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Introduction to Computer Vision

A BRICS Mini-Course
August 19 and 20, 1999

Lectures by
John Hallam,
Artificial Intelligence, Division of Informatics, The University of Edinburgh

Course Contents

This course will introduce the field of computer vision, both from the scientific (modelling) and engineering viewpoints. We will cover basic terminology, some image processing, methodology for vision, and the processes that recover geometric information from stereoscopic views and from image motion. The material assumes knowledge of geometry, vector and matrix operations, and some fourier theory, though there will be time to introduce the mathematics when necessary.

About the Lecturer

John Hallam is a senior lecturer (= senior tenured academic) in the Division of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, and co-director of the mobile robotics research group there. His principal research interests are in robotics - specifically, the use of robotics for understanding the mechanisms of perception and action in animals, the use of learning and evolutionary techniques in robot design and construction, and long-term autonomy in robot systems - but for many years he taught computer vision at MSc level, and still uses the techniques occasionally in his robotics work. Examples of the work of the group can be found at


Thursday August 19, 1999, 13:15-15:00 in Auditorium D4

Basic terminology, the physics of imaging, comparison of eyes and cameras, structure of images, some vision methodology.

Friday August 20, 1999, 10:15-12:00 in Auditorium D4

Processing images - filters, fourier analysis, local and global properties, features...

Friday August 20, 1999, 13:15-15:00 in Auditorium D4

Stereo and optical flow, correspondence problem and ways to solve or avoid it, image tracking techniques.


Introduction to Computer Vision by Dana Ballard and Chris Brown gives an excellenta coverage of technical material in an accessible way. It's a good reference book for the library, only worth buying personally if you are seriously going to work in vision.