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The votes have all been cast and we can now, finally, bring you the results of our First Annual Summer Photo Contest. Dozen's of excellent images were submitted and it was a challenge to whittle all the entries down and select the prize winners. Without further ado we get to the results - drumroll please!   First Prize: "Soap Bubble" Zoran Zelic (ZZ3D)'s "Soap Bubble 1" takes the top prize. We like the spontaneity the image implies along with the overall composition...
Sometimes it’s just great “when a plan comes together.” An avid warbird photographer, I’d been familiar with Christian Kieffer’s outstanding pinup photography for years – his company produces some truly amazing nostalgic calendars featuring vintage WWII aircraft and models done up to mimic the pinups from the same era that helped to keep many an airman’s spirits high. Thinking the subject matter would lend itself well to 3D, I approached Christian a few months ago about...
The 2004 release of id Software’s Doom 3 spurred many PC gamers to upgrade their rigs – with many building completely new machines with the sole intent of driving this game at its ultimate eye-candy settings. And many gamers still came up a bit short, which is just one reason why they are looking forward to jumping into the corridor-crawling fray again with the release of Doom 3 BFG Edition.Silverlight.createObject("http://d2q1944p6r21t1.cloudfront.net/files/...
We’ve rolled out a new look for the Photo page that updates the page to have a similar look and feel to the home and video pages. We’ve added a pane of larger thumbnails across the top that is user-navigable. Just click the right or left arrows to cycle. (We will be adding an auto-scroll mechanism to this soon.) And these are viewable in 3D - just click the 2D/3D toggle button at the top right of the page. Make sure to upgrade to the most recent drivers for best performance...
If you know the Trine series, you’re already salivating: the first downloadable content (DLC) for Trine 2 is now available! If you’ve not heard of Trine at all, then prepare yourself for a visual feast. Trine is a physics-based action game in which you can switch amongst three characters – each with distinct attributes – to come up with clever solutions to an array of challenges created by hazardous puzzles and threatening enemies. The platform-style gameplay is based on...

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Our NVIDIA Graduate Fellowship Program awarded $25,000 this week to five Ph.D. students involved in GPU computing research.

“These exceptional grad students are helping to define the future of computing, and we’re delighted to support their work,” said NVIDIA Chief Scientist Bill Dally.

The NVIDIA Graduate Fellowship supports graduate students doing GPU-based work. We selected our fellows from more than a hundred applicants in 21 countries.

The winners:

Yu-Hsin Chen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Yu-Hsin researches energy-efficient computer vision frameworks for mobile platforms. He’s also looking into improving current GPU architectures with an emphasis on providing machine learning capabilities in multimedia systems.

Brian Cheung, University of California, Berkeley

Brian explores the hidden factors of variation learned in deep networks, finding correspondences between deep learning algorithms and the human visual system, and using data-driven methods to discover properties of visual processing in the brain.

Felix Heide, University of British Columbia

Felix is interested in numerical optimization methods for large scale inverse problems in computational imaging and vision. He uses GPUs to enable algorithms for statistically motivated image and vision reconstruction tasks such as non-line-of-sight imaging using time-of-flight sensors, where the goal is to “make the invisible visible.”

Benjamin Keller, University of California, Berkeley

Ben works on more energy-efficient digital design through optimization of the entire hardware stack, from architecture to devices. Smarter algorithms for dynamic voltage and frequency scaling, coupled with integrated on-chip regulators that achieve nanosecond switching and high efficiency, could reduce the energy consumption of many hardware applications.

Gennady Pekhimenko, Carnegie Mellon University

Gennady focuses on energy-efficient memory systems using hardware-based data compression. He discovered a series of mechanisms that exploit the redundancy in applications’ data to perform efficient compression in caches and main memory, providing higher effective capacity and higher available bandwidth across the memory hierarchy.

In addition, this year we also have a Graduate Fellow sponsored by our NVIDIA Foundation as part of their Compute the Cure initiative, which aims to advance the fight against cancer: 

John Neylon, University of California at Los Angeles

John researches adaptive radiation therapy based cancer treatments. He’s developing a framework using image registration and predictive biomechanical models for regression tracking, dose estimation, and extrapolation. Accelerating these tasks with GPUs will allow integration into existing clinical workflows and provide physicians with information for optimizing treatments to the patient’s anatomy.

