Prof. Nayar Elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences
Computer Science Professor Shree K. Nayar has been elected to an elite group of accomplished world leaders from academia, business, the humanities, and the arts.
As the T.C. Chang Professor and chairman of Computer Science, co-director of Columbia Vision and Graphics Center and head of the Computer Vision Laboratory, Nayar can now claim membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS).
“I feel greatly honored to be included among such an august group of individuals from the sciences, the humanities, and the arts,” Nayar says. “It is a particular thrill for me to be in the same entering class as Bob Dylan, of whom I have been a fan from my college days. I am hoping my chances of getting his autograph have just gone up.”
Nayar is among this year’s 212 new members who join one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies and a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to Academy studies of science and technology policy, global security, social policy and American institutions, the humanities, and education.
Professor Alfred Aho, Nayar’s Columbia Engineering colleague and a fellow AAAS member, was delighted to share the news of Nayar’s election with the department. He says Nayar is internationally known for his pioneering research into novel digital cameras, physics based models for vision, and algorithms for scene understanding.
“Shree’s work has had significant impact on the practice of digital imaging, computer graphics, and robotics,” Aho says, “and he recently launched an effort to create an inexpensive educational camera kit, called BigShot, that can be distributed to children around the world to learn about science, art, and culture.”
“Shree’s interests make him a Renaissance man,” said Columbia Engineering Dean Feniosky Peña-Mora. “It is fitting that he has been elected into such an esteemed academy whose members represent the full range of human intellectual endeavors. We are all proud of his accomplishment.”
The AAAS was founded in 1780, to “cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people.” Among the Academy’s founders are Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington. Its current members include many of the nation's most prominent computer scientists, more than 250 Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners, as well as Columbia University President Lee Bollinger.
This year’s elected class includes astronomer Paul Butler, discoverer of over 330 planets; cancer researcher Clara Bloomfield, who proved that adult acute leukemia can be cured; David Page, whose genome sequencing work has advanced understanding of human reproduction; former Congressional Budget Office Director Robert Reischauer; University of Cambridge classicist Mary Beard; Nobel laureate writer Mario Vargas Llosa; actors Daniel Day-Lewis, Helen Mirren and Sam Waterston; singer-songwriter Paul Simon; jazz icon Dave Brubeck; and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns.
Posted:Apr 25 2011