If you are interested in object recognition then you must check out the ICCV 2005 short course on Recognizing and Learning Object Categories.
From the link:
This course reviews current methods for object category recognition, dividing them into four main areas: bag of words models; parts and structure models; discriminative methods and combined recognition and segmentation. The emphasis will be on the important general concepts rather than in depth coverage of contemporary papers. The course is accompanied by extensive Matlab demos.