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Faculty and Staff News

2003 IEEE ICCE Best Paper Award

Professor and Associate Dean Nam Ling and his former computer engineering Ph.D. student Dr. Gunnar Hovden recently received the 2003IEEE ICCE Best Paper Award (First Place Winner) for their paper, “MPEG-4 FAP Generation as an Optimization Problem.” The award was presented at the 2005 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Conference on Consumer Electronics (ICCE) in Las Vegas on January 11, 2005. The conference was conducted jointly with the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which attracted about 140,000 participants in Las Vegas this January. The winning paper was presented at the ICCE conference in Los Angeles, California, on June 18, 2003. ICCE is the flagship conference of the IEEE Consumer Electronics Society. All papers were published in the Digest of Technical Papers for ICCE.

In Ling and Hovden’s work, a method for automatic generation of facial animation parameters (FAPs) is produced. These FAPs are used to animate an artificial face, resembling a real human face in video. The method produces an optimized set of FAPs for the MPEG-4 synthetic natural hybrid coding (SNHC) standard by minimizing the differences between the animated face and the original face in a video sequence, so as to produce a truthful and lifelike face and its expressions, resembling the original ones. The work was used by CBS Sports in the animation of the eyes and eyebrows of comedian anchor Thurston Long in NFL’s “Outside The Huddle.” It was also used in animating the eyes and eyebrows of the Ernest character in the Ernest commercials.


Dr. Nam Ling (left) received the award from Dr. Peter H. N. de With, the conference program chair, on January 11, 2005. Dr. Gunnar Hovden is currently a research engineer with Sony America, conducting research on content-based image retrieval. For more information on Dr. Ling, visit: