Active Alert: Classes canceled rest of today and tomorrow

B-ALERT:Due to forecast, all classes effective 4:30pm today Nov 25 are canceled. There will be no classes Wednesday Nov 26. Adjust travel plans accordingly.

Alert updated: Tuesday, November 25, 2014 3:50 PM

Watson School Videos

Select a video below to view Watson people in action.

Scott Craver talks about information hiding and information security.

 

In this video from the Bold, Brilliant, Binghamton campaign launch Scott Craver, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, talks about his work in information hiding and information security. His research focuses on undetectable, covert communication that can be used for proof of ownership, copy protection and evading censorship.

"Information security is something of a cat-and-mouse game: You try to detect; I try to evade," Craver says. And, in a field were the tiniest of tinkering leaves a trace, you need to think like an attacker. "The only way to figure out flaws in a security system is by figuring out how you'd break it.

In 2009, Craver was chosen as one of 100 recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). He's the first Binghamton University faculty to earn a PECASE -- the highest honor bestowed by the federal government during the early years of a scientist or engineer's career.

Bold, Brilliant, Binghamton. The campaign for Binghamton University celebrates progress, as well as the people, on whose shoulders we stand, while also motivating us to fulfill our promise to future generations.

Learn more about the campaign for Binghamton University and the case for the Watson School.

 

Computer Science student is Binghamton University's 100,000 graduate!

 

During Commencement ceremonies held May 16, 2010, Brian May of the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science was recognized by President Lois B. DeFleur and Anthony Kendall, president of the Alumni Association, as Binghamton University's 100,000th graduate.

When Brian May received word that he would be Binghamton University's 100,000th graduate, he was shocked. May, a 23-year-old computer science major from Poughkeepsie, said once he recovered from the initial sense of shock, he felt "very honored" by the place he now holds in Binghamton history.

While a student at Binghamton, May and a few of his classmates founded the Binghamotn chapter of Theta Delta Chi, a public service-oriented fraternity that has organized city, volunteered at soup kitchens and tutored at Vestal's elementary schools.


Mechanical engineering students showcase their supermileage car

 

The senior design course at Binghamton University’s Watson School of Engineering offers students a unique challenge. Work as a team to design, build and test a supermileage car.

As part of a competition sponsored by SAE International (an international organization of more than 120,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries), five students are given a small four-cycle engine. With it, they must build a one-person, super-fuel-efficient vehicle. Teams are comprised of students from multiple engineering disciplines including mechanical, electrical and computer engineering.

“The competition gives students an opportunity to get creative using a multi-disciplinary approach to problem solving,” says Colin Selleck, a lecturer in mechanical engineering who has advised the teams for the past three years. “Over the years each team has found innovative ways to improve the aerodynamics. This year, the team adjusted the steering to reduce tire scrub, created the roll bar out of carbon fiber to reduce the car’s weight by four to five pounds and re-geared the engine so it lies in the power band.”

The competition’s strict design criteria includes a steering geometry capable of a 15.2m maximum inside turning radius; the ability to traverse 30.5m on a slalom course in less than 15 seconds and sufficient lateral stability. All entrants must use the same four-cycle, 3.5-horsepower base-engine issued by Briggs & Stratton. Fuel for the vehicle is 100 octane for uniformity. Drivers must weigh at least 130 pounds.

The Watson School car was built over the last two years on a budget of only $6,000, has Ackerman steering, an engine compression ratio of 13:1 and a carbon fiber roll bar.

Once the supermileage cars are designed and built, they must be track-tested, competing for points based on fuel economy and design. In 2008, the Watson School team’s car took 4th place in the collegiate competition with a fuel rating of 1,321 miles per gallon.

 

Mechanical engineering student wins film contest

Binghamton University student Prabhath Kiran Amudala '10 won the campus-wide Bold & Brilliant Video Contest for his film, "Green Dreams."


Bold & Brilliant Video Contest Grand Prize Winner: Green Dreams

Green Dreams was produced by Binghamton University senior Prabhath Kiran Amudala. Prabhath, a mechanical engineering student from India, calls his video "a one-minute video stereotype of a common man's life. I have titled the video "Green Dreams" to convey that a dream can be turned into reality and hope always works for those who have faith. We can make our suffering planet a place which is green, secure, beautiful and lively for our generation and the generations to come."

Binghamton University is one of the greenest universities in this nation with its "Think Green" vision. This led me to do a video sharing the University's vision.

