Received Purdue Outstanding Technology Alumni Award

Dr. Luther (left) with his undergraduate mentor, Prof. Ronald Glotzbach of Purdue University

Dr. Luther was honored with the Outstanding Technology Alumni Award from his alma mater, Purdue Polytechnic Institute (formerly Purdue University’s College of Technology), at an awards event at Purdue University on April 26.

According to the press release, recipients of the Outstanding Technology Alumni Award “have made significant and recognized impacts in their fields, and they remain involved with the Purdue University community.” The university also profiled Dr. Luther’s accomplishments on the college website.

Dr. Luther received his B.S. with highest distinction and departmental honors in computer graphics technology, with a minor in art and design, from Purdue in 2006.

Participated in Intelligence Studies Consortium panel

Dr. Luther joined Prof. Aaron Brantly (VT Political Science), Prof. Chad Levinson (VT Government and International Affairs), and moderator Ms. Christine Callsen (VT Hume Center) on a panel titled, “Social Computing and Its Impact on Intelligence,” at the Emerging Trends: New Tools, Threats and Thinking symposium. The event was sponsored by the National Capital Region Intelligence Studies Consortium (ISC) and held at Marymount University on April 25.

Presented at IUPUI Computer Science Seminar

Dr. Luther gave an invited presentation, titled “Solving Photo Mysteries with Expert-Led Crowdsourcing,” at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Department of Computer & Information Science Seminar on April 19. Here is the abstract for the presentation:

Investigators in domains such as journalism, intelligence analysis, and human rights advocacy frequently analyze photographs of questionable or unknown provenance. These photos can provide invaluable leads and evidence, but even experts must invest significant time in each analysis, with no guarantee of success. Crowdsourcing, with its affordances for scalability and parallelization, has great potential to augment expert performance, but little is known about how crowds might fit into photo analysts’ complex workflows. In this talk, I present my group’s research with two communities: open-source investigators who geolocate and verify social media photos, and antiquarians who identify unknown persons in 19th-century portrait photography. Informed by qualitative studies of current practice, we developed a novel approach, expert-led crowdsourcing, that combines the complementary strengths of experts and crowds to solve photo mysteries. We built two software tools based on this approach, GroundTruth and Photo Sleuth, and evaluated them with real experts. I conclude by discussing some broader takeaways for crowdsourced investigations, sensemaking, and image analysis.

Participated in Return on Creativity panel

Dr. Luther joined Prof. Ben Knapp (VT Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology) and Ms. Natalie Hart (VT Advancement) for a panel titled, “Return on Creativity: From Creativity to Innovation.” The event was sponsored by Arlington Economic Development (AED) and held at the Virginia Tech Research Center-Arlington on April 4. The abstract for the panel was as follows:

For the past seven years, Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) has been pushing the envelope of creative exploration. Through partnerships with all the colleges at Virginia Tech, ICAT has assembled teams of scientists, engineers, artists, and designers to tackle some of the most complex innovation challenges that drive economic development. Join us to hear about the Creativity and Innovation District at Virginia Tech, ICAT’s role within it and the critical importance of human-centered design.