Shree K. Nayar, the T. C. Chang Professor of Computer Science at Columbia Engineering, has been awarded the prestigious Okawa Prize from Japan’s Okawa Foundation for his decisive work on computer vision and computational imaging.
Nayar, who directs Columbia’s Computational Imaging and Vision Laboratory, is being recognised for “the invention of innovative imaging techniques and their widespread use in digital photography and computer vision.” The Computer Science Professor will receive the prize at a ceremony in Tokyo, Japan, in March 2023.
The Okawa Prize “is intended to pay tribute to and make public recognition of persons who have made outstanding contributions to the research, technological development, and business in the information and telecommunications fields, internationally.” Since 1996, the prize is given each year to one Japanese and one international researcher. The Japanese recipient of the 2022 prize is Dr. Chieko Asakawa, an IBM Fellow who is being recognised for her work on accessibility.
Nayar’s work has changed the way visual information is captured and used by machines and humans. In the mid-1990s, he pioneered the field of computational imaging, which combines unconventional optics with advanced image processing algorithms to produce immersive and interactive visual information. Based on this model, Nayar and his collaborators developed novel cameras for omni-directional imaging, depth imaging, giga-pixel imaging, and high-dynamic-range imaging.