2015 C+J Symposium

October 2nd, 2015 Irfan Essa Posted in Computational Journalism, Nick Diakopoulos No Comments »

logoData and computation drive our world, often without sufficient critical assessment or accountability. Journalism is adapting responsibly—finding and creating new kinds of stories that respond directly to our new societal condition. Join us for a two-day conference exploring the interface between journalism and computing.October 2-3, New York, NY#CJ2015

Source: 2015 C+J Symposium

Participated the 4th Computation+Journalism Symposium, October 2-3, in New York, NY at The Brown Institute for Media Innovation Pulitzer Hall, Columbia University.  Keynotes were Lada Adamic (Facebook) and Chris Wiggins (Columbia, NYT), with 2 curated panels and 5 sessions of peer-reviewed papers.

Past Symposiums were held in

  • Atlanta, GA (CJ 2008, hosted by Georgia Tech),
  • Atlanta, GA (CJ 2013, hosted by Georgia Tech), and
  • NYC, NY (CJ 2014, hosted by Columbia U).
  • Next one is being hosted by Stanford and will be in Palo Alto, CA.
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Presentation at Max-Planck-Institut für Informatik in Saarbrücken (2015): “Video Analysis and Enhancement”

September 14th, 2015 Irfan Essa Posted in Computational Journalism, Computational Photography and Video, Computer Vision, Presentations, Ubiquitous Computing No Comments »

Video Analysis and Enhancement: Spatio-Temporal Methods for Extracting Content from Videos and Enhancing Video OutputSaarbrücken_St_Johanner_Markt_Brunnen

Irfan Essa (prof.irfanessa.com)

Georgia Institute of Technology
School of Interactive Computing

Hosted by Max-Planck-Institut für Informatik in Saarbrucken (Bernt Schiele, Director of Computer Vision and Multimodal Computing)


In this talk, I will start with describing the pervasiveness of image and video content, and how such content is growing with the ubiquity of cameras.  I will use this to motivate the need for better tools for analysis and enhancement of video content. I will start with some of our earlier work on temporal modeling of video, then lead up to some of our current work and describe two main projects. (1) Our approach for a video stabilizer, currently implemented and running on YouTube, and its extensions. (2) A robust and scaleable method for video segmentation. 

I will describe, in some detail, our Video stabilization method, which generates stabilized videos and is in wide use running on YouTube, with Millions of users. Then I will  describe an efficient and scalable technique for spatiotemporal segmentation of long video sequences using a hierarchical graph-based algorithm. I will describe the videosegmentation.com site that we have developed for making this system available for wide use.

Finally, I will follow up with some recent work on image and video analysis in the mobile domains.  I will also make some observations about the ubiquity of imaging and video in general and need for better tools for video analysis. 

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Computation + Journalism Symposium 2014

October 25th, 2014 Irfan Essa Posted in Computational Journalism, Events, Nick Diakopoulos No Comments »

Hosted the 3rd Computation + Journalism Symposium 2014 at The Brown Institute for Media Innovation in the Pulitzer Hall, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA, on October 24-25. It was a huge success with about 250 attendees, and mixture of invited panels and contributed papers.  More details below:

Jon Klienberg kicked off the meeting with a very exciting keynote.  Videos of all sessions should be available from the above website.  Next C+J event will be in a year. Stay tuned for more details.  I was the co-organizer of this event with Nick Diakopoulos and Mark Hansen.



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Computational Journalist Nick Diakopoulos Appointed Assistant Professor at Philip Merrill College of Journalism, U of Maryland

April 2nd, 2014 Irfan Essa Posted in Computational Journalism, In The News, Nick Diakopoulos No Comments »

Congratulations to my Ph. D. Student Nicholas Diakopoulos and best wishes on his new position.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Computational journalist Nicholas A. Diakopoulos will be the newest assistant professor at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Dean Lucy Dalglish announced the appointment today.


With a background in computer science and human-computer interaction, Diakopoulos received his Ph.D. from the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech.  He was also a computing innovation fellow at the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University from 2009-2011.

via Computational Journalist Nick Diakopoulos Appointed Assistant Professor.

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Paper in AISTATS 2013 “Beyond Sentiment: The Manifold of Human Emotions”

April 29th, 2013 Irfan Essa Posted in AAAI/IJCAI/UAI, Behavioral Imaging, Computational Journalism, Machine Learning, Papers, WWW No Comments »

  • S. Kim, F. Li, G. Lebanon, and I. A. Essa (2013), “Beyond Sentiment: The Manifold of Human Emotions,” in Proceedings of AI STATS, 2013. [PDF] [BIBTEX]
    @InProceedings{    2012-Kim-BSMHE,
      author  = {Seungyeon Kim and Fuxin Li and Guy Lebanon and
          Irfan A. Essa},
      booktitle  = {Proceedings of AI STATS},
      pdf    = {http://arxiv.org/pdf/1202.1568v1},
      title    = {Beyond Sentiment: The Manifold of Human Emotions},
      year    = {2013}


Sentiment analysis predicts the presence of positive or negative emotions in a text document. In this paper we consider higher dimensional extensions of the sentiment concept, which represent a richer set of human emotions. Our approach goes beyond previous work in that our model contains a continuous manifold rather than a finite set of human emotions. We investigate the resulting model, compare it to psychological observations, and explore its predictive capabilities. Besides obtaining significant improvements over a baseline without manifold, we are also able to visualize different notions of positive sentiment in different domains.

via [arXiv.org 1202.1568] Beyond Sentiment: The Manifold of Human Emotions.

