Posted by: technofutures | November 4, 2008

Cambridge Michaelmas Week 3

A very busy week and lots of work ahead, so a very short entry this week, talking about Andrew Blake’s talk, GeoPursuit and me thrilled about winning a Microsoft Student Partner competition!

Andrew Blake Presentation

This week, we were fortunate enough to have a talk in the department by Andrew Blake, deputy managing director of Microsoft Research Cambridge talking about ‘Markov Models in Computer Vision’. Although a very ‘fancy’ (i.e. hard) sounding title, Andrew presented it in a very clear way using, for example, the weather forecast as an illustration of Markov Models. I got a couple of interesting tips from the talk which may or may not be useful for the project, e.g. a method of segmenting an object from it’s background. One of the more interesting examples was the one where he described how to learn the general shape of objects e.g. a horse from a series of images. More details contained in a Microsoft Research paper here (example on page 5).

For those interested in what Andrew talked about, take a look here at his page. They do absolutely amazing things at Microsoft Research Cambridge!

The poster presentation by PhD students in the department which followed the talk was also amazing, especially the demo I took part in of a ‘automatic tourism operator’ which responded amazingly well to my requests for a four star hotel near the river with a French Restaurant… amazing! Check it out here… you can even download a demo!

Photosynth Competition

Following the posting I made last week about Photosynth, I was very happy to find out yesterday that I won the MSP prize for the competition, which consists of 100 pounds of Amazon Vouchers! Thank you Microsoft!


I took part on Thursday in the first level of the Shell Geopursuit game… It would have been quite good fun if it hadn’t been marred by technical problems which made the game virtually unplayable for several hours. It’s quite an interesting concept otherwise… Answer clues that point you to a location in Google Earth, then navigate to that location and collect the week’s key code! Quite simple really!


No time to go into great depths this week, so I’ll jump straight to the best lecture of the week. I think my ‘highly prized’ 🙂 award goes to the 4F1 lectures again for their clarity and ‘interestingness’! As I predicted last week, the Bode gain-phase relationship was most interesting and now I can draw Bode diagrams intuitively! 🙂 Always useful… well…


Some good progress this week, completing my canonical correlations algorithm with some satisfactory recognition rates. I’ve decided it may be more interesting for me to write about the project every two weeks… since I’m running out of time during the week to write it up in the blog…


PS: The astute among you may have noticed that Week in Microsoft is missing… especially after such an important week for MS! I am just so busy with the project… and with a presentation coming up soon… I’ll post a series of links at some point…!


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