Physics and Astronomy Colloquium - Associate Professor Ananya Sen Gupta; Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Iowa

Physics and Astronomy Colloquium - Associate Professor Ananya Sen Gupta; Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Iowa promotional image

Interpreting Geometric Concepts into Sonar Feature Representations: Case Studies and Challenges

Associate Professor Ananya Sen Gupta; Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Iowa

Sonar target recognition and shallow water communications are critically important for naval situational awareness and environmental sustainability. Testing popular machine learning techniques over underwater acoustic data is especially interesting as they provide the exciting opportunity to seek new scientific knowledge in a realm dominated by complex, dynamic, unpredictable, and often unknown factors. The underwater acoustic realm also challenges emerging feature engineering and knowledge discovery techniques due to the dominance of non-linear time-varying overlap across important multi-dimensional features. Such overlap leads to feature dictionaries that are difficult to track or quantify, e.g. the persistent target features may occupy a latent but changing subspace, or occluded against features from a structured background. In this talk, I will discuss these challenges commonly encountered in underwater acoustics using case studies from field experiments as well as physics-driven simulations in this domain to provide robust ground truths. I will provide practical examples from my research across several disciplines, discuss how to implement key geometric ideas into well-known AI frameworks, and explain how we can use the powerful combination of topology and braid theory to quantify what makes a machine-discovered feature informative. As an interesting live demonstration of braid geometry, I will invite my visiting collaborator, Mr. Subhajit Das, a celebrated Indian dancer, to show some of the braid formations and give as overview of how geometry in art can help learning and interpreting geometry in features we study as scientists.

About the Speaker:

Ananya Sen Gupta received their PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2006, spent a significant part of their research career (2008-2012) at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and is currently an Associate Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Iowa. Dr. Sen Gupta’s research interests lie in the nexus of signal processing, pattern recognition and knowledge discovery, with emphasis on AI-enabled remote sensing in high-noise, high-clutter and highly dynamic environments. They specialize in harnessing classic signals theory and geometric constructs with current state-of-the-art in machine cognition to extract scientifically relevant information from sensor measurements corrupted by structured background interference. Their research has found broad applications in underwater acoustic communications, sonar target recognition, space plasma studies in Earth's Van Allen radiation belts and the Martian ionosphere, spacecraft magnetometer measurements, oil spill fingerprinting, air pollution and food contamination studies, and more recently in dance image/video processing. They have numerous peer-reviewed publications as well as a U.S. patent documenting her research across the last two decades.

Dr. Sen Gupta has served as a guest editor for the IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering and currently serves as an Associate Editor for IEEE Access and PeerJ Computer Science journals. They are also currently co-chair of the Technical Committee for Data Analytics, Integration and Modeling for IEEE Ocean Engineering Society, a participating member of the Signal Processing technical committee at the Acoustical Society of America (ASA). Across the last decade, they have given invited talks, organized/chaired special sessions and participated as a reviewer across multiple ASA meetings and/or Oceans conferences. Dr. Sen Gupta has also contributed as a member of the Oceans and Arts committees in IEEE Planet Positive 2030 efforts towards harnessing technology towards environmental sustainability in the wake of climate change.

About the Artist Collaborator:

Subhajit Das (Khush) is a renowned dancer, teacher and choreographer of Bharatanatyam, an ancient classical Indian dance form. A rising star in the Indian performing arts scene, his expertise also extends to neo-classical dances performed across India and abroad. Currently he is a choreographer of Dance Bangla Dance program of Zee Bangla, a major Indian television channel. Across his emerging career, Khush has received many awards as well as enthusiastic media coverage and critical acclaim for his unique nexus of Abhinaya (dance-acting), precise depiction of traditional dance forms, as well as novel choreographic experimentation that transcend discipline and bring new interpretation to ancient ideas. Among his many accolades, the highly prestigious "Nritya siramani" award from the state government of Orissa, an Indian state with rich dance traditions, is a distinction worthy of special mention. Khush currently leads and performs with his own dance company named Subhangik, which has performed in different parts of India and abroad namely Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Japan, to name a few. 

Professional preparation: Subhajit (Khush) started learning Bharatanatyam under the guidance of the renowned Indian teacher, Guru Smt Anita Mallick. He has completed his BFA and MFA on Dance (Bharatnatyam) from Rabindra Bharati University, one of the premier academic institutions for music and the performing arts, historically named after Rabindranath Tagore, the legendary poet laureate of India. Currently he is training under the able guidance of the world-renowned Guru Smt Rama Vaidyanath in Delhi, India. He specialized in Abhinaya (traditional nonverbal acting in Indian dance forms) under the legendary Guru Late Usha Ganguly-ji who was a nationally acclaimed thespian. Khush is also an expert in contemporary dance (both Indian and western) as he was associated with Smt Mamata Shankar (Uday Shankar Style) and Sri Terence Lewis ( Ballet and JazZ). Khush keeps a keen interest on the folk dances of India of which mayurbhanj chau and kalaripaitthu (martial art) are very close to him and he has done several master classes on the same.  

Career highlights: 

  1. Khush participated in the famous reality show Dance India Dance (Zee TV) and India's Dancing Superstar (Star Plus), both mainstream national dance shows featuring dancers on a competitive basis.
  2. Subhajit was a part of the recent project of the newly inaugurated Auditorium on March 23, 2023, the Nita Mukesh Ambani cultural centre in Mumbai as an Uday Shankar dance style expert for the musical Civilization to Nation.
  3. Das has also choreographed parts of the G20 project and Save Soil project in 2023.
  4. Khush, along with his founded dance company Subhangik, has performed in the highly prestigious Mudra festival at NCPA Mumbai, Uday Shankar Festival, Kolkata and Indradhanush Festival New Delhi, among many others nationally and internationally. 
  5. Subhangik’s performance and Khush's experimentation on blending novel ideas and interpretation in classical and neo-classical dance forms were critically praised widely in the media. For example, his novel interpretation of the ancient Hindu symbolism of Shiva-Shakti (similar to Yin and Yang in Chinese philosophy) won media acclaim. (Key quote: “Among the sea of performers from all over the country, one artiste who totally stood out was the very talented Subhajit Khush Das, who presented Cross Mix Ally, a production based on gender issues very smartly and beautifully, linking it to Shiva and Shakti.”)
  6. He has also performed and taught dance internationally in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia and Japan.

Cross-cultural collaborations and social outreach: Khush has an established history of collaborating with singers, musicians, painters and thespians across the globe. Significant cross-cultural collaborators include Frances Rings and Emma Powell from Australia, Bawren Tavaziva, Gerrad Martin and Dam Van Huynh from the United Kingdom, Leng Poh Gee from Malaysia, Janet Lily and Gianin Loringett from the Unites States, Mrika Mutsumi from Japan and Martini Peliponsky from Argentina. He was also a part of a social reformation project by Tata foundation where he assisted youth with addiction issues.

Artist motto: Devoting his life towards spreading the art of dance and positivity across the globe!

Contact information:-

Tuesday, September 19, 2023 3:30pm to 4:20pm
Van Allen Hall
30 North Dubuque Street, Iowa City, IA 52242
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