University of California, Riverside

UCR Newsroom

Aware Sensor Systems Focus of TechHorizons Conference

Seeing is Believing When it Comes to Aware Sensor Systems Technology

The future of homeland security to be examined at UCR’s Bourns College of Engineering TechHorizons Conference on May 13

(April 22, 2009)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( – UCR’s Bourns College of Engineering’s TechHorizons 2009 will cast an eye to the future with its focus on the coming technological revolution of aware sensor systems on May 13. Engineers and others interested in homeland security will experience first-hand aware sensor systems being developed at the Bourns College of Engineering.

Sponsored in part by the Office of Naval Research, TechHorizons 2009 "Aware Sensor Systems: The Next Revolution in Safety and Security" daylong conference will gather computer engineers, electrical engineers and mechanical engineers who are using the $5 million on-site camera/sensor network implemented at the college. With the funding of multiple federal agencies, the engineering buildings at the Bourns College of Engineering have become a test bed of 80 cameras and other sensors to spur innovations in the areas of video analysis, networking, machine learning, data mining, and signal processing. The ultimate goal of this work will be persistent awareness, and intent analysis.

The event is designed to be of interest to those interested in security issues, including sensor manufacturers/vendors, public safety professionals, and those responsible for homeland security and transportation logistics. In addition, interested parties and experts representing law enforcement, transportation and sensitive facilities will participate in a roundtable discussion of the needs and potential for surveillance technology which can intelligently provide homeland security benefits over huge areas that otherwise might be vulnerable.

Keynoting TechHorizons 09 will be: Ian F. Akyildiz, Ken Byers Distinguished Chair Professor in Telecommunications, Georgia Institute of Technology; and Arun Hampapur, distinguished engineer in IBM's Global Technology Services, and manager of its Exploratory Computer Vision Group.

Hampapur is a pioneer in the development of video surveillance technology. His Exploratory Computer Vision Group at IBM has been awarded 18 patents with 31 patents pending. He will present "Large-Scale Urban Surveillance: Challenges & Opportunities."

Akyildiz is an influential researcher in the area of wireless networking and he and his colleagues at his Broadband and Wireless Networking Laboratory are among the most cited authors in that field. He will speak on "Nano-Sensor Networks Using Molecular Communication."

To create "aware" systems, engineers must perfect "situational awareness," a form of artificial intelligence that can purposefully direct cameras and sensors, as well as new networking approaches and data-mining techniques. After being taught what normal activity is, the system will identify abnormal, and possibly dangerous, activity.

Joining TechHorizons in the wide-ranging discussion will be: Regina Casale-Miles, special agent of the FBI and Los Angeles InfraGard coordinator; and David L. Hexem, chief information officer for the city of Redlands, which has used cameras for six years in its downtown area to provide a "virtual police presence."

Also participating will be Joseph Palen, senior research engineer for Caltrans, which has installed a 1,500-camera system across the state and has also developed a cellular communications camera that can be deployed almost anywhere in a few minutes. Nigel Smith will represent Ontario International Airport and its efforts to safeguard critical infrastructure.

To register for TechHorizons, visit the Web site at The full-day conference costs $125, or $90 for government, nonprofit and education representatives. For more information call (951) 827-2528.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Media Relations
900 University Avenue
1156 Hinderaker Hall
Riverside, CA 92521

Tel: (951) 827-6397 (951) UCR-NEWS
Fax: (951) 827-5008

Related Links