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Colloquium: James Z. Wang

April 25, 2018 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am UTC-5


James Z. Wang, Professor

College of Information Sciences and Technology

The Pennsylvania State University


Modeling Aesthetics and Emotions in Visual Content
– From Vincent van Gogh to Robotics and Vision


The talk will focus on recent efforts in my research group on computerized analysis of oil paintings and digital visual content using a data-driven approach. Art historians have long observed the highly characteristic brushstroke styles of Vincent van Gogh and have relied on discerning these styles for authenticating and dating his works. In our work, we compared van Gogh with his contemporaries by
statistically analyzing a massive set of automatically extracted brushstrokes. A novel extraction method is developed by exploiting an integration of edge detection and clustering-based segmentation. Evidence substantiates that van Gogh’s brushstrokes are strongly rhythmic. The talk will also describe an effort to model the aesthetic and emotional characteristics in visual contents such as photographs. By taking a data-driven approach, using Internet as the data source, we show that computers can be trained to recognize various characteristics that are highly relevant to aesthetics and emotions. Future computer systems equipped with such capabilities are expected to help millions of users with unimagined ways. Finally, the talk will briefly cover a core statistical learning method we have developed that have broad potential applications.

Biography. James Z. Wang has been on faculty at Penn State since 2000. Research interests of his group include automatic image tagging, semantics-sensitive image retrieval, image security, biomedical informatics, computational aesthetics, climate informatics, and art image analysis and retrieval. He has been a recipient of an NSF Career award and an endowed PNC Professorship. He was a Visiting Professor at the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University from 2007 to 2008. In 2011 and 2012, he served as a Program Manager in the Office of the National Science Foundation Director where he managed international collaboration programs covering all sciences and engineering disciplines. He holds a summa cum laude Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from University of Minnesota and an M.S. in Mathematics, an M.S. in Computer Science, and a Ph.D. in Medical Information Sciences from Stanford University.

DATE:  Wednesday, April 25, 2018

TIME:    10:30 am

PLACE: Homer Babbidge Library – Class of 1947 Room


Sponsored by the Department of Computer Science & Engineering and the Statistics Department


April 25, 2018
10:30 am - 11:30 am UTC-5
Event Category:


HBL Class of 1947 Conference Room
UConn Library, 369 Fairfield Way, Unit 1005
Storrs, CT 06269 United States
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(860) 486-2518
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