Dr. Katsushi Ikeuchi graduated from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Kyoto University in 1973, completed a Doctoral course in Information Engineering at the Graduate School of Engineering, the University of Tokyo in 1978, and joined the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States as a postdoctoral fellow in the same year. After that, he has been a researcher and then a senior researcher at the Electrotechnical Laboratory, Ministry of International Trade and Industry, from 1980, an associate research professor and then a research professor at the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Melon University from 1986, and then a professor at the Institute of Industrial Science, the University of Tokyo from 1996. He has been active as a senior researcher at Microsoft Research Asia (Beijing) and a senior principal research manager at Redmond Headquarters since 2015.
He has been deeply exploring basic theories such as brightness analysis in the field of computer vision, which enables computers to recognize and understand the external world through images. In particular, the solution called smoothness constraint, which he devised for the indefiniteness of the problem of Shape from Shading that estimates the surface shape from the shadow of an object, is also used in many analyzes, including motion analysis. This has become one of the standards for solving problems in computer vision. The original paper published in the International Journal of Artificial Intelligence, which described the smoothness constraint for the first time in the world, was selected as one of the most influential papers in the last decade.
Furthermore, he proposed a framework for the work of task models in the field of robotics. For various tasks and movements such as assembling two cubes, assembling polyhedra, assembling machine parts, stringing work, and dancing as a whole-body movement, he has realized a human behavior observation learning robot that can acquire necessary movements by observing human behavior.
In addition, he has made remarkable achievements in digital preservation technology for cultural heritage that makes full use of computer vision techniques and has realized the digitization of many large-scale cultural heritage sites such as the Great Buddha of Nara and Kamakura, the Decorated Kofun of Kyushu, and the Angkor ruins of Cambodia. These digital models have been used in the opening scenes of NHK historical drama series, as illustrations in high school and junior high school history textbooks, and as exhibits at the Tokyo National Museum and the Kyushu National Museum, and the Kyushu Kofun data was also used for restoration after the Kumamoto earthquake. Together with the modeling and analysis of dance by a human behavior observation learning robot, the digital preservation technology for cultural heritage that he has developed played an indispensable role in creating the research field of literary fusion called e-Heritage, which digitally preserves, utilizes, and analyzes tangible and intangible cultural heritage.
For his achievements, he has received numerous awards, including the Medal with the Purple Ribbon, IEICE Distinguished Achievement and Contributions Award, IEICE Achievement Award, the Okawa Prize, FUNAI Achievement Award, Institute of Electronics, Information Processing Society of Japan Contribution Award, IEEE PAMI Distinguished Researcher Award, IEEE PAMI Marr Prize, and IEEE RAS KS-Fu Memorial Best Transaction Paper Award. In addition, as Vice President of the Information and Systems Society of the IEICE, Vice President of the International Association for Pattern Recognition (IAPR), and President of the Asian Federation of Computer Vision (AFCV), he has contributed to the development of academic societies at home and abroad and has held many important positions, including members of the Science Council of Japan and vice president of ITS Japan.
As mentioned above, Dr. Ikeuchi’s contributions to the development of the field of electronic information and communication engineering and the creation of new academic fields have been outstanding. We recommend Dr. Ikeuchi as an Honorary Member of the IEICE.