The film is surreal and symbolic. The film starts off with the title "Green Dreams" and the word "Green" is not green and then it becomes green - which refers to the fact that the world is not green, but we can make it green. Then an eye opens - which refers to the start of a day or a cycle which also shows the sun rising in the woods. Then a man walks with bare foot in the woods - which refers to the man being in harmony with nature. Then plastic use and not recycling things are shown and the man is wearing shoes and walks on a road - which refers to the cost of the destruction of nature. I have stated some examples like 1) trees and paper, 2) energy resources and unnecessary use of elevators, 3) cars, pollution and deforestation. Then a "Do Not Enter" sign appears and a person walking is alternately shown to show that the things happening are not happening accidentally. Then a person smoking a cigarette is shown and smoke from a chimney is shown - these indicate we are spoiling nature as a man spoils his health smoking a cigarette.Then a forest fire appears which symbolically states that we are in immense danger if we do not stop the planet which is under destruction. The film ends as the sun sets, the moon appears and the person closes his eye - this refers to the end of a day or a cycle. The last three scenes 1) flower (flora) 2) bird (fauna) and 3) water (source of life) show hope to us - at the same time symbolically thanking the actors and portraying the source of the film.

Thanks for watching and sharing Binghamton University's vision "Think Green".


 

Grad student builds an electric truck

System Science and Industrial Engineering PhD student Joe Weiss transformed his truck into an electric vehicle.


Nuts and Bolts of an Electric Truck

Joe Weiss, a Binghamton University PhD student in the Watson School of Science and Engineering, took his 1993 Ford Ranger truck and transformed it into an electric vehicle. Great for everyday commutes that are within 50 miles, Joe's now battery-powered truck can travel up to 65 mph. He spent about $10,000 converting the vehicle and estimates it will take up to 10 years to make back that investment with the money he'll save on gas. Weiss is already thinking about upgrading components; but in the meantime, he simply plugs it in at night and it will be ready to go in the morning.

Read more about Weiss and his electric truck in the Binghamton University Magazine article, His truck runs on watts.

 

 

Watson School's Guitar Hero

Alumnus David Czarnecki '97 talks with Binghamton University students about turning passion into pay.


"Do what you love."

David Czarnecki, '97 has been a video-game enthusiast for most of his life, going back to the days of the now-archaic Atari 2600 game system and Commodore 64 home computer.

Yet, it took him more than 10 years before he found a way to turn his passion into paychecks. After working as a computer scientist and software engineer for General Electric, he went to work for Agora Games in Troy, N.Y., which builds websites for video games — where he serves as lead engineer for the Guitar Hero project.

"I get to see things months in advance, before they get released to the general public," he says. "It's exciting when you get the first builds of a game, and then people start to find out about it on websites. And, when the game launches, you share in the excitement and enthusiasm that everyone feels when playing it."

While today's video games look much cooler than they did in the 1980s and 90s, Czarnecki has seen other significant changes in the industry.

"Community is a vital component of games now," Czarnecki says. "It has changed design to emphasize players and social content. Games are now released with co-op, letting players work as teams."

Czarnecki visited Binghamton University last fall to talk about his career with students in the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science. Working on Guitar Hero isn't his only accomplishment. Several years ago he co-authored Java Internationalization for O'Reilly Media, which explains how to write software targeted for multiple languages. His goal was to give programmers a different way of thinking about software for the international market. He also created blojsom, an open-source blogging software, which Apple adopted for its Tiger Server platform.

"That was a nice feather in my cap for the project to be able to go from no code in February 2003 to be included in server software for Apple about a year later," he says. "Here's a large programming project I released into the community. I support it, foster it, and make sure it grows and does things that are useful for people using a blogging package."

 

 

Digital Forensics at Binghamton University featured on FOX News

Binghamton University faculty Jessica Fridrich talks about Digital Forensics on FOX News.


Research links digital images, cameras

Child pornographers will soon have a harder time escaping prosecution thanks to a stunning new technology that can reliably link digital images to the camera with which they were taken, in much the same way that tell-tale scratches are used by forensic examiners to link bullets to the gun that fired them.

The defense in these kind of cases would often be that the images were not taken by this persons camera or that the images are not of real children, said Jessica Fridrich, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. Sometimes child pornographers will even cut and paste an image of an adults head on the image of a child to try to avoid prosecution.

But if it can be shown that the original images were taken by the persons cell phone or camera, it becomes a much stronger case than if you just have a bunch of digital images that we all know are notoriously easy to manipulate.

Fridrich and two members of her Binghamton University research team Jan Lukas and Miroslav Goljan are coinventors of the new technique, which can also be used to detect forged images.

The three have applied for two patents related to their technique, which provides the most robust strategy for digital image forgery detection to date, even as it improves significantly on the accuracy of other approaches.

