Saturday, July 01, 2006

Bela Julesz

Not too long ago, I began pondering images containing random noise and the perception of order (1, 2, 3, 4). Yesterday, while perusing a Markov Chain Monte Carlo tutorial from ICCV05, I discovered a fellow named Bela Julesz was a pioneer in researching perception, texture and random patterns. In fact, Julesz invented the random dot stereogram. Here's a clip from another interesting article on Julesz at PubMed Central:

"Bela was a fount of ideas, each building on the prior's advance. His later passions were explorations of texture and attention, notably with Jonathan Victor and Dov Sagi. Bela's appealing hypothesis that textons (putative elements of textures) are represented at a cellular level is now questionable (Julesz et al. 1978). Bela was groping for an overarching computational theory for the representation of random geometry, but none was to be had. Nonetheless, the texton elements served useful duty in the demonstration that there were two stages to early vision—an effortless phase preceding attention and a guided identification phase (Sagi and Julesz 1985). Many contemporary laboratories examining vision, studying either perception or the activity of neurons, now incorporate designed, complicated, yet highly controlled stimuli that have evolved (knowingly or not) from Bela's original forays in the 1960s and 1970s. His continuing impact was recognized by his election to the National Academy of Science in 1987."


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