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Ruth Rosenholtz

Principal Research Scientist

Ruth Rosenholtz

The principle of science, the definition, almost, is the following: The test of all knowledge is experiment. Experiment is the sole judge of scientific “truth.” But what is the source of knowledge? Where do the laws that are to be tested come from? Experiment, itself, helps to produce these laws, in the sense that it gives us hints. But also needed is imagination to create from these hints the great generalizations—to guess at the wonderful, simple, but very strange patterns beneath them all, and then to experiment to check again whether we have made the right guess.

Richard Phillips Feynman, The Feynman Lectures on Physics (1963)

Past and Present Research Focus

    • Does the visual system collect summary statistics in early vision?
    • A model of peripheral vision
    • Predicting recognition in the periphery
    • Predicting visual search performance
    • Predicting perception of visual illusions
    • Shape-from-texture
    • Models for texture segmentation.
    • Segmenting images into textured and non-textured regions.
    • Visual search in cluttered environments – what is clutter?
    • Models for visual search and “popout.”
    • “Asymmetries” in visual search
    • Effects of background color on color search
  • Perceptually-based image compression and image quality
    • Reducing blocking effects in block transform coded images.
    • Perceptually based coding of still images.

Biographical Information

  • B.S. in Engineering, Swarthmore College, 1988. Senior design project: “Computer recognition of facial features.” Advisor: Stephen Platt.
  • M.S. in Electrical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 1991. Thesis: “Iterative procedures for reduction of blocking effects in transform image coding.” Advisor: Avideh Zakhor.
  • Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 1994. Thesis: “Local shape from texture.” Advisor: Jitendra Malik.
  • Eliahu Jury Award for excellence in control, systems, and signal processing research, University of California, Berkeley, 1995.
  • Post-doc, Helmholtz Institute, Utrecht University, the Netherlands, 1995. Work on recovery of structure and reflectance from image sequences of moving objects. Mentor: Jan J. Koenderink.
  • NRC Associate, NASA Ames, 1996. Work on perceptually-based coding of images. Mentor: Andrew B. Watson.
  • Member of research staff, Xerox PARC, 1997 to 2001.
  • Area manager, Image Components & Services, Palo Alto Research Center, 2001-2003.
  • Principal Research Scientist, Department of Brain and Cognitive Science at MIT, August 2003 to present.

My students and collaborators

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