Sunday, July 24, 2011

CMU Robotics Instititue's vision finds a home at Google

Congratulations to PittPatt for their recent acquisition by Google.  PittPatt, a Pittsburgh-based startup, has its roots in CMU's Robotics Institute (where I'm currently a PhD student).  Henry Schneiderman, the CEO of PittPatt, did some truly hardcore computer vision work while doing his PhD under Takeo Kanade.

Two famous papers by Hendry Schneiderman and Takeo Kanade are the following:
H. Schneiderman, T. Kanade. "A Statistical Method for 3D Object Detection Applied to Faces and Cars". IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR 2000) pdf format

H. Schneiderman, T. Kanade. "Probabilistic Modeling of Local Appearance and Spatial Relationships for Object Recognition." IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR 1998). pdf format

Here is what the front page of PittPatt states:

Joining Google is the next thrilling step in a journey that began with research at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute in the 1990s and continued with the launching of Pittsburgh Pattern Recognition (PittPatt) in 2004. We've worked hard to advance the research and technology in many important ways and have seen our technology come to life in some very interesting products. At Google, computer vision technology is already at the core of many existing products (such as Image Search, YouTube, Picasa, and Goggles), so it's a natural fit to join Google and bring the benefits of our research and technology to a wider audience. We will continue to tap the potential of computer vision in applications that range from simple photo organization to complex video and mobile applications.
We look forward to joining the team at Google!
The team at Pittsburgh Pattern Recognition

Perhaps Henry's success is yet another reason to come to CMU to get a vision PhD...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

vampiric professors vs. industry-leading werewolves

"Vampires need blood from human donors. Professors need publications, which they extract from their grad students." - Peter Tu
Photo courtesy of

I wanted to share with everybody a short article by Peter Tu of GE Research (and a Computer Vision hacker) in which he compares Professors to Vampires and Industry Researchers to Werewolves.  If you are in the mood for a witty and insightful read, check this out:

Thursday, July 07, 2011

David Weinberger: Reading Aristotle

Here are some quotes from David Weinberger's Reading Aristotle -- a short article on KMWorld from 2004.

"After all, the music of Aristotle's thought comes from his assumption that the principles of knowledge are the same as the principles of the universe. The categories are not "mere" categories of thought for him. They are also the way the cosmos is arranged. If the order of knowledge and the order of the world are not the same, reasoned Aristotle, then knowledge isn't possible. Knowledge is only possible if the universe is ordered in knowable ways."

"a world apart from the categories of understanding would be by definition unknowable"

Weinberger's ideas are very relevant to my thesis on the Visual Memex and his writings have been a great influence on me. I've recently been on a bit of a Weinberger-reading/listening-binge after I found some of his lectures as Podcasts!


David Weinberger is the author of Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder. The book's accompanying blog can be found here: