My PhD Journal

The unfinished symphony stuff...

After a long period of separation, in 2009, I've decided to return to my PhD studies. And after completing the last mandatory credits and the notorious qualification exam, I'm in the PhD thesis stage.

While I was in the struggle of the qualification exam, I thought that it was the bottleneck of the PhD process. Though the exam was ridiculously hard, now I discover that I'm in the uncharted territory. Finding a meaningful PhD thesis subject and working on it is extremely hard.

By this journal, I'll try to keep things in one place. Besides, the material I'll collect here, may be some helping hand to other researchers.

Age Estimation from Still Face Images

Age Estimation

from Still Face Images

Why do I Make Research on Age Estimation?

Burt Reynolds and Sally Field from the movie Smokey and the Bandit

Burt Reynolds and Sally Field

from the movie Smokey and the Bandit

When I re-started my PhD studies, I had the ambition for astronomy and space sciences. The plan was working on Pattern Recognition techniques applied on astronomy. After consulting with my professor Bulent Sankur, and also realizing that the field is not a very fertile ground for pattern recognition, I started looking for a new research field.

It was again the idea of Bulent Sankur that human age related studies may be a good idea to start. At first it didn't appeal me very much; not just because of the ironic situation that the "aging studies" would be held by the oldest PhD student in the neighborhood, but mainly because it was not as striking as astronomy.

I slept on the idea for a time. And one day, I watched Smokey and the Bandit and Smokey and the Bandit II (on the same night) again after 20 years. The second film was shot 4 years after the first one. While watching the films, I observed the eventual aging process of the actors and actresses. Might it be an interesting field?

At that night, after watching two films together, in my dream I saw Burt Reynolds and Sally Field and some other characters from the movie. I saw their faces changing with passing time, and again becoming younger, and then becoming old again. The last image from my dream was again the youthful face of Sally Field.

In the morning, I decided on two things:
1.The time passes too fast, so appreciate it genuinely (regardless of how old you are)
2.I would study on aging

Age Estimation by Using Still Face Images

Now I'm mainly concentrated on age estimation by using global features. The information that you may be interested is grouped in three sections:

1. Background information on Age Estimation
This page contains some background information on age estimation and a literature overview. Click here for details.

2. My approach for age estimation problem
This page contains my approach to the problem. Algorithms, some results, observations. Click here for details.

3. Hollywood Database
Now, I'm in the process of constructing a custom database for my researches. It's not yet complete but you can follow its progress. Click here for Hollywood database.


2009, JanStarting PhD
2009, MarStarted the courses EE572 and EE58A
2009, MayCompleting courses EE572 and EE58A
2010, JanFailed the Qualifying written exam
2010, MarWorkshop on Biometrics Related to Aging, Canterbury England
2010, MaySucceeded the Qualifying written exam
2010, JuneSucceeded the Qualifying oral exam - with the condition of taking another 2 courses
2010, OctStarted the courses EE573 and EE577
2011, JanCompleted the courses EE573 and EE577

  About Me
Bilgin Esme

My name is Bilgin Esme.

I'm running this site to share what I've learned from life and give as much contribution as possible.

Click here for more info : About Me

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