Computer science's Chai wins NSF CAREER Award

Dr.  Jinxiang Chai, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, has received a 2011 National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award for his research in motion capture and computer animation.

Photo of Dr. Jinxiang ChaiThe NSF awards the prestigious CAREER grants to outstanding junior faculty members to help them advance their research and teaching activities. Chai's project, "Theory and Practice of Bayesian Motion Synthesis," will continue through 2016.

Chai's project seeks to create a computational model that can accurately predict and animate any human movement.

"By using what we know about physics along with data collected from our Motion Capture Lab, we will develop a computational model that will accurately predict human movement. This computational model will make it easier for people to learn how to animate human movement. It will also give us the ability to develop three-dimensional animations from a two-dimensional source. So if you have a video of an Olympic weightlifter that you would like to animate, our model will allow for you have the complete animation in just a couple of mouseclicks," says Chai.

"We also explore new methods for natural human-computer interaction with depth sensing systems such as Xbox Kinect. Imagine having an interface that isn't confined to a keyboard and mouse. Our computational model is a step towards immersive interaction with computers."

Chai received his Ph.D. from the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University in 2006 and joined the faculty at Texas A&M shortly thereafter. His teaching and research interests include computer animation, computer graphics, interaction techniques for 3D graphics, computer vision, image-based modeling and rendering, image and video processing.

To learn more about his research, please visit http://faculty.cse.tamu.edu/jchai.

The NSF established the CAREER program to support junior faculty within the context of their overall career development, combining in a single program the support of research and education of the highest quality in the broadest sense. Through this program, the NSF emphasizes the importance of the early development of academic careers dedicated to simulating the discovery process in which the excitement of research is enhanced by inspired teaching and enthusiastic learning. For more on the NSF and the CAREER program, visit http://www.nsf.gov.