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

Michael J. Black

MPI-IS, Scientific Director

Visual Perception

Tandra Ghose’s research interests relate to human visual perception, for example mid-level vision, figure-ground organization, cue combination, and object recognition, among others. She is an adjunct researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, where she provides advice on the design of psychological experiments, and an assistant professor in the University of Kaiserslautern’s psychology department. She is head of the Psychology of Perception Lab, which investigates various aspects of depth perception, perceptual organization, and object perception. Current and former areas of study include processes that help recover a coherent scene despite spatio-temporal gaps in the input visual information, fingerprint recognition, and eye movements in the context of tasks such as reading and image processing. Read more

Tandra Ghose

Tandra Ghose

MPI-SWS, Adjunct Faculty

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

Katherine J. Kuchenbecker

MPI-IS, Scientific Director

Rationality Enhancement

Falk Lieder leads the Rationality Enhancement Group at the MPI for Intelligent Systems in Tübingen. Our mission is to lay the scientific and technological foundations for helping people thrive. To achieve this, our research focuses on three key aspects of human effectiveness: cognitive growth, goal setting, and goal achievement. Our approach combines computational modeling, behavioral experiments, artificial intelligence, and machine learning with developing practical tools and interventions. To promote cognitive growth, we investigate the mechanisms of metacognitive learning and translate the resulting insights into cognitive tutors that teach people optimal decision strategies, brain training programs for improving people’s executive functions, and reflective learning apps for self-improvement. Our research on goal-setting investigates what makes goals effective, builds computational models of optimal goal-setting, and develops intelligent apps that help people (learn to) set better goals. Our research on goal-achievement develops intelligent personal assistants and productivity apps that help people achieve their goals more effectively. Read more

Falk Lieder

Falk Lieder

MPI-IS, Research Group Leader

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

Karol Myszkowski

MPI-INF, Senior Researcher

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

Gerard Pons-Moll

MPI-INF, Senior Researcher

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

Bernt Schiele

Bernt Schiele

MPI-INF, Scientific Director

Computer Graphics

Hans-Peter Seidel directs the Computer Graphics Department at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, and is the Scientific Coordinator of the Cluster of Excellence on Multimodal Computing and Interaction. His research focuses on the development of new algorithms, closely meshing these with the capabilities of modern graphics hardware as well as a holistic view of the entire processing chain, from data acquisition and modeling through to image synthesis. This integrated view is now referred to as 3D image analysis and synthesis. Seidel has co-authored some 200 publications in the field, and more than 20 former members of his group have received offers for faculty positions at home or abroad. For his work, Seidel received the DFG Leibniz Prize in 2003 and the Eurographics Distinguished Career Award in 2012. Read more

Hans-Peter Seidel

Hans-Peter Seidel

MPI-INF, Scientific Director

Graphics, Vision and Video

Christian Theobalt is the head of the Graphics, Vision & Video research group at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, and a professor of computer science at Saarland University. He is also a Principal Investigator and member of the steering committee at the Intel Visual Computing Institute in Saarbrücken. The group’s research focuses on fundamental algorithmic problems that lie on the boundary between computer vision and computer graphics. Topics include free-viewpoint and 3D video, markerless optical motion capture, 3D image analysis and synthesis, image-based rendering, virtual and augmented reality, time-of-flight imaging, static and dynamic scene reconstruction, 3D computer vision, physically-based rendering, interaction, and machine learning for vision and graphics. Read more

Christian Theobalt

Christian Theobalt

MPI-INF, Senior Researcher

Research at Partner Universities