Biography

I am a Ph.D. student in the Image and Video Computing Group in the Department of Computer Science at Boston University. My advisor is Margrit Betke. My research is focused on understanding and analyzing group behavior using images and video.

I graduated from Boston University in 2004 with a B.A. in Computer Science, where my advisor was Margrit Betke and I worked on counting and tracking bats in infrared thermal video.

I received a Master's Degree in Media Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Laboratory in 2006, where my advisor was Mike Bove and I was a member of the Object Based Media group.

From 2006 - 2009 I was at BAE Systems in Burlington, MA, where I worked first in radar tracking in the Fusion Technology and Systems Division, and then in applied computer vision in the Signal Understanding and Networking Division.

Teaching

CS585 — Image and Video Computing. Spring 2014.

Our class page on Piazza is: https://piazza.com/bu/spring2014/cs585/home.
Lecture: Tuesday / Thursday 12:30 - 2 in MCS B33
Labs: Friday 11 - 12 and 2 - 3
My office hours: Friday 12 - 1 and 3 - 4:30 in the undergraduate lab. Other days and times by appointment
Teaching Fellow: Wenxin Feng. Office hours: Monday 3:30 - 5 and 6 - 7 in the undergraduate lab. Other days and times by appointment

CS585 — Image and Video Computing (Margrit Betke). Fall 2012. Teaching Assistant.

CS112 — Introduction to Computer Science II (John Byers). Spring 2011. Teaching Assistant.
Lab page url: http://cs-people.bu.edu/deht/cs112_spring11

CS585 — Image and Video Computing (Margrit Betke). Spring 2010. Teaching Assistant.

Research

My research is focused on understanding and analyzing group behavior using images and video. In particular, I am applying Computer Vision and Machine Learning techniques to the study of infrared thermal video of bats, and phase-contrast microscopy of fibroblast cells.

The Brazilian free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) lives in extremely large colonies in the southwestern United States. Some caves are known to contain millions of bats. In the evening, the bats emerge from their roosts in spectacular, highly structured columns, and maintain these formations for many miles. This unique behavior makes them an interesting target for study, as we try to understand the mechanisms that enable this phenomenon.

Current work focuses on developing models of collective behavior and understanding behavior of bats by using wide-baseline stereo and multi-target tracking to track the bats in 3D. In previous years, we developed successful techniques for segmenting and tracking bats in monocular infrared thermal video, used for censusing populations of Brazilian free-tailed bats at several caves.

Publications

Alison Greco, Nathan Fuller, Diane Theriault, Zheng Wu, Thomas Kunz, John Baillieul and Margrit Betke. Understanding Obstacle Avoidance in Myotis velifer through Analysis of Reconstructed 3D Flight Trajectories North American Society for bat Research 42nd Annual Symposium on Bat Research. San Juan, Puerto Rico. October 2012.

Nathan Fuller, Diane Theriault, Alison Greco, Zheng Wu, Thomas Kunz, John Baillieul and Margrit Betke. Describing the Myotis Superhighway: Characteristics of Aggregated 3D Trajectories through a Cluttered Environment. North American Society for bat Research 42nd Annual Symposium on Bat Research. San Juan, Puerto Rico. October 2012.

G. Towne, D. H. Theriault, Z. Wu, N. Fuller, T. H. Kunz, M. Betke. "Error Analysis and Design Considerations for Stereo Vision Systems Used to Analyze Animal Behavior." In the proceedings of the Workshop on Visual Observation and Analysis of Animal and Insect Behavior (VAIB) held in conjunction with the International Conference on Pattern Recognition (ICPR). Tsukuba Science City, Japan, November 2012.

D. H. Theriault, M. Walker, J. Y. Wong, and M. Betke. "Cell morphology classification and clutter mitigation in phase-contrast microscopy images using machine learning." Machine Vision and Applications. July 2012. DOI: 10.1007/s00138-011-0345-9.

D. Theriault, Z. Wu, N. Hristov, S. M. Swartz, K. S. Breuer, T. Kunz, M. Betke. "Reconstruction and Analysis of 3D Trajectories of Brazilian free-tailed Bats in Flight", In the proceedings of the Workshop on Visual Observation and Analysis of Animal and Insect Behavior (VAIB) held in conjunction with the International Conference on Pattern Recognition (ICPR). Istanbul, Turkey, August 2010.

N. Hristov, M. Betke, A. Bagchi, D. Theriault, T. H. Kunz. "Seasonal variation in colony size of Brazilian free-tailed bats at Carlsbad Cavern using thermal imaging" Journal of Mammalogy. 91(1):183-192, February 2010. Abstract, pdf.

M. Betke, D. E. Hirsh, N. C. Makris, G. F. McCracken, M. Procopio, N. I. Hristov, S. Tang, A. Bagchi, J. Reichard, J. Horn, S. Crampton, C. J. Cleveland, and T. H. Kunz. "Thermal Imaging Reveals Significantly Smaller Brazilian Free-tailed Bat Colonies than Previously Estimated." Journal of Mammalogy, 89(1):18-24, February 2008. Abstract, pdf. Also discussed in Nature, 452, Research Highlights, p. 507.

M. Betke, D. E. Hirsh, A. Bagchi, N. I. Hristov, N. C. Makris, and T. H. Kunz. Tracking large variable numbers of objects in clutter. In Proceedings of the IEEE Computer Society Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), Minneapolis, MN, June 2007. 8 pp. pdf.

M. Betke, T. H. Kunz, S. Tang, and D. E. Hirsh. "Censusing Brazilian Free-tailed Bats with Infrared Thermal Imaging - Challenges, Lessons Learned, and Initial Results." 34th Annual North American Symposium on Bat Research, Salt Lake City, UT, USA, October 2004.

D. E. Hirsh, M. Betke, and T. H. Kunz. "Computer Vision for Tracking Bats in Infrared Thermal Video: A Tool for Understanding the Behavior of Bats in Flight." 34th Annual North American Symposium on Bat Research, Salt Lake City, UT, USA, October 2004.

D. E. Hirsh, M. Betke, S. Crampton, J. Horn, and T. H. Kunz, "Censusing Brazilian Free-tailed Bats Using Infrared Thermal Imaging and Computer Vision Methods," 33rd Annual North American Symposium on Bat Research, NASBR, Lincoln, Nebraska, October, 2003.

Awards

Boston University Computer Science Department "Academic Achievement" Award, May 2004.

CRA-W CREU 2003/2004 (Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research Collaborative Research Experience for Undergraduates), Project title: "Detection, Segmentation, and Tracking Algorithms for Analysis of Thermal Video of Bats."

Lubee Bat Conservancy Award for an outstanding presentation. NASBR, Lincoln, Nebraska, October, 2003.

Boston University Engineering Examination Scholarship (2000-2004).