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A South African computer scientist and full Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, he was born in South Africa. His early work established a still widely used method for determining the true color of an object viewed under colored light and he invented and demonstrated a series of important methods for recognizing objects and activities in images in video. He is a major figure in the emerging field of human motion computing, which deals with both understanding and animating what people do. His research interest also includes graphics and machine learning; he served as a committee member of ICML in 2008. He holds B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Africa and M.A. and D.Phil. degrees from Oxford University. He was a full Professor at U.C. Berkeley, California before moving to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He co-authored, with UIUC CS Professor Jean Ponce, 2002's "Computer Vision: A Modern Approach"; one of the leading publications addressing the topic. He has published over 100 papers on computer vision, computer graphics and machine learning. He has received best paper awards at the International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV) and at the European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV). The (ICCV) is a research conference sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) held every other year. He served as program co-Chair for IEEE Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition in 2000. At the 2003 and 2005 Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), he and co-authors demonstrated the first robust, accurate human tracker that can consistently report the configuration of arms and legs that does not need to be started by hand. CVPR is an annual conference on computer vision and pattern recognition. At (SIGGRAPH 2002) they showed that motion capture data can be rearranged to produce highly realistic animations of unique human motions; and at (SIGGRAPH 2003) they demonstrated that close control of the nature of the motion was possible using annotations. SIGGRAPH is the premier international event on computer graphics and interactive techniques in Anaheim, California. He also served as general co-Chair for IEEE’s 2006 (CVPR). He was Program co-Chair for the 2008 European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV); a bi-annual research with the proceedings published by Springer Science+Business Media; and he was Program co-Chair for the 2011 IEEE CVPR. He was also General co-Chair for the 2015 IEEE CVPR. He is a regular member of the program committee of all major international conferences on computer vision. He served on the NRC Committee on "Protecting Kids from Pornography and other Inappropriate Material on the Internet", which sat for three years and produced a study widely praised for its sensible content. In 2005 he was awarded the IEEE Computer Society Technical Achievement Award, "For contributions to object recognition, tracking, and image-language analysis yielding deeper understanding of computer vision and its relationship to other disciplines". In 2013, he became a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). He is married to Margaret Fleck, who is also a professor at the University of Illinois, and has three children.
Noted For:Inventor of a series of important methods for recognizing objects and activities in images in video
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