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2017 CG Achievement Award: Ramesh Raskar

Ramesh RaskarSource: SIGGRAPH 2017 Citation

ACM SIGGRAPH is delighted to present the 2017 Computer Graphics Achievement Award to Ramesh Raskar in recognition of his pioneering contributions to the fields of computational photography and light transport and for applying these technologies for social impact.

Ramesh is currently an Associate Professor at the MIT Media Lab. He is also conducting special projects at Facebook. He received his PhD from UNC, Chapel Hill in 2002, and conducted research at the Mitsubishi Electric Research Lab until 2008 when he joined MIT.

Ramesh has made many seminal research contributions in computational imaging over the past two decades, with work spanning a wide range of problems including transient imaging, light-field displays, and augmented reality. Ramesh and colleagues have pioneered new techniques in constructing light-field displays that exhibit three-dimensional graphics without requiring the viewer to wear special glasses. This method can also be adapted to mobile displays such as cell-phones. One application of mobile light field display on phones is a low-cost technique to measure human refractive error and prescribe eyeglasses. This is especially useful in places where specialized equipment for measuring refractive error is too expensive and thus inaccessible to the local population. These inventions led to the EyeNetra and EyeCatra projects to provide eyeglass prescriptions and cataract diagnoses for the underserved.

Ramesh and colleagues recently developed an approach to capture the movement of light in extreme slow motion as it travels through participating media. This method, called "transient imaging," allows us to actually see light move. The technique uses femtosecond lasers and streak cameras to observe a slice of visual information at a particular instant in time; repeated sampling is then used to assemble an entire video. The same technique can be used to see around corners by assembling images from very short bursts of light that is inter-reflected back to a sensor.

Ramesh has made significant contributions in a number of other areas, including projector-based augmented reality, non-photorealistic rendering, motion deblurring, and visual markers for augmented reality. He also initiated a session on "SIGGRAPH Next" at ACM SIGGRAPH 2015 to foster more graphics research for impact.

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