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Clarkson University Professor Named a World Technology Awards Finalist for Research on 3-D Object Manipulation

Clarkson University Assistant Professor of Computer Science Natasha Banerjee was selected as a finalist for the 2015 World Technology Awards for her 3-D object manipulation research.

Natasha BanerjeeBanerjee was nominated for her work on 3-D object manipulation in a single photograph. Her research focuses on leveraging large datasets of 3-D models and environment illuminations with fast cloud-based computations to provide full-range, near real-time 3-D control over objects in images.

She said as people get closer to representing the real world in photographs, the task of perceptually distinguishing real and altered images can become challenging. Banerjee is interested in performing research on how physical inaccuracies in altered images or statistical differences between real and altered images are used to tell them apart.

"A lot of people are using Photoshop now because it's becoming mainstream, and everyone has a camera on their smartphone," she said. "Not only does everyone want to take a photograph, but they also want to creatively control their photographs. We have taken this to the next level by allowing users to manipulate photographed objects in three dimensions."

Banerjee said 3-D object manipulation technology can be applied to fields such as forensics and medicine to help understand the information in an image taken by the camera. A single snapshot of a scene would be able to help researchers simulate a bullet's trajectory or create an accident reconstruction.

"What we've found is that, while current photo-editing tools limit editing to 2-D, people want to be able break out of the 2-D restriction, grab the object in an image and move it around in 3-D as if in the real world," she said.

Banerjee’s work has also received Popular Science magazine’s Best of What’s New Award for 2014 and has been featured in the New York Times. She was interviewed for this work by Inside Science TV in August 2015.

The 2015 World Technology Awards are presented by the World Technology Network each year to the outstanding innovators in technology. World Technology Network is a curated membership community comprised of the world's most innovative individuals and organizations in science, technology and related fields.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

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