Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Poem commemorating 25 years of SPIE Human Vision and Electronic Imaging

Last week I attended the 25th anniversary SPIE conference on Human Vision and Electronic Imaging (HVEI), chaired or co-chaired all this time by Bernice Rogowitz. Rather than give a theme paper, I opted to read the following poem at the banquet. Some have told me it might have more general appeal, so I post it here. (The answer to the cryptogram will appear in the next post.)

HVEI at 25

At 25 a backward look
Of HVEI undertook
Some witnesses and workers to
Prepare a retrospective through
Theme papers, strong, heroic and
A poem long as you can stand.

At year one we had elements
Of vision model elegance
And spatio-tempo-color dance
And tasks that put us in a trance.
I think the dance steps weren’t aligned---
We needed Arthur Murray’s kind.

Some years went by; we marched ahead
Leaving behind us in our stead
Cosines, Gabors, and patterns square,
Our tracks too faint to follow there.
At year ten it was time to rest
And say with one voice which way’s best.
With all one voice? You speak in jest.
And then along came ModelFest.

To tariff TV quality
VQEG took no holiday.
I think they’re speaking to this day;
Perhaps they’ll come to San Jose,
 Rate reference-free mosquito noise.
(Oops. It’s Burlingame now, guys.)

More years, and HVEI grew
And with it applications flew.
Coded images subtract
Each blur-, block-, fuzzy artifact,
While letting through a gentle “Hark!
You’re pirating my watermark!”
Salience maps and known eye motion
Might guide our plane across the ocean.
Safety, fun, and self-reliance
Promised by the vision science.

Finally at 25
We made our models more alive
In  human-vision camera bots
That see dim blurs instead of dots.
More camera bots are now prepared
To see your insides---are you scared?
The doctors in an instant know
By shades of green your entrails glow.
Plenoptic cameras let a sot
Be Ansel Adams—who’d-a-thot?
And Tangi-books will let you play
With lights and fingerpainting.  Hey!
The 3D TVs now abound
With headaches part of sensurround.
(They toasted 3D’s job as done,
Said buy one and enjoy the fun.)

In such a world can there be more
For HVEI to explore?
I’ll guess there’s room for knowledge new,
And surely Bernice thinks so too.

     Michael H. Brill