[cs-talks] CS Upcoming Seminars: IVC (Thurs)

Greenwald, Faith fgreen1 at bu.edu
Tue Feb 23 11:23:59 EST 2016

IVC Seminar
Visual Urban Sensing
Nikhil Naik, MIT
Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 2pm in MCS 148

Abstract: Social scientists are extremely interested in understanding (i) the relationship between urban appearance and the behavior and health of urban residents; and (ii) the relationship between urban change and socioeconomic composition, as well as government policies. Thus far, studying these questions has proved challenging due to the fact that researchers need to conduct expensive and time-consuming field surveys to evaluate urban appearance.

I will introduce two computer vision algorithms that harness Street View imagery to computationally evaluate urban appearance. The first algorithm, Streetscore, is able to quantify the appearance of a street block from it's Street View image by measuring it's perceived safety. The second algorithm is able to compute an "urban change coefficient"  which quantifies the growth or decay of a location from time-series Street View images obtained over several years. This approach allows us to generate cross-sectional and longitudinal data on urban appearance at street block-level resolution and global scale, massively scaling up the size and scope of research in this area. Finally, I will demonstrate the use of these algorithms for studying the socioeconomic causes and consequences of urban appearance.

Related Material: http://web.mit.edu/naik/www/research.html

Bio: Nikhil Naik is a PhD candidate at the MIT Media Laboratory. His research interests are in computer vision and computational imaging. His recent work focuses on harnessing online imagery for applications in the social sciences. He is a recipient of the Harvard Prize Fellowship and Dhirubhai Ambani Scholarship. He has worked at Microsoft Research and Samsung Research America on 3D imaging technologies. His research has been featured in The Atlantic, The Economist, The Guardian, and Harvard Business Review, among others. He is also a decent ping-pong player.

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