Explanation of differences across a pair of groups

Often data collected under similar circumstances reflect fundamentally
different patterns; that data needs to be analyzed, and the sources of the
differences need to be explained. Such cases arise in widely varying
applications including clinical research, quality assurance, comparative
effectiveness research, and many others. Existing statistical methods for
the comparison of groups may be divided into three categories of approaches:
summary statistics such as KL-Divergence, which give a quantitative measure

Bypassing Genomics: The New Era of Transcriptomics with RNA-Seq and Genome-Free

By direct, high-throughput sequencing of RNA samples, RNA-Seq has enabled
the study of transcriptomes without prior knowledge of genome or transcript
sequences. As a result, it is now relatively easy to study the transcriptome
of any organism, not just those select few model organisms that dominate
biomedical research. For example, with our collaborators, we are using
RNA-Seq to examine the transcriptomic basis for the remarkable regenerative
ability of the axolotl salamander, which has not had its extremely large

Persistent Homology and Its Application to Brain Imaging

Computational neuroanatomy utilizes various non-invasive imaging modalities such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in quantifying the spatiotemporal dynamics of anatomical structures. Many modeling frameworks in computational neuroanatomy assume diffeomorphism and topological invariance between structures, and hence are not applicable to anatomical structures with changing topology. Persistent homology is a recently popular branch of computational topology that can handle changing topology.

Character Animation: From Virtual Environments to the Real World

Computer graphics techniques enable the creation of immersive virtual worlds that capture our imagination. To a large extent, the appeal of these worlds is that they place no limits on the types of objects, characters and environments that can be conceived and brought to life. Rapid manufacturing devices hold the promise of bringing this freedom to the real world, by allowing anyone to create physical prototypes of digital assets. To unleash the full potential of this technology, however, there is a need for computational design tools that process digital content into forms suitable for fabrication. A particularly interesting and challenging aspect of this problem—one that bridges the fields of computer animation, robotics, and biomechanics—is that of creating physical representations of animated virtual characters. In this talk, I will detail the steps I have taken towards addressing this challenge. In particular, I will present a locomotion control framework applicable to both physically-simulated characters and legged robots, I will describe a computational design system that allows animated mechanical characters to be easily created, and I will summarize a method for controlling the deformation behavior of real-world objects.

A new class of bugs: How compiler optimizations harm our systems through undefined behavior

Software bugs introduce security vulnerabilities into our computer systems.  To understand and mitigate an increasing number of bugs, practitioners categorize them into classes, such as buffer overflow or SQL injection, and handle each class separately. This talk introduces a new class of bugs called unstable code: code that is unexpectedly discarded by compiler optimizations due to undefined behavior in the program.

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