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EECS Faculty Candidate Seminar- Dr. Jacob Chakareski


Networked Virtual And Augmented Reality: The New Frontier

Virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) hold tremendous potential to advance our society and are commonly seen as the 4th major disruptive technology wave after PC, the Internet/Web, and mobile. Together with another pair of emerging technologies, 360° video and holographic video, they can suspend our disbelief of being at a remote location or having remote objects/people present in our immediate surrounding, akin to virtual human/object teleportation. Presently limited to offline operation and synthetic content and targeting gaming and entertainment, VR/AR are expected to reach their potential when deployed online and with real remote scene content, enabling novel applications in disaster relief and public safety, the environmental sciences, transportation, and quality of life. 

However, networked VR/AR introduce novel system challenges and fundamental problems across multiple core areas of electrical and computer engineering. Overcoming them necessitates exploring holistic solutions that go beyond the traditional networking domain and integrate the capture, coding, networking, and user navigation of VR/AR data. Moreover, emerging services, e.g., YouTube/Facebook 360 are extremely inefficient in bandwidth utilization and data management, thereby considerably degrading the user experience, due to their heuristic design choices. Finally, further critical aspects such as wireless operation, ultra‐low latency, system scalability, edge computing, device and application security, and end‐to‐end reliability are yet to be considered. 

My research program explores the fundamental principles behind the above challenges, leveraging the acquired knowledge to investigate holistically the four critical system aspects of a networked VR/AR application noted above and simultaneously make impact on emerging VR/AR industry practices. The presentation will first outline our most important technical advances in this field accomplished under multiple NSF and industry supported investigations, emphasizing the integration and importance of edge computing in this context. I will then present in greater detail several of these investigations that center on edge computing and its synergistic interaction with other emerging technologies, such as millimeter wave, IoT, and online machine learning, in this context. Next, I will highlight multiple interdisciplinary studies carried out with respective domain scientists that benefit from our technical advances. Finally, I will conclude with plans for future research and prospective collaboration with faculty at UTK. 

Jacob Chakareski is an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Alabama, where he leads the Laboratory for VR/AR Immersive Communication (LION). His interests span networked virtual and augmented reality systems, UAV IoT sensing and networking, fast online machine learning, 5G wireless edge computing/caching, ubiquitous immersive communication, and societal applications. Dr. Chakareski received the Adobe Data Science Faculty Research Award (2017, 2018), the Swiss NSF Career Award Ambizione (2009), the AFOSR Faculty Fellowship (2016, 2017), and best/fast‐track paper awards at IEEE ICC 2017 and IEEE Globecom 2016. He is the organizer of the first NSF visioning workshop on networked VR/AR communications. He trained as a PhD student at Rice and Stanford, held research appointments with Microsoft, HP Labs, and EPFL, and sat on the advisory board of Frame, Inc., which was acquired by Nutanix, Inc. in August 2018. His research is supported by the NSF, AFOSR, Adobe, Tencent Research, NVIDIA, and Microsoft. For further info, please visit 

Friday, February 22 at 11:00am to 12:00pm

Min H. Kao Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 435
1520 Middle Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996

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