We also acknowledge our six finalists:

  • Neha Agarwal, University of Michigan
  • Forrest Iandola, University of California at Berkeley
  • Viktor Kampe, Chalmers University of Technology
  • Ji Kim, Cornell University
  • Jui-Hsien Wang, Cornell University
  • Liwei Wang, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The NVIDIA Graduate Fellowship Program is open to applicants worldwide. For more, visit our website.

 

The post NVIDIA Awards $25,000 Fellowships to PhD Students for GPU Computing Research appeared first on The Official NVIDIA Blog.

What does it take for a high schooler to build a competitive robot?

Space Cookies robot at FIRST Silicon Valley Regional

Moxie. Brainstorming. And a kit of common parts, for starters.

High school students from around the world are gearing up to showcase their innovative builds for the FIRST Robotics Competition, held in St. Louis, Mo., April 22-25. But the work that went into their robots started many, many months ago.

Students and their engineer mentors brainstorm efficient building methods throughout the year. By the time the kits from For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, or FIRST, arrive in January, everyone is buzzing with ideas.

Collaboration and competition are at the heart of FIRST. Students problem solve from the get go, relying on mentors and one another, as they learn to use sophisticated software and hardware.

Their goal: to reach the World Championship in St. Louis, where $20 million in college scholarships is at stake.

The competition run by FIRST, a nonprofit founded more than two decades ago by Segway inventor Dean Kamen, is designed to drive student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, known as STEM.

Six-Week Countdown

Recycle Rush competition at Silicon Valley Regional

Once the kits arrive, it’s a six-week countdown to strategize, design, and build a wirelessly controlled bot weighing up to 120 pounds. By mid-March, students have to “tag and bag” their bots and await the regional competitions.

The robots must be able to complete various tasks in a themed game, such as scoring balls into goals, or placing inner tubes on racks. This year’s theme, Recycle Rush, involves stacking containers and recycling cans in scoring areas and filling them with foam “litter.”

Teams test their bots in every conceivable way to prepare for the grueling regional competitions. While each starter kit is the same, teams can “hack” their robots with other gear as long as it meets FIRST guidelines. At the regional competitions, robots are “unbagged,” allowing students eight hours to make updates and fixes.

Regional Games of Reckoning

More than 3,000 teams comprising 75,000 high school students compete. The first battles play out in almost 60 regional events.

NVIDIA is sponsoring nine schools this year, including ones from Israel, Detroit and several local to Silicon Valley. Among these, Presentation Invasion, from San Jose’s all-girl Presentation High School, used our K600 GPUs in its robot build.

Space Cookies work on their robot at Silicon Valley Regional

Three teams have already secured spots at the championship in St. Louis.

One of them, Space Cookies, an all-girl robotics team also sponsored by Girl Scouts of Northern California and NASA, won the prestigious Chairman’s Award at the FIRST Robotics Competition in San Antonio.

Another, WarriorBorgs, took home the Chairman’s Award at the Silicon Valley Regional, where it also garnered individual awards for showing leadership in science learning and in safety practices.

And a third, Spartan Robotics, from Mountain View High School, also competed in the Silicon Valley Regional. It earned a wildcard place in the championship and received an award for excellence in engineering.

Along with the games, there’s some fun.

Competitors dye their hair crazy colors to match their team t-shirts. Silly mascots dangle in robot “work pits.” And then there are the decorations.

Red lanterns sway in the booth hosted by a team from China, rivaling the palm fronds and tropical flowers wreathing the Hawaii team’s booth.

Box of pins at FIRST Robotics Silicon Valley Regional

Most popular of all are the commemorative pins branded with logos offered by each team. By the end of the event, students sport t-shirts covered with pins from their rivals. It’s a fun way to kick back before the brainstorming for next year begins.

Here’s a video NVIDIA submitted to FIRST, which you can vote on. The video with the most votes will be shown on a jumbotron in the stadium in St. Louis, where the championship is being hosted.

The post Race to St. Louis: Regional Robot Battles Set Scene of FIRST Competition appeared first on The Official NVIDIA Blog.