Past Meetings

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2001 Meetings
Delaware Bay Section

December 11, 2001
Tour: Conectiv's Hay Road Power Plant

Thanks again to Ken Gates, for arranging the tour of the Hay Road Conectiv Power Plant for us, and to Bryan Jones, who is Technical Services Manager at that facility, and was our gracious host.
The Hay Road plant has three gas-fired turbines and a steam turbine, and can generate about 511 MW of electricity. We were fortunate to tour at a time when the steam turbine and one of the gas turbines was being serviced, so we were able to get an "inside" view.

There are several advantages to using natural gas turbines followed by a heat recovery steam turbine (which runs from the heat in the exhaust of the gas turbines): 45% total thermal efficiency, low air pollution, and rapid availability. The gas turbines can be on-line in just four minutes and reach full capacity in 15 minutes, and the steam turbine can be on-line in about an hour. The plant is working so well that a whole second set of turbines is being installed.

September 18, 2001
Microsoft's soon-to-arrive ".NET" IDE
Speaker: Stan Spotts of Microsoft

Location: Multipurpose Room A, Trabant Student Center, UD 

Stan told us about the .NET product recently announced by Microsoft (including the next version of Visual Studio).

August 14, 2001
Tour: Delaware Traffic Management Center

We had a light supper, starting at 6:00, followed by the tour. Randy Lewis came back into work to guide the tour - thanks Randy! The TMC is located in back of the Emergency Control Center, which is right along side of Delaware Route 1 as you go past Smyrna - about an hour from Wilmington.

May 12, 2001 
UD Student Paper Competition
Location: Evans Hall, University of Delaware

This year we changed the format to a light lunch followed by a stroll around Evans Hall to see poster sessions describing work done by EE undergraduates.

May 1, 2001
Integrating Mouse, Keyboard, and Gesture Recognition Using MultiTouch Technology
Speaker: Dr. Wayne Westerman, Chief Technology Officer, FingerWorks, Inc.; Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Delaware ECE Dept.
Location: Clayton Hall Conference Center, University of Delaware 

Abstract:
This talk introduces novel multi-touch, hand imaging technology developed by John Elias and me at the University of Delaware and being commercialized by our startup company, FingerWorks, Inc. We begin by pointing out the deficiencies of the keyboard and mouse for the increasingly graphics intensive tasks of everyday human-computer interaction. Unlike free-space hand gesture or voice input, interaction with a smooth, compliant surface supports resting hands and clearly delineates posture changes from intended commands. The biggest challenge in achieving seamless integration of typing, gesture and enhanced graphical manipulation is to develop gesture recognition methods that are nearly 100% accurate. No palm touch can ever mistakenly activate keys or mouse buttons, and touching fingers must always be counted correctly lest a chord gesture issue the wrong command. Achieving this has required development of low-noise proximity sensor arrays, hand image segmentation techniques, finger tracking and identification algorithms, and an orthogonal multi-touch gesture set. The resulting multi-touch surface replaces the keyboard, mouse, and graphics tablet while preserving the skill sets from each. The user's chord or hand configuration implicitly selects between pointing, typing, command gestures, zooming, rotation, and even two-handed 3D manipulations, eliminating wasteful hand travel between different devices or regions of the surface.

Tuesday, March 27, 2001
Pattern Recognition - Theory and Applications
Speaker: Roman Erenshteyn
Location: Rollins Atrium Conference Room, Jones Building, Goldey-Beacom College

Roman Erenshteyn, an Associate Professor at Goldey-Beacom College, teaches "Microcomputer Applications", "Computer Programming", "Operating Systems" and advises the WEB Designers Club. Roman is also involved with the duPont Hospital for Children, Center for Applied Science & Engineering in Rehabilitation, in Wilmington, where his projects include Gestures and American Sign Language recognition (hand shape and finger spelling recognition), utilizing neural networks and pattern recognition methods, and New pattern recognition methods development, based on error- correcting codes theory and collective decision making.

Abstract:
Pattern Recognition as a branch of Artificial Intelligence is known for more than 40 years. Many efficient algorithms have been developed in this field. Some of them will be discussed, including deterministic, statistical and neural approaches. Collective pattern recognition methods have been developed. Several practical problems have been solved in the last 25 years. They include medical diagnostics problems, recognition of alphabet and gestures of ASL (American Sign Language), classification of psychological data, and others.

February 13, 2001
Cable Modems: Their Past, Present and Future
Speaker: David Clifton, Director of Network Services,Comcast's National Engineering Group
Location:  Rollins Atrium Conference Room, Jones Building, Goldey- Beacom College

David Clifton spoke about the technology behind cable modems. He discussed how cable companies provide internet communications over their Cable TV systems, where they are today and some predictions for the future.

Abstract:
Today's Cable companies are faced with an ever-increasing number of services which their customers want, need and are requiring. While providing these services is often perceived as a simple decision, the many implications of these new services have a large potential impact on the design and overall success of a system. This presentation focuses on the Cable Modems, the history behind implementing this technology, the present situation and what lies ahead. Topics such as architecture, growth, functionality, system design and wiring methods, reliability, and cost will be discussed.

January 9, 2001
Annual Joint Meeting with ISA
Playing With Models
Speaker: Dr. Michael J McCann
Location: Clayton Hall, University of Delaware