Edward Riseman and Allen Hanson Scholarship established

Thanks to a generous initial contribution by Emeritus Professor Allen Hanson and his wife Joan, a new graduate student scholarship has been created to recognize the contributions of Emeritus Professors Edward Riseman and Hanson. Once endowed, the fund will provide an annual Edward Riseman and Allen Hanson Scholarship in Computer Science to a student pursuing a Ph.D. in computer science at UMass Amherst, with special consideration given to first-year students interested in computer vision research.

"The Riseman and Hanson Scholarship is a terrific tribute to two individuals who had a tremendous influence on the department," says CS Chair Lori Clarke.

Riseman and Hanson were pioneers in the field of computer vision, and they were instrumental in building the collaborative culture and fostering the creative research that define the UMass Amherst School of Computer Science today. "Ed and I had complementary talents and personalities that allowed us to work well together for over forty years," says Hanson.

Central to their impact on the research atmosphere of UMass Amherst CS was the successful Computer Vision Laboratory, which Riseman and Hanson established and co-directed. Their research broadened from an initial study of character recognition to a wide range of analysis and systems development in image understanding and visual information processing, including stereo and motion analysis; autonomous vehicle navigation; three-dimensional reconstruction; image databases, retrieval, and parallel processing; parallel architectures for computer vision; video mosaicking; and control issues in complex systems.

Addressing the need for practical applications in their work, Riseman and Hanson, along with student Tom Williams (Ph.D. '81), designed one of the first knowledge-based image understanding systems that handled complex natural images. Their other applications included photo interpretation of aerial im­ages with 3-D building and terrain reconstruction, biomedical image analysis, automated robotic manufacturing and assembly, real-time control of intel­ligent vehicles, face recognition, environmental monitoring, and development environments for vision research.

Both Hanson and Riseman were dedicated faculty as well as leading research scientists. They advised more than ninety Ph.D. students and guided a steady stream of post-docs, programmers, researchers, and M.S. and B.S. students.

After Riseman's retirement in 2003, the professors continued to collaborate, developing visual technology for marine biology and examining applications of technology for the elderly--two projects that Hanson has continued to work on since Riseman's death in 2007 and his own retirement in 2008.

To contribute to the fund for the Edward Riseman and Allen Hanson Scholarship in Computer Science at UMass Amherst, gifts may be made by contacting Jennifer Cooper at 413-545-2771 or jcooper@cns.umass.edu, by making a gift online at www.umass.edu/give, or by check made out to UMass Amherst with designation to the Riseman and Hanson Scholarship and mailed to the College of Natural Sciences, 740 Lederle Graduate Tower, UMass Amherst, 710 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01003.