Department of Engineering / News / Talk by Andrew Blake Honorary Professor in Information Engineering

Department of Engineering

Talk by Andrew Blake Honorary Professor in Information Engineering

Talk by Andrew Blake Honorary Professor in Information Engineering

Microsoft Research

Following the election of Andrew Blake to an Honorary Professorship in Information Engineering last year, Andrew will be giving a talk entitled "Markov Models in Computer Vision", at the Department of Engineering on Thursday 30th October 2008 in lecture room 0, Trumpington Street site, at 5pm. The event is free and open to the public, to attend please register by sending an email to Janet Milne:

There will be refreshments after the talk in lecture room 4 at 6pm, along with a display of posters from students describing current research at the Department in areas related to Andrew's talk.

Modern probabilistic modelling has revolutionized the design and implementation of machine vision systems. Systems are now being built that can see stereoscopically in depth, or separate foreground from background, or accurately pinpoint objects of a particular class, all in real time. Each of those three vision functionalities will be demonstrated in the lecture. The underlying methods owe a lot to advances in probabilistic inference. One particular probabilistic model, the Markov Random Field (MRF), borrowed originally from statistical physics, has staged a resounding comeback in the last decade, as the lecture will explain.

Professor Andrew Blake is a Senior Research Scientist, Microsoft Research Cambridge. He graduated in 1977 from Trinity College, Cambridge with a B.A. in Mathematics and Electrical Sciences. After a year as a Kennedy Scholar at MIT and two years in the defence electronics industry, he studied for a doctorate at the University of Edinburgh which was awarded in 1983. Until 1987 he was on the faculty of the department of Computer Science at the University of Edinburgh and a Royal Society Research Fellow. From 1987 to 1999, he has been on the faculty of the Department of Engineering Science in the University of Oxford, where he ran the Visual Dynamics Research Group, became a Professor in 1996, and and was a Royal Society Senior Research Fellow for 1998-9. In 1999 he moved to Microsoft Research Cambridge as Senior Research Scientist, leading the Vision Group. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1998, and Fellow of the Royal Society in 2005. In 2006 the Royal Academy of Engineering awarded him its Silver Medal.

His main research activities are in computer vision. He has published several books including "Visual Reconstruction" with A.Zisserman (MIT press), Active Vision with A. Yuille (MIT Press) and "Active Contours" with M. Isard (Springer-Verlag). He has twice won the prize of the European Conference on Computer Vision, with R. Cipolla in 1992 and with M. Isard in 1996, and was awarded the IEEE David Marr Prize (jointly with K. Toyama) in 2001. He has served as programme chairman for the International Conference on Computer Vision in 1995 and 1999, and is on the editorial boards of the journals "Image and Vision Computing", the "International Journal of Computer Vision" and "Computer Vision and Image Understanding". Current research spans image interaction, stereo vision and motion tracking.

Detailed accounts are available from publication lists, both newer papers from Microsoft Research and older papers from  Oxford University. Recent research work with colleagues at Microsoft Research has been written up in the BBC's Science and Technology  section.

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