Mar 13, 2013

Photo Gallery: Demos for CENIC Annual Meeting

On March 13, IGERT Trainees David Vanoni, Ashley Richter and Vid Petrovic were among the CISA3 personnel who demonstrated cultural-heritage technologies to attendees from the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC), which held its annual meeting at Calit2 UCSD. Click on the link to view a photo gallery on Flickr depicting one of the demos for small groups from CENIC.

Feb 27, 2013

CISA3 Faculty Member Becomes Editor-in-Chief of New Journal

UCSD prof. Jules Jaffe, a CISA3-affiliated faculty member in the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, is the founding Editor-in-Chief of a new journal, Methods in Oceanography. The publisher, Elsevier, says the journal will focus on new methodology of oceanographic research. According to Jaffe, the journal will "also plan to publish so-called career narratives, authored by leading figures in oceanic methodology."

Feb 12, 2013

Petra Cyber-Archaeology Expedition Article Published in Antiquity

The findings of the 2012 Petra Cyber-Archaeology Cultural Conservation Expedition, led by CISA3 associate director Tom Levy, are included in a new paper in the March issue of the journal Antiquity. Five IGERT Trainees co-authored the article.

Feb 12, 2013

Tom Levy's High-Tech Cyber-Archaeology Roadshow

During the recent fall and winter months, CISA3 associate director Tom Levy and his team of archaeologists and computer scientists took their high-tech roadshow from Jordan to Saudi Arabia and back again, conducting field work for both UC San Diego and KAUST in regions of the ancient Holy Land and Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Jordan.

Feb 7, 2013

CISA3 Looks to the Sea for New Challenges in Cyber-Archaeology

IGERT Trainees got a closeup look at the challenges of underwater archaeology when CISA2 staged its first underwater archaeology workshop February 4-7. University of Southampton Prof. Jon Adams (above center), a maritime archaeologist; Justin Dix, a senior lecturer in geophysics and geoarchaeology; Graeme Earl, senior lecturer in archaeology; and Filippo Fazi, a lecturer in the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, all joined Falko Kuester, Tom Levy, Jules Jaffe, Tom DeFanti, Peter Otto, and Dominique Rissolo, as well as IGERT students, for a series of working meetings to talk about how to broaden CISA3’s terrestrial cultural heritage diagnostic approach and methodologies to maritime applications. Some of the outcomes included plans to install a CAVE environment at the University of Southampton for collaborative visualization; submission of joint proposals; and participation in each other’s field expeditions.

Jan 31, 2013

Cyber-Archaeology and World Cultural Heritage

In January, CISA3’s Tom Levy headlined a meeting on cyber-archaeology for the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. UCSD Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla (above right) welcomed the American Academy members to the campus, before Charles Stanish introduced Levy. Stanish directs UCLA’s Cotsen Institute of Archaeology. Levy’s keynote talk is available for viewing ondemand at His talk was followed by tours of CISA3 labs and demos by IGERT graduate students (below right and left). See photo gallery at

Jan 18, 2013

World Archaeological Congress

Held every four years, the 7th World Archaeological Congress (WAC-7) took place January 13-18 2013 at a palatial convention center at the Dead Sea in Jordan, featuring more than 800 researchers from roughly 70 different countries. CISA3’s work on Cultural Heritage Diagnostics, Engineering, and Analytics -- applied to Cyber-Archaeology -- was well-represented at the meeting. Over the course of two days, CISA3 Associate Director Tom Levy and longtime collaborator Mohammad Najjar co-chaired a session on “Deep-time perspectives on culture change in Jordan: Cyber-archaeology, production and exchange.” Levy led off the series of talks with a presentation on Jordan as a model for world cultural heritage research and conservation. He noted that since 1999, UC San Diego and Jordan’s Department of Antiquities decided to ‘go digital’ and abandoned paper recording methods in their work in the Faynan copper ore district of southern Jordan. “Beginning in 2010, with the help of a five-year National Science Foundation IGERT grant, interdisciplinary students have been involved with faculty using UCSD field research as a testbed for cyber-archaeology,” said Levy, whose overview presented an “integrated system that includes data capture, storage, analytical frameworks, scientific visualization, and cyberinfrastructures for onsite and global data sharing.” Levy and IGERT Trainee Matthew Vincent delivered a paper, “From the copper mines to the data mines: OpenDig and the data avalanche in southern Jordan.” OpenDig is an in-field data acquisition tool for the descriptive metadata of field archaeology -- providing new ways of accessing and organizing the data through the use of NoSQL databases that allow for “seamless replication and easy access through standard HTTP protocols.” On Day Two, IGERT Trainee Ian W.N. Jones talked about “Technological narratives, nrand and small: Where do we currently stand?” Fellow IGERT Trainees David Vanoni and Vid Petrovic, working with CISA3 director Falko Kuester, presented papers on “ARtifact in Jordan: Augmented reality for on-site scientific visualization and digital tourism,” and on “Capturing and visualizing excavations in 3D: Lessons from fieldwork in Jordan,” referring to case studies carried out with Ashley Richter from excavations in Faynan and Petra. The World Heritage Site at Petra was also the subject of a paper by IGERT Trainee Matthew Howland, Matt Vincent, Tom Levy and Christopher Tuttle (the latter from the American Center of Oriental Research). Their topic: “Ballooning in Petra: Utilizing low-altitude aerial photography and structure-from-motion for archaeological conservation.”

