Takeo Kanade to Receive the Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science
Takeo Kanade, Carnegie Mellon's U.A. and Helen Whitaker University Professor of Computer Science and Robotics, has been selected to receive one of the science world's most prestigious honors, the Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science. Presented by The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, the award recognizes Kanade's visionary leadership and scientific accomplishments in the design of perceptual robotic algorithms and systems that function in the physical world.
The Bower Award is more than an acknowledgment of a single groundbreaking project—it is a testament to a lifetime's worth of pioneering discovery and innovation. Under Kanade's direction, Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute was transformed from an emerging research center into a world-renowned technological institute. As current director of the Quality of Life Technology Engineering Research Center (QoLT), Kanade strives to enhance the lives of people with reduced functional capabilities due to aging or disability. The QoLT is a joint venture between Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh, and was established thanks to a $15 million grant from the National Science Foundation.
Kanade's career at Carnegie Mellon began in 1980 following a successful professorship at Kyoto University, Japan, where he received his doctoral degree in electrical engineering. After accepting the position of senior research scientist in the nascent Robotics Institute, Kanade began exploring the connection between computer vision, medical and assistive technologies, robotics, and the real world. His more recent contributions include 3D image overlay (to provide surgeons with an unimpeded view of the environment), computer-assisted medical instrument navigation (to help clinicians to precisely navigate various catheters inside human hearts), face detection software (to locate human faces in still photographs and video), non-invasive optical imaging in vivo for early detection and advanced diagnosis of cancer, "Virtualized Reality" (to construct views of real events from nearly any viewpoint), and HELI (a vision-guided autonomous helicopter, which can carry out functions applicable to search and rescue, surveillance, law enforcement, inspection, mapping, and aerial cinematography).
The applications of Kanade's work are endless—from less invasive, increasingly successful surgery to real-time face detection. In 2001, Virtualized Reality was used by CBS Television to develop "Eye-Vision" for Super Bowl XXXV. The technology allowed operators to reconstruct players' views of the field from almost any position through a series of remote cameras. Carnegie Mellon's corporate sponsors have also taken notice of his trendsetting research and its real-world applicability: since 1998, Kanade has managed over $12 million in sponsored research.
Kanade is an IEEE Fellow, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Association of Artificial Intelligence. He has received numerous career awards, including the Allen Newell Research Excellence Award, the Japan Society of Artificial Intelligence Career Accomplishment Award, the Japan Robot Association Award for Research and Development, and the C&C Award. He has published over 300 technical papers and holds more than 20 patents. Kanade celebrated his 60th birthday last year with a Carnegie Mellon symposium, TK60, that brought together some of the greatest minds in computer vision and robotics.
The Franklin Institute Awards identify individuals whose great innovation has benefited humanity, advanced science, launched new fields of inquiry, and deepened our understanding of the universe. The Bower Award and Prize will be presented to Kanade at a black-tie ceremony on April 17.