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  1. To study the sensing mechanism of bat's biosonar system, we propose a fast simulation algorithm to generate natural-looking trees and forest---the primary living habitat of bats. We adopt 3D Lindenmayer system to create the fractal geometry of the trees, and add additional parameters, both globally and locally, to enable random variations of the tree structures. Random forest is then formed by placing simulated trees at random locations of a field according to a spatial point process. By employing a single algorithmic model with different numeric parameters, we can rapidly simulate 3D virtual environments with a wide variety of trees, producingmore »detailed geometry of the foliage such as the leaf locations, sizes, and orientations. Written in C++ and visualized with openGL, our algorithm is fast to implement, easily parallable, and more adaptive to real-time visualization compared with existing alternative approaches. Our simulated environment can be used for general purposes such as studying new sensors or training remote sensing algorithms.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  2. The best limit on the electron electric dipole moment (eEDM) comes from the ACME II experiment [Nature \textbf{562} (2018), 355-360] which probes physics beyond the Standard Model at energy scales well above 1 TeV. ACME II measured the eEDM by monitoring electron spin precession in a cold beam of the metastable H3Δ1 state of thorium monoxide (ThO) molecules, with an observation time τ≈1 ms for each molecule. We report here a new measurement of the lifetime of the ThO (H3Δ1) state, τH=4.2±0.5 ms. Using an apparatus within which τ≈τH will enable a substantial reduction in uncertainty of an eEDM measurement.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 12, 2023
  3. Educational content labeled with proper knowledge components (KCs) are particularly useful to teachers or content organizers. However, manually labeling educational content is labor intensive and error-prone. To address this challenge, prior research proposed machine learning based solutions to auto-label educational content with limited success. In this work, we significantly improve prior research by (1) expanding the input types to include KC descriptions, instructional video titles, and problem descriptions (i.e., three types of prediction task), (2) doubling the granularity of the prediction from 198 to 385 KC labels (i.e., more practical setting but much harder multinomial classification problem), (3) improving themore »prediction accuracies by 0.5–2.3% using Task-adaptive Pre-trained BERT, outperforming six baselines, and (4) proposing a simple evaluation measure by which we can recover 56–73% of mispredicted KC labels. All codes and data sets in the experiments are available at:« less
  4. A non-aqueous proton electrolyte is devised by dissolving H3PO4 into acetonitrile. The electrolyte exhibits unique vibrational signatures from stimulated Raman spectroscopy. Such an electrolyte exhibits unique characteristics compared to aqueous acidic electrolytes: 1) higher (de)protonation potential for a lower desolvation energy of protons, 2) better cycling stability by dissolution suppression, and 3) higher Coulombic efficiency owing to the lack of oxygen evolution reaction. Two non-aqueous proton full cells exhibit better cycling stability, higher Coulombic efficiency, and less self-discharge compared to the aqueous counterpart.
  5. Exploiting relationships between objects for image and video captioning has received increasing attention. Most existing methods depend heavily on pre-trained detectors of objects and their relationships, and thus may not work well when facing detection challenges such as heavy occlusion, tiny-size objects, and long-tail classes. In this paper, we propose a joint commonsense and relation reasoning method that exploits prior knowledge for image and video captioning without relying on any detectors. The prior knowledge provides semantic correlations and constraints between objects, serving as guidance to build semantic graphs that summarize object relationships, some of which cannot be directly perceived frommore »images or videos. Particularly, our method is implemented by an iterative learning algorithm that alternates between 1) commonsense reasoning for embedding visual regions into the semantic space to build a semantic graph and 2) relation reasoning for encoding semantic graphs to generate sentences. Experiments on several benchmark datasets validate the effectiveness of our prior knowledge-based approach.« less
  6. A computational approach based on a k-ω delayed detached eddy simulation model for predicting aerodynamic loads on a smooth circular cylinder is verified against experiments. Comparisons with experiments are performed for flow over a rigidly mounted (static) cylinder and for an elastically-mounted rigid cylinder oscillating in the transverse direction due to vortex-induced vibration (VIV). For the static cases, measurement data from the literature is used to validate the predictions for normally incident flow. New experiments are conducted as a part of this study for yawed flow, where the cylinder axis is inclined with respect to the inflow velocity at themore »desired yaw angle, β = 30◦. Good agreement is observed between the predictions and measurements for mean and rms surface pressure. Three yawed flow cases (β = 15◦, 30◦, & 45◦) are simulated and the results are found to be independent of β (independence principle) when the flow speed normal to the cylinder axis is selected as the reference velocity scale. Dynamic (VIV) simulations for an elastically-mounted rigid cylinder are performed by coupling the flow solver with a solid dynamics solver where the cylinder motion is modeled as a mass–spring–damper system. The simulations accurately predict the displacement amplitude and unsteady loading over a wide range of reduced velocity, including the region where ‘‘lock-in’’ (synchronization) occurs. VIV simulations are performed at two yaw angles, β = 0◦ and 45◦ and the independence principle is found to be valid over the range of reduced velocities tested with a slightly higher discrepancy when the vortex shedding frequency is close to the natural frequency of the system.« less
  7. In this article, we propose a new approach for simulating trees, including their branches, sub-branches, and leaves. This approach combines the theory of biological development, mathematical models, and computer graphics, producing simulated trees and forest with full geometry. Specifically, we adopt the Lindenmayer process to simulate the branching pattern of trees and modify the available measurements and dimensions of 3D CAD developed object files to create natural looking sub-branches and leaves. Randomization has been added to the placement of all branches, sub branches and leaves. To simulate a forest, we adopt Inhomogeneous Poisson process to generate random locations of trees.more »Our approach can be used to create complex structured 3D virtual environment for the purpose of testing new sensors and training robotic algorithms. We look forward to applying this approach to test biosonar sensors that mimick bats' fly in the simulated environment.« less
  8. We develop an effective computer model to simulate sensing environments that consist of natural trees. The simulated environments are random and contain full geometry of the tree foliage. While this simulated model can be used as a general platform for studying the sensing mechanism of different flying species, our ultimate goal is to build bat-inspired Quad-rotor UAVs—UAVs that can recreate bat’s flying behavior (e.g., obstacle avoidance, path planning) in dense vegetation. To this end, we also introduce an foliage echo simulator that can produce simulated echoes by mimicking bat’s biosonar. In our current model, a few realistic model choices ormore »assumptions are made. First, in order to create natural looking trees, the branching structures of trees are modeled by L-systems, whereas the detailed geometry of branches, subbranches and leaves is created by randomizing a reference tree in a CAD object file. Additionally, the foliage echo simulator is simplified so that no shading effect is considered. We demonstrate our developed model by simulating real-world scenarios with multiple trees and compute the corresponding impulse responses along a Quad-rotor trajectory.« less