Please join all of us at iDigBio in congratulating our 2013 Visiting Scholars Program recipient, Dr. Corey Toler-Franklin. Dr. Toler-Franklin is a University of California President's Postdoctoral Fellow in the Computer Science Department at UC Davis. She is also a researcher at the CITRIS Banatao Institute at UC Berkeley. Dr. Toler-Franklin earned her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Princeton University, and also holds a Master of Science degree in Computer Graphics and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University.
Dr. Toler-Franklin's research area is Computer Graphics, focusing on the development of new techniques for accurately digitizing and analyzing artifacts and natural history collections. Her research spans several fields of computer science including data capture, non-photorealistic rendering, and machine learning. Dr. Toler-Franklin's algorithms have been deployed at archaeological sites to help practitioners archive historic artifacts, examine fine details on the surface of biological specimens, and reassemble ancient frescoes. Her work has fostered international collaborations with researchers in the fields of paleontology, archaeology, museum conservation and biological imaging. At UC Davis, Dr. Toler-Franklin is collaborating with Computer Science Professor Nina Amenta to investigate new methods for capturing and processing digital media formats and imaging modalities to create more comprehensive representations of biological specimens. Dr. Toler-Franklin is focused on projects that will impact the biological sciences and permit scientific analysis of biological specimens by a far wider community of scholars and interested laypeople.
As part of her Visiting Scholar project, Dr. Toler-Franklin will spend three weeks at the American Museum of Natural History working with Eric Delson, Professor of Paleontology and Evolutionary Biology at Lehman College, CUNY. She will introduce non-invasive optical capture techniques originally developed in computer science research and adapted for art history (and archaeology) conservation and digital archiving to digitize recent and fossil primates in the AMNH Vertebrate Paleontology and Mammalogy collections. Thus, not only will she be collecting digital specimen data that can be made available to scholars and lay-persons alike, but she will also be generating more scientifically accurate datasets that will be useful to the broader bio-digitization community. Following her time at AMNH, she will travel to the Duke University Lemur Center in Durham, N.C., to continue her efforts in the Fossil Primates Division. In collaboration with Drs. Gregg Gunnell and Doug Boyer, she will continue to apply her digital capture methods and will also consider the different issues faced by larger (AMNH) vs. smaller (Duke) collections as regards digitization efforts and resources. Through her work at both institutions, Dr. Toler-Franklin's goal is to present new insights to the study of osteological specimens, while furthering efforts to make these rare collections available to both the scientific community and the general public.
As an ongoing part of the project, Dr. Toler-Franklin plans to present her research and findings in seminars at institutions including AMNH, CUNY, NYU and Duke. She also expects to publish on this research in fields that include Computer Science, Anthropology, and Vertebrate Paleontology. Lastly, Dr. Toler-Franklin plans to offer a workshop at the iDigBio Hub that will enable her to present results and lessons learned as well as introduce practitioners to her data capture methods.