IST Meeting of the Minds

The IST Meeting of the Minds (MotM) is our department's annual showcase held in conjunction with Caltech Alumni Reunion Weekend. The Caltech CMS Community, from undergrads to faculty, present their research through keynote talks, demos, and a poster session. Several hundred alums and CMS Partner Program members attend, so it’s a terrific opportunity to get to know both our department and the broader Caltech Community.

IST Meeting of the Minds 2018

For a recap of MotM 2017, click here.
For a recap of MotM 2016, click here.

This year’s IST Meeting of the Minds will take place on Friday, May 18th from 2:00-5:00p.m. in and around the Annenberg Center on Caltech’s campus. The event will kick-off with a keynote by Hao Li, the CEO & Co-Founder of Pinscreen, Inc. Following the keynote, there will be an outdoor poster demo session with plenty of food and music!

Meeting of the Minds 2017 Meeting of the Minds 2017 Meeting of the Minds 2017



Speaker: Hao Li
2:00-3:00 pm in Annenberg 105

Hao Photorealistic Human Digitization and Rendering using Deep Learning
The age of immersive technologies has created a growing need for processing detailed visual representations of ourselves as virtual and augmented reality is growing into the next generation platform for online communication. A natural simulation of our presence in such virtual world is unthinkable without a photorealistic 3D digitization of ourselves. In visual effects and gaming, compelling CG characters can already be produced using state-of-the-art 3D capture technologies combined with the latest real-time rendering engines. However, the creation of high-quality digital assets are still bounded by expensive and time-consuming production pipelines, and creating photorealistic results still requires authoring tasks that can only be achieved by skilled digital artists. We propose a deep learning approach to this high-dimensional reconstruction and rendering problem by introducing new convolutional neural networks and architectures, that can process 3D data, and synthesize images from 3D input with intuitive user controls. I will showcase our latest research in photorealistic 3D face digitization, expression generation, as well as hair modeling and rendering. This presentation will open up the question in whether a deep learning-based synthesis approach could potentially displace conventional graphics rendering pipelines.

Hao Li is CEO/Co-Founder of Pinscreen, assistant professor of Computer Science at the University of Southern California, and the director of the Vision and Graphics Lab at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies. Hao's work in Computer Graphics and Computer Vision focuses on digitizing humans and capturing their performances for immersive communication and telepresence in virtual worlds. His research involves the development of novel geometry processing, data-driven, and deep learning algorithms. He is known for his seminal work in non-rigid shape alignment, real-time facial performance capture, hair digitization, and dynamic full body capture. He was previously a visiting professor at Weta Digital, a research lead at Industrial Light & Magic / Lucasfilm, and a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia and Princeton Universities. He was named top 35 innovator under 35 by MIT Technology Review in 2013 and was also awarded the Google Faculty Award, the Okawa Foundation Research Grant, as well as the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Early Career Chair. He won the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Award in 2018. Hao obtained his PhD at ETH Zurich and his MSc at the University of Karlsruhe (TH).

Poster Session

3:00-5:00 pm in the Annenberg outdoor vicinity


Caltech Alumns

RSVP through the Caltech Alumni Reunion Weekend event website.

CMS Partners Program Members

Register here by May 1st to attend and/or send swag. More details below.

Poster/Demo Presenters (current Caltech students, faculty, and staff)

Register here by May 1st to present a poster and/or demo. More details below.

Attendees from the Caltech Community

There is no need for current Caltech students, faculty, and staff to register or RSVP just to attend the talks and/or poster session.

Info for CMS Partners Program Members


Swag is welcome, along with flyers/brochures/business cards! We expect that most of our students will present, and several hundred alums will attend, so this is a great opportunity for visibility. Companies can contribute to presenter swag bags (please send at least 144 pieces for bags) as well as distribute swag to the attendees through the CMS Partners Program table. All swag shipments must arrive at the address below by Friday, May 11, 2018.

Please ship all swag to:

Sydney Garstang
CMS Partners Program
Mail Code 305-16
Pasadena, CA 91125

Info for Presenters

Poster Guidelines

The standard poster size for this event is 36"Wx24"H. There are many good resources online that can help you make your poster. For example, some poster design tips can be found here.

Poster printing is available on-campus at Graphic Resources, but can also be done off-campus at places such as FedEx Office.