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Videos from the Computational Journalism Symposium (Jan 31 – Feb 1, 2013).

February 1st, 2013 Irfan Essa Posted in Computational Journalism, Events, Presentations No Comments »

The Computation + Journalism Symposium 2013, held Jan 31 – Feb 1, 2013, at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA was a huge success. Please see the videos here of all the sessions. See me discuss computational journalism with Phil Meyer, and my slides and take-away points from the closing session.

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Computation + Journalism Symposium 2013 on Jan 31 – Feb 1, at GA Tech.

January 2nd, 2013 Irfan Essa Posted in Brad Stenger, CnJ, Computational Journalism, Events, Interesting, Nick Diakopoulos No Comments »

Join us for the 2nd Computation + Journalism Symposium 2013 in Atlanta, GA on Jan 31 – Feb 1, 2013

What role does computation have in the practice of journalism today and in the near future? As computer-driven forces like automation and aggregation increasingly alter the role of journalists and journalism in society, how can computation become a force of deliberate, positive social impact in journalism and civic life? Five years after the first Computation and Journalism symposium at Georgia Tech, this event brings together leaders in both journalism and computation to discuss and debate current trends and future opportunities.

Join us for the second Symposium on Computation + Journalism to be held at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta on Jan 31, – Feb 1, 2012. Visit this site for additional details.

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Teaching: Spring 2012

January 11th, 2012 Irfan Essa Posted in CnJ, Computational Journalism, Computational Photography and Video, DVFX No Comments »

In Spring 2012, I am teaching 2 classes.

Advanced Computational Photography (CS 8803 PHO) [with Grant Schindler]

This is an advanced topics class in Computational Photography, building on my intro class and explores technical aspects of pictures, and more precisely the capture and depiction of reality on a 2D medium. The scientific, perceptual, and artistic principles behind image-making will be emphasized. Topics include the relationship between pictorial techniques and the human visual system; intrinsic limitations of 2D representations and their possible compensations; and technical issues involving depiction. Technical aspects of image capture and rendering, and exploration of how such a medium can be used to its maximum potential, will be examined. Students are strongly encouraged (not required) to bring their digital cameras and a laptop to facilitate experiments. The class will explore recent and state of the art paper in Computational Photography from leading conferences and journals in the area and students will do projects in a variety of topics.

Computation + Journalism (CS 4464 / CS 6465)

This class is aimed at understanding the computational and technological advancements in the area of journalism. Primary focus is on the study of technologies for developing new tools for (a) sense-making from diverse news information sources, (b) the impact of more and cheaper networked sensors (c) collaborative human models for information aggregation and sense-making, (d) mashups and the use of programming in journalism, (e) the impact of mobile computing and data gathering, (f) computational approaches to information quality, (g) data mining for personalization and aggregation, and (h) citizen journalism. Complete schedule and other information will be on the t-square site available to only students taking the class.

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Event: CnJ Panel at Georgia Tech’s Future Media Fest 2011 | Computation + Journalism

November 15th, 2011 Irfan Essa Posted in Computational Journalism, Eric Gilbert, Events No Comments »

Computational Journalism is defined as the application of computation to the activities of journalism such as information gathering, organization, communication, and dissemination of information, while upholding values of journalism such as accuracy and verifiability. Journalists are increasingly adopting and using the proliferation of open-source tools and embracing different styles of journalism. Explore how newsrooms are opening, what new tools are being created, and how to use those tools most effectively.


Topics of discussion will include (but will not be limited to):

  • What is Computational Journalism?
  • What impact has Computation / Information Technology / Networking Technology had on Journalism?
  • What is the newsroom of the future? How has the newsroom changed?
  • How has investigative journalism changed with new technologies?
  • How is social networking changed how we gather, distribute, and share news (and information)?
  • What are the economic / financial models that need to explored to support (and sustain) journalism?
  • What is the role of an Editor in the new journalism model?
  • What should we be teaching the next generation of journalists?

via CnJ Panel at Georgia Tech’s Future Media Fest 2011 | Computation + Journalism.

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FutureMedia Fest 2010: Birds of a Feather Session- Computationa…

October 6th, 2010 Irfan Essa Posted in Computational Journalism, Events No Comments »

Just did a session at the Future Media Fest at GA Tech on Computational Journalism.

Journalism and related aspects information gathering, verification and distribution have significantly changed in recent times with the growth and pervasiveness of Computation, Information, and Networking Technologies. In this session, we will discuss how computation is now completely embedded into each and every aspect of news business from news gathering to newer distribution channels citizen journalism and oversight. Our goal is to bring together computationalists and journalists to study these current trends, and go further to impact future trends in the areas of both computation and journalism.

via FutureMedia Fest 2010: Birds of a Feather Session- Computationa….

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