Events Archive: Spring 2004

Game Complexity Theorists Ponder, by Jonathan Buss

| 5:30 PM EDT | MC 2065

Attention AI buffs: Game Complexity presentation

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Why are some games hard to play well? The study of computational complexity gives one answer: the games encode long computations.

Any computation can be interpreted as an abstract game. Playing the game perfectly requires performing the computation. Remarkably, some natural games can encode these abstract games and thus simulate general computations. The more complex the game, the more complex the computations it can encode; games that can encode intractable problems are themselves intractable.

I will describe how games can encode computations, and discuss some examples of both provably hard games (checkers, chess, go, etc.) and games that are believed to be hard (hex, jigsaw puzzles, etc.).

Case Modding Workshop!

| 12:30 PM EDT | RCH 308

Come and learn how to make your computer 1337!

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Are you bored of beige?

Tired of an overheating computer?

Is your computer's noise level on par with a jet engine?

Got a nifty modded case?

Want one?

The Computer Science Club will be holding a Case Modding Workshop to help answer these questions.

There will be demonstrations on how to make a case window, how to paint your case, managing cables and keeping your computer quiet and cool.

The event is FREE and there will be FREE PIZZA. All are welcome!

To help you on your way to getting a wicked computer case, we have a limited number of "Case Modding Starters Kits" available. They come with an LED fan, a fan grill, a sheet of Plexan, thumbscrews, wire ties, and more! They're only $10 and will be on sale at the event. Here's a picture.

If you already have a modded case, we encourage you to bring it out and show it off! There will be a prize for the best case!!

We hope to see you there!

This event is sponsored by Bigfoot Computers.

``Optical Snow'': Motion parallax and heading computation in densely cluttered scenes. -or- Why Computer Vision needs the Fourier Transform!

| 5:00 PM EDT | MC 2066

A talk by Richard Mann; School of Computer Science

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When an observer moves through a 3D scene, nearby surfaces move faster in the image than do distant surfaces. This effect, called motion parallax, provides an observer with information both about their own motion relative the scene, and about the spatial layout and depth of surfaces in the scene.

Classical methods for measuring image motion by computer have concentrated on the cases of optical flow in which the motion field is continuous, or layered motion in which the motion field is piecewise continuous. Here we introduce a third natural category which we call ``optical snow''. Optical snow arises in many natural situations such as camera motion in a highly cluttered 3-D scene, or a passive observer watching a snowfall. Optical snow yields dense motion parallax with depth discontinuities occurring near all image points. As such, constraints on smoothness or even smoothness in layers do not apply.

We present a Fourier analysis of optical snow. In particular we show that, while such scenes appear complex in the time domain, there is a simple structure in the frequency domain, and this may be used to determine the direction of motion and the range of depths of objects in the scenes. Finally we show how Fourier analysis of two or more image regions may be combined to estimate heading direction.

This talk will present current research at the undergraduate level. All are welcome to attend.

Computing's Next Great Empires: The True Future of Software

| 6:30 PM EDT | DC 1350

A talk by Larry Smith

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Larry will challenge conventional assumptions about the directions of computing and software. The role of AI, expert systems, communications software and business applications will be presented both from a functional and commercial point of view. The great gaps in the marketplace will be highlighted, together with an indication of how these vacant fields will become home to new empires.

CSC Elections

| 5:30 PM EDT | The Comfy Lounge

Come out and vote for the Spring 2004 executive!

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The Computer Science Club will be holding its elections for the Spring 2004 term on Wednesday, May 12. The elections will be held at 4:30 PM in the Comfy Lounge, on the 3rd floor of the MC. Please remember to come out and vote!

We are accepting nominations for the following positions: President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary. The nomination period continues until 4:30 PM on Tuesday, May 11. If you are interested in running for a position, or would like to nominate someone else, please email cro@csclub.uwaterloo.ca before the deadline.