Three-year Air Force grant engages CCNY & Harlem students in advanced sensing research

The seamless integration of sensing and computing is credited for numerous technological breakthroughs in recent years. Taking a deep dive into this exciting world, City College of New York computer science students are about to embark on a project to integrate the sensing power of multimodal signals with big data analytics and deep learning to enable the identification of military targets under previously difficult conditions. This is thanks to a $434,000 three-year grant to City College computer faculty Jie Wei and Zhigang Zhu from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR).

In addition to CCNY students, from undergraduate to PhD level, Wei and Zhu will also expose high school students from the neighboring Harlem community to the high-priority research. 

“Sensors of various types have drastically enhanced human sensing and cognitive capability so that we can see, listen and even feel from very long distances or remotely, in the dark night, under hazardous conditions, and into a world that is measured in nanometers,” said Wei. “By fusing the multimodal information from various sensors, we can better understand the surrounding situations.”

The grant enables Wei, Zhu and their students to join the research by endeavoring to integrate the penetrating sensing power of multimodal signals such as vibration, visual, heat, and sound of important military targets using sensors on stationary and/or mobile platforms. “The key innovation of the work is to integrate multimodal and collaborative sensing with big data analytics and deep learning for target identification and decision making to form a dynamic data driven applications system (DDDAS), one of AFOSR’s key research clusters,” said Wei.

 The main objective of the project, Zhu added, is to gain deeper insight into the sensing phenomenology from different modalities, their collaborative perception principles, and the deep data analytics and computing procedures, in order for the DDDAS to be applied to a broad spectrum of military applications. 

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Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high-quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. CCNY embraces its position at the forefront of social change. It is ranked #1 by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights out of 369 selective public colleges in the United States on the overall mobility index. This measure reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at CCNY can move up two or more income quintiles. In addition, the Center for World University Rankings places CCNY in the top 1.8% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. Labor analytics firm Emsi puts at $1.9 billion CCNY’s annual economic impact on the regional economy (5 boroughs and 5 adjacent counties) and quantifies the “for dollar” return on investment to students, taxpayers and society. At City College, more than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.

Jay Mwamba
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