Estimating Heights from Photo Collections: A Big Data Approach

Speaker:        Professor Keith W. Ross
                Vice Dean of Business and Engineering, NYU Shanghai
                Leonard J. Shustek Professor of Computer Science, NYU-Poly

Title:          "Estimating Heights from Photo Collections: A Big Data

Date:           Thursday, 5 December 2013

Time:           2:00pm - 3:30pm

Venue:          Leung Yat Sing Lecture Theater
                (LT-F, near lifts 25/26), HKUST


A photo can potentially reveal a tremendous amount of information about an
individual, including the individual's height, weight, gender, ethnicity,
hair color, skin condition, interests, and wealth. On one hand, such
information can be used to provide highly targeted ads to online users; on
the other hand, it could be viewed as a privacy intrusion.

In this talk we will consider the problem of estimating the heights of all
the users in a photo collection, such as a collection of photos from a
social network. The main idea is to estimate the height differences among
people standing in the photos, and then use these height difference
estimates, as well as an a priori distribution, to estimate the heights of
all the people in the photos. Intuitively, the approach will improve as
the number of photos in the collection increases, since height-difference
estimation errors should be averaged out.


Keith Ross is the Vice Dean of Business and Engineering at NYU Shanghai
and the Leonard J. Shustek Distinguished Professor in the Department of
Computer Science and Engineering at NYU. From 2009-2013 he was Head of the
Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the NYU Polytechnic

Professor Ross is an ACM Fellow, IEEE Fellow, recipient of the Infocom
2009 Best Paper Award, and recipient of 2008 and the 2011 Best Paper
Awards for Multimedia Communications (awarded by IEEE Communications
Society).  His recent privacy work has been featured in the New York
Times, NPR, and Bloomberg Television.

Professor Ross is co-author (with James F. Kurose) of the popular
textbook, Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach Featuring the Internet,
published by Addison-Wesley (first edition in 2000, sixth edition 2012).
It is the most popular textbook on computer networking, and has been
translated into fourteen languages. Keith Ross is also the founder and
first CEO of the multimedia online learning company, Wimba, which was
acquired by Blackboard in 2011.