A new research fellowship, and an Interview with Tested.com

Before getting to the interview, a quick bit of news. About six weeks ago I hung up my Medical Tricorder hat, and returned to the University of Arizona to begin a new Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in their new Natural Language Processing group. I’m absolutely loving the new group, the wonderful research, and that my cute little home in Tucson has plenty of geckos living in the garden!

Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman’s Tested.com recently posted a very in-depth, fun, and entertaining interview with me by Norman Chan where we had the opportunity to chat about the Tricorder project, open source design, and my academic research in artificial intelligence. From the interview (speaking about my visualization experiments with the Science Tricorders):

…This collection of sensors is often called an inertial measurement unit. By coupling that collection of sensors with other sensors, say a non-contact infrared sensor, then you’re theoretically able to pair the Science Tricorder’s orientation in space with the temperature of what it’s pointing at, and (after waving it back and forth for a few seconds) construct something like a very low resolution thermal image for very low cost.

While that’s very exciting, the technique is fairly general, and so you could conceivably fuse the readings from additional sensors to, for example, make a volumetric image of the magnetic field intensity and direction in a given space, which is something that to my knowledge isn’t done with off-the-shelf instruments today.

You can read the full interview here.