The Robotics Institute

RI | Seminar | Sept 28 2007

Robotics Institute Seminar, Sept 28, 2007
Time and Place | Seminar Abstract | Speaker Biography | Speaker Appointments

From Images to Insights



Wojciech Matusik

Senior Research Scientist

Adobe Systems Incorporated                        


Time and Place


Maudlin Auditorium (NSH 1305 )

Talk 3:30 pm



With the success of digital photography during the past few years we have witnessed a revolution in the way photographs and videos are captured and processed. Today, our ability to acquire images and video far outstrips our ability to make sense of that data. This is true not only in personal and commercial applications but also in the sciences, where huge amounts of image data are acquired from scanners, microscopes, telescopes, and various other instruments.

 We desperately need better abstractions that can improve our ability to gain insight from large collections of image data. I argue that proper data analysis can transform the data into a meaningful and perceptually intuitive representation. However, conceiving the right representation is not straightforward and it can benefit greatly from appropriate data visualization and human involvement. Fortunately, once the right abstraction is found it leads to a better and simpler acquisition method. To summarize, the whole process often involves a complex interplay among data acquisition, data visualization, and data representation.

In this talk I will discuss a number of data-driven hierarchical representations that tame the complexity of high-dimensional visual data. First, I will address the representation of spatially-varying appearance using a tree-structured factorization method and a new matrix decomposition algorithm. Then I will show how to generalize these ideas to decompose time-lapse video into simple and intuitive components that can be edited. Finally, I will discuss the MERL face-scanning project, where we collected a database of over 400 subjects with thousands of images each in order to build high-quality statistical models of human faces.

Speaker Biography


Wojciech is a senior research scientist at Adobe Systems. He received a B.S. in EECS from the University of California at Berkeley in 1997, M.S. in EECS from MIT in 2001, and Ph.D. in 2003. In 2004, he was named one of the world's top 100 young innovators by MIT's Technology Review Magazine. Wojciech's primary research lies in computer graphics, data-driven modeling, computational photography, and new display technologies.


Speaker Appointments


For appointments, please contact Peggy Martin (

The Robotics Institute is part of the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University.