EECS Department Colloquium Series

A Big World of Tiny Motions

William Freeman

Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall
3:00 - 4:00 pm
(Refreshments served at 2:30pm in front of the Banatao Auditoriium)

William T. Freeman
Professor, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, MIT

pdf icon

We have developed a "motion microscope" to visualize small motions by synthesizing a video with the desired motions amplified.  The project began as an algorithm to amplify small color changes in videos, allowing color changes from blood flow to be visualized. Modifications to this algorithm allow small motions to be amplified in a video.  I'll describe the algorithms, and show color-magnified videos of adults and babies, and motion-magnified videos of throats, pipes, cars, smoke, and pregnant bellies.  These algorithms are being used in biological, civil, and mechanical engineering applications.

Having this tool led us to explore other vision problems involving tiny motions.  I'll describe recent work in analyzing fluid flow and depth by exploiting small motions in video or stereo video sequences caused by refraction of turbulent air flow (joint work with the authors below and Tianfan Xue, Anat Levin, and Hossein Mobahi).  We have also developed a "visual microphone" to record sounds by watching objects, like a bag of chips, vibrate (joint with the authors below and Abe Davis and Gautam Mysore).

Collaborators:  Michael Rubinstein, Neal Wadhwa, and co-PI Fredo Durand.

Project web pages:

Short videos:
Revealing Invisible Changes In The World
MIT Computer Program Reveals Invisible Motion in Video | The New York Times
Radio show segment (starting at 3:28):

William T. Freeman is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, and a member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) there.  He is currently on leave, starting a computer vision group at Google in Cambridge, MA.

His current research interests include machine learning applied to computer vision, Bayesian models of visual perception, and computational photography. He received outstanding paper awards at computer vision or machine learning conferences in 1997, 2006, 2009 and 2012, and test-of-time awards for papers from 1990 and 1995.  Previous research topics include steerable filters and pyramids, orientation histograms, the generic viewpoint assumption, color constancy, computer vision for computer games, and belief propagation in networks with loops. 

He is active in the program or organizing committees of computer vision, graphics, and machine learning conferences.  He was the program co-chair for ICCV 2005, and for CVPR 2013.  

  Return to EECS Joint Colloquium