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June 23, 2003

Computer vision experts gather at UCSC

By Tim Stephens

Computer vision researchers from industry and academia came together at UCSC this month for the 2003 Bay Area Vision Meeting. The meeting, held on June 11, was organized by Roberto Manduchi and Hai Tao, both assistant professors of computer engineering who are involved in computer vision research.

Photo of an eye

"It started as a branch of artificial intelligence, and it turned out to be a multifaceted and complex issue."

--Roberto Manduchi

Image courtesy of R. Manduchi

The field of computer vision aims to mimic human vision through automated analysis of images and video, using the output from a camera to recognize people and objects and track moving things.

Computer vision has applications in robotics, surveillance, remote sensing of the environment, and computer graphics.

"It started as a branch of artificial intelligence, and it turned out to be a multifaceted and complex issue," Manduchi said.

Jitendra Malik, the Arthur J. Chick Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UC Berkeley, began the meeting with an overview of the development of the field over the past 40 years and the current challenges facing researchers. He estimated that it would take scientists another 40 years to work out the major unsolved problems in the field.

"Vision is the result of billions of years of evolution, so we should expect it to take us some time to work it out," Malik said.

The daylong meeting included presentations by researchers from Honda Research Institute, HP Labs, IBM-Almaden Research Center, NEC Laboratories, and other industry research labs, as well as from NASA-Ames Research Center, UC Berkeley, and Washington University. Manduchi and Tao presented their recent work, as did Peyman Milanfar, an associate professor of electrical engineering who is also doing research in computer vision.

"It was the first meeting of this kind at UCSC," Manduchi said. "Mostly the aim is to familiarize all the people in the Bay Area who are working in the same field, and also to create connections between UC and industry researchers."

The meeting was sponsored by the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), UCSC's Information Technologies Institute, and the Department of Computer Engineering. UCSC is a partner in CITRIS, which is based at UC Berkeley.

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