F803 Winter 2020 InSIGHT: What Artists, Infants, and Scientists Tell Us about Vision
Thursdays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 30–Feb. 20
Instructors: Catherine Weir, Jana Košecká
Understanding how human vision works is a fascinating challenge. Systematic research has been informed by the ways that artists, infants, and computers encode the visual world. Picasso and Matisse were adept at choosing which lines are critical to convey a recognizable object to viewers, sometimes with just a few strokes. Many artists can make the canvas, a two-dimensional surface, into a convincing 3-D image and even suggest motion, as Monet did when he painted a field of poppies. Young infants reveal an understanding of objects and where these are in their visual world. Computer vision techniques reveal methods our eyes and brain use when we see. The course will focus on these sources of information and how they can be used to build artificial vision systems.
Catherine Weir, an OLLI member, taught psychology for four decades at University College London and Colorado College, earning respectively a PhD and BA from these institutions. Most of her research focused on infant perception and cognition, and she co-authored a recent book Interpreting Visual Art (2017) that surveys psychological studies about pictures.
Jana Košecká is a professor at George Mason University in the computer science department. She has a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and studies how “seeing” computers engage in tasks by means of visual sensors and human-computer interactions.