Dec 19, 2012

Cyber-Archaeology in the Holy Land E-Book

The Biblical Archaeology Society has published an e-book co-authored by CISA3 associate director Tom Levy and colleagues.

Dec 11, 2012

Cyber-Archaeology Paper Available through IEEE Xplore Portal

The paper, Terrestrial Laser Scanning (LiDAR) as a Means of Digital Documentation in Rescue Archaeology: Two Examples from the Faynan of Jordan, co-authored by Ashley Richter, Thomas Levy, Falko Kuester and Mohammad Najjar, is now available and searchable on the IEEE Xplore portal. It is part of proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia (VSMM), which took place in September in Milan, Italy.

Nov 21, 2012

Cultural Heritage Center at UC San Diego Reports Progress in 2012

In a letter to friends of CISA3 and the IGERT-TEECH project, director Falko Kuester recaps some of the academic talks delivered by faculty and students, and notes that the number of IGERT Trainee Ph.D. students has risen from six to 19 in the past year, while 12 others are now alums -- four of whom have become professors.

Oct 12, 2012

TED Blog Posts Maurizio Seracini TEDGLOBAL Talk

Calit2's Maurizio Seracini delivered talk on "The Secret Lives of Paintings" at TEDGLOBAL in Edinburgh, Scotland. His presentation was a hit, and the video is now streaming under the TED Blog moniker, "That unicorn is really a lap dog: The secret details in 4 classic paintings revealed." In addition to explaining how he believes a mural (The Battle of Anghiari) three times the width of "The Last Supper" could get lost, Seracini also talks about secrets he discovered after doing multispectral imaging of four other masterpieces: da Vinci's The Annunciation, and the Adoration of the Magi; Raphael's Lady with the Unicorn (pictured alongside scan showing that the unicorn was originally painted as a lap dog, and was probably changed by an artist long after Raphael finished the painting); and Botticelli's Allegory of Spring.

Aug 31, 2012

CISA3 and CyArk Team to Document San Luis Rey

A team from CISA3 joined with CyArk, a non-profit group documenting historic sites, to scan the Mission San Luis Rey in the city of Oceanside. Their goal: to create a 3D record of the huge compound in less than four days -- to help in the Mission’s ongoing preservation and modifications. The UCSD team brought CISA3’s terrestrial laser scanner (which will also be used as the primary scanning device for a Balboa Park digitization project). The CISA3 team also deployed their octocopter with on-board cameras for aerial imaging. IGERT Trainees Ashley M. Richter (see story at right) and Tom Wypych represented CISA3 on the expedition.

Aug 24, 2012

CISA3 'Explorers Take Flight' at National Geographic

National Geographic has a new feature on their website called 'Explorers Take Flight' -- with images and short articles about ways in which NatGeo explorers have pioneered airborne photography and other techniques to tell their stories visually. Well get this: of the 13 stories, including the final flight of Amelia Earhart, there are TWO Calit2 research projects highlighted. One is the CISA3 helium balloon for geo-referenced digital photography, deployed in 2011 at center associate director Tom Levy's archaeology site in southern Jordan; the other is a microcopter -- in this case an octocopter -- built by the UCSD-NGS Engineers for Exploration program and deployed by Calit2 research scientist Albert Yu-Min Lin for a noninvasive survey of sites in Mongolia where his expedition was searching for the lost tomb of Genghis Khan. National Geographic documented both projects in hour-long documentaries that have aired worldwide.

Aug 22, 2012

San Diego Researchers Unpeel a da Vinci Mystery

Kelly Bennett reports on the talk by CISA3 assistant director Alexandra Hubenko at the August Meeting of the Minds event in downtown San Diego. The article includes a link to a video of the Hubenko talk.

Jun 1, 2012

IGERT Trainee Wins Awards in NSF Poster Competition

Congratulations to IGERT Trainee Andrew Huynh! At the annual meeting of NSF IGERT -- the interdisciplinary graduate program that includes Calit2's project in cultural heritage diagnostics -- the UCSD computer science graduate student represented the Calit2 project in the 2012 Video & Poster Competition, with a poster and video about his crowdsourcing project with Albert Lin, on "Defining the Undefined: Harnessing the Power of Public Consensus in the Search for Genghis Khan's Tomb." Huynh earned both a Judges' Choice award and a Community Choice award (voted on by faculty, students and staff affiliated with the 114 IGERT projects nationwide), and a $2,000 award. He was the only award winner among the three UC San Diego-based IGERT projects represented at the IGERT annual meeting. To see Huynh's award-winning presentation and video: