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Kenneth SloanAssociate Professor

Personal Homepage: http://www.cis.uab.edu/sloan
Education
  • Ph.D., Computer and Information Science , University of Pennsylvania, 1977
  • M.S., Computer Science , Stevens Institute of Technology, 1973
  • Sc.B., Applied Mathematics, Brown University, 1970
Research Interests

Contours, Surfaces, and Volumes
The reconstruction of three-dimensional surfaces from a collection of planar contours is an important current problem, with application in clinical medicine (e.g., CAT and ultrsound scans), anatomic research (e.g., microscopic views of serial or sequential sections), and industrial inspection. Simply stated, the problem is to produce a model of a three-dimensional object given a set of corss-sectional views. The primary use of such a model is to generate a three-dimensional view of the object, and the surface reconstruction task has generally been approached as a computer graphics problem. Current research includes the construction of a testbed for evaluating surface reconstrcution techniques, theoretical and experimental investigation of new methods, and application of the methods to real-world problems.

Anatomy of the Retina
The topology of the constituent cells and efferent pathways of the retina is important for understanding how the visual world is sampled and how it is represented in the central nervous system (CNS). The retina covers the major part of the sphere; it must be incised so that it can be flattened for viewing under a microscope. Reconstructing the spherical surface for analysis and visualization is a challenging computational geometry task. Current research, in collaboration with Professor Christine Curcio, UAB Department of Opthalmology, is concerned with the packing geometry of photoreceptors.

Graphics Techniques
Cutting edge graphics research has always involved a tension between the desire to create the best possible image and the requirements imposed by present hardware. For example, how can one display a full color image on a display device with a palette of only 16 colors? Or, how many rays need to cast into a scene in order to reconstruct an image of that scene, how can the ray tracer even know that it is done, and what is the optimal strategy when you can only afford to cast 10% of those rays? Two strategies are used to attack such problems. First, applications which use graphics displays serve as forcing functions to improve the available tools. Second, fundamental research on display techniques is pursued, independently of any particular application. 

Activities
Associate Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1990-
Assistant Professor, University of Washington, 1984-1990
Assistant Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1981-1984
Research Associate and Instructor, University of Rochester, 1977-1981
Research Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, 1974-1976
Information Systems Staff Member, Western Electric, Newark NJ, 1970-1973
Programmer, IBM, Mahwah NJ, summer 1969
Programmer, IBM, Port Chester NY, summer 1968
UAB Contact Information
OfficeCampbell Hall, Room 141
Phone205.934.2213
Mailing and OtherDepartment of Computer and Information Sciences
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Campbell Hall, Room 141
1300 University Boulevard
Birmingham, AL 35294-1170

FAX: +1-205-934-5473
Kenneth Sloan

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