Dr. Min-Hyung Choi, an assistant professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Colorado Denver, received the prestigious NSF CAREER Award from National Science Foundation. Dr. Choi will be supported $460,000 over the next five years.
The award, formerly known as the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, is the most competitive and prestigious award from NSF to young faculty members in all science and engineering fields. The award places emphasis on high-quality research and novel education initiatives.
According to the NSF, "CAREER awards support exceptionally promising college and university junior faculty who are committed to the integration of research and education," says NSF Director Rita Colwell. "We recognize these faculty members, new in their careers, as most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st Century."
Dr. Choi joined the University of Colorado at Denver in 1999. He earned his B.S. in Computer Science in 1990 from Chung-Ang University and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1996 and 1999 from the University of Iowa.
His research interests are in Computer Graphics, Scientific Visualization and Human Computer Interaction with an emphasis on physically-based modeling and simulation for medical and bioinformatics applications.
Currently, he is the Director of Computer Graphics and Virtual Environments Laboratory and an Associate of the Center for Computational Biology. He is the acting chair of ACM SIGGRAPH Boulder/Denver Chapter since 2001.
The goal of this research is to develop robust and effective techniques to model, simulate and interact with soft objects. The physical modeling of deformable objects is one of the fundamental and crucial components of many graphics and scientific visualization application providing an effective way to display and interact with virtual objects that better represent true physical nature, beyond unrealistic rigid-body approximation. Soft object modeling has been studied extensively using both discrete models and continuum mechanics-based models. However, two major issues still pose a significant challenge. First, the conflicting demand between computational efficiency and biomechanical realism directs us to take trade-offs or to sacrifice one for the other. Second, the robust treatment of interaction between soft objects and intuitive control is often overlooked, being represented by a single point of contact or given external forces. The PI will address issues in the following areas: 1) domain decomposition method to represent a complex object structure; 2) adaptive refinement and simplification of the model while preserving overall dynamic behavior; 3) robust constraint-based collision and contact analysis between deformable objects; 4) constrained manipulation for intuitive and flexible user interface; and 5) fast cluster computing environment and associated parallel algorithms.
The educational component of this project includes 1) development of a new physically-based modeling and simulation curriculum, 2) development of a realistic tissue deformation model for a virtual surgery system which will be used for training medical students and surgeons, 3) development of functional anatomy online visualization system for K-12 students and the general public, and 4) hosting "How Things Work" workshop and animation contest to foster research experiences for undergraduate and graduate students in their early academic careers.