There are about six or seven forgery detection techniques in the literature, Fridrich said. And each one of them breaks at a certain point. You can always come up with a case where any particular technique including ours will not be applicable. So our technique is another tool for forensic examiners to use to see an example of the noise the researchers believe to be unique to each digital camera, in cases where they have the camera itself or multiple images taken by the same camera. The nice part about this is that the reliability with which you can reach a decision about forgeries is orders of magnitude higher than anything ever built before.

Fridrichs technique is rooted in the discovery by her research group of this simple fact: Every original digital picture is overlaid by a weak noise-like pattern of pixel-to-pixel non-uniformity. Although these patterns are invisible to the human eye, the unique reference pattern or fingerprint of any camera can be electronically extracted by analyzing a number of images taken by a single camera.

That means that as long as examiners have either the camera that took the image or multiple images they know were taken by the same camera, an algorithm developed by Fridrich and her co-inventors to extract and define the cameras unique pattern of pixel-to-pixel non-uniformity can be used to provide important information about the origins and authenticity of a single image.

The limitation of the technique is that it requires either the camera or multiple images taken by the same camera, and isnt informative if only a single image is available for analysis.

Like actual fingerprints, the digital noise in original images is stochastic in nature that is, it contains random variables which are inevitably created during the manufacturing process of the camera and its sensors. This virtually ensures that the noise imposed on the digital images from any particular camera will be consistent from one image to the next, even while it is distinctly different.

Jessica Fridrich, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and two colleagues have developed a technique that can tie digital images from the noise produced by any other camera even one of the same make and model. In preliminary tests, Fridrichs lab analyzed 2,700 pictures taken by nine digital cameras and with 100 percent accuracy linked individual images with the camera that took them.

"Now, we are focusing on analyzing the reliability and mathematically describing the algorithm," she added. Fridrich, who specializes in all aspects of information hiding in digital imagery, including watermarking for authentication, tamper detection, self-embedding, robust watermarking, steganography and steganalysis, as well as forensic analysis of digital images, says it is the absence of the expected digital fingerprint in any portion of an image that provides the most conclusive evidence of image tampering.

 

 

 

36 Autonomous Swarm Robots Mapping a Standard Home

A simulated swarm of three dozen autonomous robots explore and map a complex home environment by Josh Brandoff and Hiroki Sayama from the Binghamton University Bioengineering Department.

Swarm robotics is a relatively new field of research with a focus on mutually interacting, self-organizing robots that collectively achieve tasks solely through the use of decentralized local mechanisms. The idea is borrowed from biological systems, such as social insects, which show robust and adaptive collective intelligence. Compared to traditional robotic solutions, swarm robotics holds promise of providing more reliable and cost-effective solutions to various complex problems due to its distributed nature and decreased per-unit cost.

For more information, see: http://coco.binghamton.edu

 

 

The promise of flexible electronics

Bahgat Sammakia, director of Binghamton's Integrated Electronics Engineering Center, is ushering in a new age of flexible electronics. "A computer the size and shape of a ballpoint pen, or biomedical or environmental sensors woven into clothing, are the sorts of ideas that are on the doorstep of becoming real."


Transcript:

So flexible electronics are electronics which do the same things that traditional electronics do, with the big difference that they are lightweight, and they are built onto flexible substrates. So we can think of a sheet of plastic that has a display on it, and can also have a keyboard, and can be woven into clothing, so it's very lightweight, very rugged, hopefully very inexpensive and very high quality. Some of the mid-term applications for flexible electronics are going to be a set of evolutionary improvements over traditional electronics, so we can think of computers that are lighter-weight, and more rugged packaging that is flexible and can accommodate multiple chips. So, small improvements in engineering that result in cheaper, better-performing electronics.

You can also think about mid-term applications. Things like an electronic newspaper, a newspaper that can be downloaded directly on a sheet that you carry with you, and you can fold and put in your pocket. Other applications would be wallpaper that emits light gradually and senses you as you enter the room, solar panels that are used just like roofing tiles -- can be nailed to the roof, but collect energy allowing you to use it in the home. So there's a very wide range, and all of these things are being worked on today, so this is not a dream. These are things that will happen.

The long-term applications and implications are just tremendous. To me, the ultimate things are things that deal with people's lives and their health, so biomedical applications are obviously a very exciting application. They can be simple things, like wearable electronics that diagnose people's health and sense their environment, and warn them if there's something harmful in the environment. You can have point-of-care medicine. So for people with chronic pain, you can have clothing that senses their pain, and senses what's causing it, and does something about it.

You can have clothing that calls in medical help when it's necessary, so applications that deal with people directly, and, even longer term than that, you can think of electronics that can be directly interfaced to living tissue, so you can have artificial organs. You can have applications where you can dispense medication and control health, and do something about emergency situations until medical help arrives.

Last Updated: 8/5/14