Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Structure from Motion

Angela found this interesting video showing how you don't need two eyes to have a very good impression of 3D: Original article: www.geekologie.com/2008/01/johnny_lee_is_my_hero_headtrac.php

Brazilian Cheese Bread Recipe

Here is my mom's cheese bread recipe:

Ingredients 2 Cups of milk 3/4 cup of corn oil (or any light tasting oil) 1 table spoon of salt 1-3 cups of cheese, either parmesan or romano (you can try other hard cheeses) 2 big eggs or 3 small ones 1 package of "povilho doce" flour, Yoki brand (or any other brand)

Instructions Mix milk, oil, and salt into a pan and bring to a boil, mixing the bottom once in a while. Be careful as the milk will suddenly boil and you don't want it to spill. Now empty the flour into a deep bowl. Pour the milk mixture over the flour, while mixing well avoiding the formation of clumps. Leave the dough sitting until it cools down (about 15 min, but they say the longer, the better). Now alternate between adding the eggs and the cheese, while working the dough with your hands in order to mix everything together as well as possible. The longer you squeeze the dough, the better. You can now wash your hands, then butter-up a cookie sheet or similar container, then add a little bit of oil to your hands, spreading it out. Make little balls of the desired size, adding oil to your hands whenever the dough starts getting sticky. Pre-heat the oven to 356F, and bake your Brazilian cheese bread.

The cheese bread takes around 15min to bake, sometimes longer. After those 15min, if the cheese bread is not light-gold, then continue baking and monitor the oven every 5min to see if it has reached the desired coloration. Usually you don't want it to get too brown, but tastes vary.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Computer vision and partial solutions

In computer vision, no problem has been completely solved. People tend to move to more complex problems in an anxiety to do something new, but the fact is that this fatally builds upon a very wobbly foundation of partial solutions. My fear is that there is a high risk that nothing really gets done in this process. Here is an excerpt from a researcher in my field:

Monkey Collects Corn Cobs.
Before an old and more basic problem is completely solved, one would accept a partial, suboptimal solution and use it in a solution to a new or supposedly more challenging problem. When a partial solution or result is found, one moves on again. Such a constant shift of focus is very counterproductive. When others try to revisit some of the problems, one would claim that the problems have already been addressed and there would be no need for any improvement. It is impossible to measure progress or compare different solutions if they are all to some extent partial. From a pedagogical perspective, from partial results like that, it is impossible to develop a systematic body of knowledge that can be effectively transferred to future students and researchers. -- Yi. Ma, in Warning Signs of Bugus Progress in Research in an Age of Rich Computation and Information, 2007.

That is something to think about. Nowadays, researchers have the big challenge of dealing with vast informational and computational resources. All this power also leads to lack of focus and fundamental research when used without discipline.