the fragment as a member of a specific typology in archaeology and for the system which we have been developing that automatically estimates pots from measurements of their fragments.


Putting the Pieces Together: A System for Interactive Reassembly of 3D Solid Objects

This video blog demonstrates how users may reconstruct objects interactively on our ShaRP 3D rendering program. The particular object reconstructed is a collection of bone fragments from a bovine femur. Applications of the developed system are numerous. We are currently investigating applications of this system for reconstructing broken fragments of small solid objects such as archaeological artifacts and very large solid objects such as fallen columns and walls of ancient structures. Medical applications of this software include the opportunity to reconstruct traumatic bone fractures which can benefit orthopaedic surgeons by allowing them to reconstruct the bone fragments virtually as part of pre-operative surgical planning.


Introduction to ShaRP -(*So here's another Rendering Program*)

ShaRP is the software package we have developed here for research on 3D mesh processing and estimation problems. We would like to make this software approachable by any user. In support of this goal, students in the laboratory have started making video blogs demonstrating how to use the software. This first video blog on the ShaRP program demonstrates basic operations within the software including how to load, position, and orient 3D objects loaded into the program.

A direct link to the video blog is available below:

Project/Proposal Title : A Course Proposal : Design of Intelligent Spacecraft

Source of Support : NC Space Grant : Higher Education Program

Description : An inter-disciplinary course is proposed which integrates concepts from mathematics, physics, engineering and computer science for the purpose of educating 3rd-4th year undergraduate and 1st year graduate students on the design of intelligent spacecraft.