(Talk) Creative Applications for Mobile Devices: Bringing Apps to Other Disciplines

  • Speaker: Jonathan Rose (University of Toronto)
  • Location: UBC Vancouver Campus, MCLD 418, 2356 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC
  • Date & Time: November 29, 2012, at 4:00 p.m.


We can be justly proud of the avalanche of progress that has occurred in the past 5 years in mobile devices, making use of every branch of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Their computational capability, mixed with high-speed wireless networking, friendly user interfaces and sophisticated sensors (accelerometers, gyroscopes, barometers, proximity detectors, light sensors, high-resolution cameras and microphones) have given rise to a burst of creativity from the authors of new Apps. Despite all the novel Apps already invented, I believe we have only scratched the surface of what is possible, as we learn how to use and create with these devices, and as the forces of competition and economics bring new technology to the consumer. This seminar will describe a new graduate course ‘Creative Applications for Mobile Devices’ that is open to all graduate students at the University of Toronto. Graduate students in every field are mixed with programmers to enable the creation of new research-oriented, and field-specific Apps. The course has been taught for two years, and I will describe how it is structured (with an eye to convincing one of you to do the same) and some of the delightfully creative results in surgery, museum studies, physiotherapy, nursing, driving, education, and many more. Closer to my research home, I will also describe some recent work on using FPGAs to accelerate computer vision tasks inside smartphones, and will contemplate the advent of embedded FPGAs inside the highly integrated systems on chip inside modern phones.

Speaker’s Biography

Jonathan Rose is a Professor in the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto. He received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering in 1986 from the University of Toronto. From 1986 to 1989, he was a Post-Doctoral Scholar and then Research Associate in the Computer Systems Laboratory at Stanford University. In 1989, he joined the faculty of the University of Toronto. He spent the 1995-1996 year as a Senior Research Scientist at Xilinx, in San Jose, CA, working on the Virtex FPGA architecture. From 1989 until 1999 he was an NSERC University Research Fellow.

In October 1998, he co-founded Right Track CAD Corporation, which delivered architecture for FPGAs and Packing, Placement and Routing software for FPGAs to FPGA device vendors. He was President and CEO of Right Track until May 1, 2000. Right Track was purchased by Altera, and became part of the Altera Toronto Technology Centre, where Rose was Senior Director until April 30, 2003. His group at Altera Toronto shared responsibility for the development of the architecture for the Altera Stratix, Stratix II, Stratix GX and Cyclone FPGAs. His group was also responsible for placement, routing, delay annotation software and benchmarking for these devices, and for the placement and routing software for the Altera Apex 20K and Flex 10K FPGAs. From May 1, 2003 to April 30, 2004 Rose held the part-time position of Senior Research Scientist at Altera Toronto. He has worked for Bell-Northern Research and a number of FPGA companies on a consulting basis.

He served as Chair of the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering from January 2004 through June 2009.

He is the co-founder of the ACM FPGA Symposium. A paper co-authored with Steve Brown won a distinguished paper award at the 1990 ICCAD Conference. He is a Senior Fellow of Massey College in the University of Toronto, a Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the ACM, a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and a Foreign Associate of the American National Academy of Engineering,

His research covers all aspects of FPGAs including their architecture, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Field-Programmable Systems, Soft Processors, and graphics, vision and bio-informatic applications of programmable hardware.

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