Computational Geometry: Young Researchers Forum (at SoCG)

One of theSoCG satellite event will be the ”Computational Geometry: Young Researchers Forum” (CG:YRF), which is aimed at current and recent students. The active involvement by students and recent graduates in research, discussions, and social events has been a longstanding tradition in the CG community. Participation in a top-level event such as SoCG can be educating, motivating, and useful for networking, both with other students and with more senior scientists.

The YRF presents young researchers (*defined as not having received a formal doctorate before 2017*) an opportunity to present their work (in progress as well as finished results) to the CG community in a friendly, open setting. Just like in the main event, presentations will be given in the form of talks. A pre-screening (but no formal review process) will ensure appropriate quality control.

USF Volunteer Policy

Good morning, for all volunteer activities please make sure the process begins by contacting CoE HR prior to any action taking place.

The Volunteer Guidelines, Volunteer Service Application, and Volunteer Appointment forms are found on the Division of HR website:

Departments must  submit completed forms electronically to the Volunteer Service email address:


  1. Does an undergraduate/graduate student that wants to get research experience and spend some time in a lab as an unpaid researcher need a volunteer appointment?

[This will likely depend on a number of factors, including the type and nature of the research or other services to be performed.  Generally, whether an individual is a volunteer is a fact-specific inquiry.

For instance, if the individual volunteers his/her services for civic, charitable, or humanitarian reasons, the research may qualify as volunteer work that would require a volunteer appointment.  If the individual is already being paid to perform the same type of research for which the individual proposes to volunteer, however, or if the research displaces a paid position that would otherwise be performing the research, the individual may not be considered a volunteer under USF’s Volunteer Guidelines and applicable law and may need to be paid. 

Finally, it is possible that the situation will not fall under either volunteer services or paid employment—such as research for a science fair or for other individual purposes that the University has reason to allow and encourage.  We are working on developing a simple registration process/form that can address these types of situations.] 

  1. Does a PhD student registered for directed research under the direction of a faculty member need a volunteer appointment?

[NO. This is not a volunteer.  This is part of the person’s academic program and education.]

  1. If a student registers for independent study and does research as part of that will he/she be considered a volunteer?

[NO. This is not a volunteer.  This is part of the person’s academic program and education.]

  1. What if a student is registered for a master’s thesis class, does he/she need to fill out volunteer forms or is this academic?

[NO. This is not a volunteer.  This is part of the person’s academic program and education.]

  1. Would a J-1 visiting scholar/intern require a volunteer appointment?

[NOT usually, This person is not a volunteer if he or she is doing research related to the reason they are here on a J-1. The J-1 documentation is all they need to do research in the field they are here for. However, if they volunteer to do work in other areas different from their Visa area, then they likely need to fill out volunteer documentation.]

  1. Please differentiate a volunteer from an internship, along with the requirements.

[As a general rule, an internship is something one does to develop skills in a profession; it has learning objectives.  In an internship one learns about the work of a profession.  Students typically get college credits, grades or payment in exchange for the internship work. 

By contrast, the driving force for a volunteer is a desire to help out. Volunteering is the act of voluntarily giving one’s time for civic, charitable, or humanitarian reasons, and there is usually no tangible benefit from a volunteer opportunity, other than one’s satisfaction in helping others. Sometimes you can have an opportunity that is both a learning internship where one helps others as a volunteer. For example, a medical student interning in Guatemala- he or she may be getting medical education and experience, may even get college credits, while also helping others in the community.]

  1. Some MS students do research with the intent to write a thesis.  They usually work through their entire program but they only register for thesis hours their last semester – is this considered a volunteer?

[NO. This is not a volunteer.  This is part of the person’s academic program and education.]

Homology-Preserving Dimensionality Reduction via Manifold Landmarking and Tearing

Dimensionality reduction is an integral part of data visualization. It is a process that obtains a structure preserving low-dimensional representation of the high-dimensional data. Two common criteria can be used to achieve a dimensionality reduction: distance preservation and topology preservation. Inspired by recent work in topological data analysis, we are on the quest for a dimensionality reduction technique that achieves the criterion of homology preservation, a specific version of topology preservation. Specifically, we are interested in using topology-inspired manifold landmarking and manifold tearing to aid such a process and evaluate their effectiveness.

Homology-Preserving Dimensionality Reduction via Manifold Landmarking and Tearing
L Yan, Y Zhao, P Rosen, C Scheidegger, B Wang
Visualization in Data Science (VDS at IEEE VIS 2018)

TDA Software

Hera topological distance —


TopCat (multi-parameter persistence) —


Topology Tool Kit (TTK)

Please join us this Sunday afternoon for a half day tutorial on Topological Data Analysis with the open-source library “the Topology ToolKit” (TTK,, which is organized in the context of the IEEE VIS tutorials (

The tutorial material (including slides, data sets and virtual machines) is already available on the tutorial web page:

If you consider attending our tutorial, please bring your laptop!

In order to follow the hands-on sessions, we invite you to download the tutorial data package ( and to install *before the tutorial* the git master version of TTK (, see the instructions on the installation page: This installation procedure takes approximately 1 hour. Please feel free to contact the user mailing list ( if you encounter any issue.

Alternatively, you can choose the easier option of downloading a pre-installed Linux virtual machine containing all the necessary software and data packages (


Five Seniors presented Senior Project “Mixed Reality C-130 Loadmaster Simulation for CAE USA”

Alan Rodriguez, David Baerg, Jessica Womble, Ryan McBride, and Sara Savitz represented USF College of Engineering at the 2018 Florida-Wide Student Engineering Design Invitational held at UCF on April 19th. The students exhibited their BEST project titled “Mixed Reality C-130 Loadmaster Simulation for CAE USA”. The Mixed Reality C-130 Loadmaster simulator, created by a team of USF Computer Science and Engineering students, uses augmented reality, incorporating both the real world and virtual reality into one view, to achieve an immersive training experience for a fraction of the cost. The Loadmaster trainee is responsible for safely loading and deploying cargo from a C-130 cargo bay.

The project was supervised by Assistant Professor Paul Rosen and was supported by CAE USA.

Link to the original article