Broad Area Colloquium For AI-Geometry-Graphics-Robotics-Vision

On Seeing Stuff: The Perception of Materials by Humans and Machines

Edward H. Adelson
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Monday, October 7, 2002, 4:15PM
TCSeq 200


The perception of objects is a well-developed field, but the perception of materials (the stuff of which objects are made) has been studied rather little. This is surprising given how important materials are for humans, and how important they must be for useful robots. Consider a domestic robot that encounters a white object on a countertop. It might be a pile of sugar, a crumpled napkin, or a dollop of cream cheese; each material must be recognized so that it can be properly handled. In studying material perception, we can take ideas from various areas in vision research, including lightness and texture perception. We can also learn from computer graphics, where the realistic rendering of materials is an important research topic. I will describe recent psychophysical and computational results that indicate some of the mechanisms that are used humans and could be used by machines.

About the Speaker

Edward H. Adelson is a Professor of Vision Science in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has a B.A. in Physics and Philosophy from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Michigan. His research is in the areas of human perception, machine vision, and image processing.

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