Computer Graphics, Computer Vision, and HCI

Visual computing and HCI are wide-ranging fields, encompassing such topics as computer graphics, image processing, display and user interface design, computer vision, and scene understanding. This research can help machines to perceive and understand their environment, on the one hand, and to present information to and interact with users on the other.

Groups and Researchers in this Field

Perceiving Systems

Michael J. Black is one of the founding directors of the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, where he leads the Perceiving Systems Department. His research addresses a variety of topics relating to computer vision and perception: the statistics of natural scenes and their motion; articulated human motion pose estimation and tracking; the estimation of human body shape from images and video; the representation and detection of motion discontinuities; and the estimation of optical flow. His early work on optical flow has been widely used in Hollywood films. He also does research on neural engineering for brain-machine interfaces and neural prostheses. He is an honorary professor at the University of Tübingen, visiting professor at ETH Zürich, and adjunct professor (research) at Brown University. Read more

Michael J. Black

MPI-IS, Scientific Director
Personal Website

Haptic Intelligence

Katherine Kuchenbecker is a director at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, where she leads the Haptic Intelligence Department, which seeks to endow robots with astute haptic perception and invent methods for delivering realistic haptic feedback to users of telerobotic and virtual reality systems. Dr. Kuchenbecker’s research addresses the sensing, understanding, and display of tactile information for robots, teleoperation, and innovative interfaces. Her work combines inspiration from neuroscience with novel materials, machine learning, and robotic systems to uncover the principles that are central for haptic perception. Read more

Katherine J. Kuchenbecker

MPI-IS, Scientific Director
Personal Website

High Dynamic Range Imaging

Karol Myszkowski leads the High Dynamic Range Imaging group in the Computer Graphics Department at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics. The common denominator in all research efforts conducted by the group is the advancement of knowledge on image perception and development of imaging algorithms with embedded computational models of the human visual system. In this way, both computational performance and perceived image quality can be significantly improved. Two areas the group studies are stereoscopic 3D and image quality metrics, often considering perceptual effects—which we can experience but not measure physically—rather than physical effects. In particular, the group aims to exploit perceptual effects as a means to overcome physical limitations of display devices and to enhance apparent image quality. Read more

Karol Myszkowski

MPI-INF, Senior Researcher
Personal Website

Real Virtual Humans

Gerard Pons-Moll is the head of the Emmy Noether independent research group "Real Virtual Humans" and senior researcher at the Max Planck for Informatics (MPII) in Saarbrücken. His research lies at the intersection of computer vision, machine learning and computer graphics -- with special focus on analyzing people in videos, and creating virtual human models by "looking" at real ones. His research has produced some of the most advanced statistical human body models of pose, shape, soft-tissue and clothing, as well as algorithms to track and reconstruct 3D people models from images, video, depth, and IMUs. His work has received several awards including the prestigious Emmy Noether Grant (2018), a Google Faculty Research Award (2019), a Facebook Reality Labs Faculty Award (2018), and recently the German Pattern Recognition Award (2019), and several best paper awards. Read more

Gerard Pons-Moll

MPI-INF, Senior Researcher
Personal Website

Humans & Machines

Iyad Rahwan is a scientific director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, where he leads the Center for Humans & Machines. He is also an honorary professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Technical University of Berlin. Previously, he was an Associate Professor of Media Arts & Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Rahwan's work lies at the intersection of computer science and human behavior, with a focus on the impact of Artificial Intelligence on society. His work appeared in major academic journals, including Science and Nature. Read more

Iyad Rahwan

MPI for Human Development, Scientific Director
Personal Website

Computer Vision

Bernt Schiele is the founder of the Computer Vision and Multimodal Computing Department at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, and head of its Computer Vision research area. His group focuses on multimodal sensor processing as well as computer vision. In computer vision, they consider problems of 3D understanding of images and video, such as object class recognition, people detection and tracking, and understanding traffic scenes. In multimodal computing, they are focusing on human activity recognition as a means to study how ubiquitous or wearable computing may benefit from better sensor understanding. Their research also involves machine learning, which is instrumental to inferring higher-level information from noisy sensor data and handling large-scale multimodal databases and sensor streams. Read more