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Velibor Adzic :: Blog

June 23, 2010

It's been a month since we came to Italy and city of Crema. First days were passing really slow, but last two weeks passed quickly.

Research is coming to the last phase. We spent first three weeks figuring out how to utilize OpenCV with it's limited capabilities (but good portability). Now we have some interesting tools at our disposal.

This Friday 25th (day after tomorrow),we will present our work to PhD students at University of Milan. Everybody in the group is excited to meet all those students (they said there will be more than 50). After we present our work, we will have our usual weekly meeting with host collaborators and then see some presentations by host students. A whole program is available at this page: 


Last weekend we decided to travel (despite the bad weather). We revisited Milan on Saturday, since there were some places we didn't visit last time and went to Venice on Sunday (that visit was planned for some time).

On the first eight pictures you can see some famous places in Milan - First one is Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, awhich leads to the Duomo square. On second and third picture is University of Milan (Universita degli Studi di Milano) main building (Although that is only one part of this very big University with various campuses across Milan and region). Fourth picture is the one of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Church that is more than 500 years old is not only famous religious site, but also a place where they keep "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci. Of course, in order to see it you have to reserve a ticket two weeks ahead - so we settled with visiting exhibition of da Vinci's hand drawings ( not that it was any less impressive!). After that we visited Castello Sforzesco - a very big castle with interesting complex inside. It is probably most visited attraction in the Milan (beside Duomo Cathedral). On the fifth picture you can see Arc of the Peace at Porta Sempione in the background (picture was taken from the castle, but in opposite direction). People that visited Paris say that this Arc is not smaller than famous Arc de Triomphe... After visiting all historical sites we decided to go to the "Temple of Soccer" - San Siro. To those of you who never watched soccer - that's stadium Giuseppe Meazza, shared by two of the best clubs from Italy and Europe - AC Milan and FC Internazionale (Inter). We were not able to go to the pitch, because some stage was disassembled at that time - but we had a privilege of visiting both locker rooms and best seats at the stands. On the last picture - Gelato! (what a surprise!)...but not the ordinary ice-cream - this one was the biggest ice-cream I ever saw in my life, let alone ate. And it was delicious as usual. After regaining energy and relaxing for couple of minutes we went back to our base camp - Crema.

Next day we had to get up at 5 AM to catch the train to Venice (via Milan). It was raining and we felt it's not going to be a pleasant sightseeing day. And it wasn't. The wind and heavy rain made impossible to enjoy Venice and all it has to offer. In the short periods when rain stopped we took some pictures (four of which I am posting - in the last row of pictures). We hope that we will revisit Venice too, since there is some music festival in the first weekend of July. Then I will make more detailed tour of Venice.


Keywords: Crema, FAU, Italy, Milano, Pire, Venice

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June 04, 2010

This week was busy. I had a meeting with my host collaborator Dr. Marco Anisetti. We exchanged ideas about what should be first step in a project. We concluded that, in order to analyze captured picture, we need to do edge detection. After that we will consider further steps needed for pattern matching.
I would like to say that our group is very fortunate to get a chance to collaborate with our hosts, all of whom are part of the CESAR Lab (http://ra.crema.unimi.it/). They are involved in some very interesting projects and I encourage anyone reading this blog to browse through their pages and to contact them.

Also, we started having regular weekly meetings. Today (Friday) we have a preliminary meeting that will serve as a setup for main meeting that we have next week on Wednesday.
Aside from research responsibilities at the University, past week was marked by our first "cultural weekend trip". We decided to go to Milano, as it was the least complicated trip option (only 2 train connections taking a little more than 1 hour to complete).
After arrival at the Milano station we walked through the station building and were impressed by the surrounding architecture. The station is very big building with a nice mix of modern technology present in form of large displays and classical architecture (the new station is more than a century old).
As we walked out, we were a little bit disappointed that it was raining outside. But, as the time passed by the weather improved. Although we knew that Milano has a very good metro system, we decided to walk because we wanted to see as much as we can in our first visit.
And we saw a lot! 
(I have to say that transportation system in Milano is great - you can travel around city in fancy trolley, by rented bicycle or on a tour bus -  as you can see on the pictures below). 
As I'm sure that we will go back to Milano in the next few weeks, I'll leave detailed writing about some of the famous sites for next blog entries. Here I'll just post some pictures that highlight our trip and, of course one picture of proper ice cream - also known as Gelato. After the exhausting trip there is nothing that can better relax and bring back energy than Gelato!

Keywords: Crema, Cultural Visit, Italy, Milano, PIRE, Weekly Report

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May 28, 2010

Greetings from Crema, Italy!

A plate with description of the city of Crema.Me and three of my colleagues and friends from FAU just settled in this city in northern Italy. The weather is sunny but cool, comes as a refreshment after hot days in Boca Raton. We traveled to Milano by plane, and then had a kind of adventure of traveling by metro - train - train to get to Crema. Our friends Fulvio and Stelvio from the host University of Milano were kind to pick us up from the train station. We already had arrangements for the apartment, so we settled in pretty quickly. Although the trip was long and exhausting we had to go around and see the center of the city. It's a beautiful old city, with churches in almost every street and a cathedral at the central square.

Since we arrived around 1 PM we were very hungry and didn't need an excuse to try famous Italian cuisine. Pasta and pizza were our choices for lunch - and I can tell you, the stories are true! Meal was great, but the meal wouldn't be complete if we hadn't tried exquisite gelato (excuse me, but you can not call it "ice cream"!).

There was a small disappointment in a fact that there is no Internet access in the apartment. Because of that we had to postpone our much needed sleep to go to the University building just to connect and inform everybody that we arrived and that everything is OK.

However we were eager to see the University, and first impression is that it's totally different than the campus concept we have in the USA (bare in mind that this is a small place, though).

Second day was a day off, so that we can adjust to time difference and rest from a long trip. We used it to relax and walk around. Third day we went to the University and started our work.

I have to say that the guys here are awesome. They are really pleasant and keen to help us with anything we need.

On Thursday (fourth day) we had a reception in a Municipality Chamber and a Press conference! We are already famous here :) Just take a look, we are today's top story: http://cremaonline.it/articolo.asp?ID=11039 (Don't mind the misspelled names).

At the reception we finally met our host advisor Prof. Ernesto Damiani. We were also introduced to some of the work that the students are doing at the University of Milano and it's pretty impressive.

At the bottom of my first post you can find photos of the apartment, city and university building. There are a couple of pictures from the reception, too.


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