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Takeo Kanade

Honored with Bower Award


Takeo Kanade, who is Carnegie Mellon's U.A. and Helen Whitaker University Professor of Computer Science and Robotics, is being honored for his visionary leadership and scientific accomplishments.

Kanade was recently granted the 2008 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science from the historic Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

The Bower Prize is the newest award at The Franklin Institute, which has honored the pioneers in science, technology and engineering for nearly two centuries. For the past 184 years, The Franklin Institute has recognized individuals whose great innovation has benefited humanity, advanced science, launched new fields of inquiry and deepened our understanding of the universe.

The list of Franklin Institute laureates includes such 19th and 20th century luminaries as Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.

"Takeo Kanade is one of Carnegie Mellon's treasures," said Carnegie Mellon President Jared L. Cohon. "Starting with his early work on automated face recognition, his brilliant research in computer vision has been the foundation for an ever widening range of applications and new research directions — from the basic algorithms used in MPEG and other video technologies from which we benefit everyday, to enabling robots to see, and advances in medicine and robotic surgery as well as improving the productivity of industry."

Cohon added, "Now he is using his expertise to improve the quality of life of aging Americans and people with disabilities, which eventually could have an impact on all of us."

The Bower Award and Prize, which includes a gold medal and a cash prize of $250,000, is among the richest awards for scientific achievement in the world. It was established in 1988 with a bequest from Henry Bower, a Philadelphia chemical manufacturer who also endowed an award for business leadership.

Kanade spent 10 years as director of Carnegie Mellon's world-renowned Robotics Institute, and is currently director of the National Science Foundation Quality of Life Technology Center, which was established in 2006. In addition, he is the founding director of the Digital Human Research Center in Tokyo, which aims to measure and model human functions for use in designing human-centered systems.

Kanade's research breakthroughs began with his doctoral thesis, when he developed the first complete system for face recognition by computers. Since then, he has continued to explore the science of computer vision, including the physical, geometrical, optical and statistical process involved in vision, and translated them into mathematical models.

He co-developed the world's first direct-drive robot arm, which is used by several robot manufacturers and is recognized as one of the most advanced robot arm technologies. He also has made significant strides in visual media technology, particularly through his work in what he calls "virtualized reality," which gives viewers a 360-degree view of a scene. Part of this technology — known as "EyeVision" — was used by CBS-TV during the replays in Super Bowl XXXV in 2001.

For more about The Franklin Institute and its awards program, see:

Related Links: Watch the Video  |  School of Computer Science  |  Robotics Institute  |  Quality of Life Technology

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