Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering Seminar


From Sketch to Haptics - the Sketch Recognition Lab and the Interdisciplinary Nature of Intelligent Systems


Dr. Tracy Hammond


Texas A&M University


Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 3:00:00 PM


MRDC Building, Room 4401A


Dr. Julie Lindsey
(404) 385-0106


Technology has transformed every aspect of our lives, from health and communication to education and mobility. The Sketch Recognition Lab (SRL) at Texas A&M University is devoted to leveraging this multi-disciplinary impact of technology by building software and systems that interact with us in intelligent ways. At its core, SRL is focused on building software that can understand a sketch as naturally as a human might. This includes recognizing and evaluating shapes like trusses and forces, as in the educational tool Mechanix. PerSketchTivity is a website being developed that helps teach design and drafting students how to draw from the most basic concepts. CourseSketch is a comprehensive online course management system built completely around sketch, allowing professors to create lectures and assignments with drawing components. The machine learning algorithms used in sketch can be applied to many different fields, giving SRL a much broader focus on human computer interaction. The GeoTrooper project combines global positioning with vibrotactile technology to help direct paratroopers to their rendezvous locations using haptic feedback. SmartStrokes digitizes well-established pen-and-paper psychological tests for evaluating mental acuity to give therapists more capabilities over the traditional format. KidGab is a social media website that provides young children with a safe, monitored environment for learning how to interact online. Gesture and activity recognition is used in StepUpLife and other mobile applications for helping users maintain a healthier life. Recognition is also being applied to a multitude of other fields like eye-tracking, communicating emotions online through gesture, matching potential jobs to resumes, and more. The Sketch Recognition Lab lies at the combination of a variety of disciplines, and our projects make use of ideas from each to build smarter tools that can make an important difference in our lives.


Dr. Hammond is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and is the director of the Sketch Recognition Lab at Texas A&M University; she is an international leader in sketch recognition research. She holds a PhD in Computer Science and FTO (Finance Technology Option) from MIT, and four degrees from Columbia University: an M.S in Anthropology, an M.S. in Computer Science, a B.A. in Mathematics, and a B.S. in Applied Mathematics. Prior to joining the CSE faculty she taught for five years at Columbia University and was a telecom analyst for four years at Goldman Sachs.