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Edward Riseman (1943-2007)

in memoriam
Professor Emeritus


Edward M. Riseman, 64, professor emeritus of Computer Science, died Feb. 26, 2007 at his home in Leeds, Mass.

Born in Washington, D.C., he grew up in New York City. He received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Clarkson College of Technology in 1964 before enrolling at Cornell University, where he earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1966 and 1969, respectively.

He came to Amherst in 1969 as an assistant professor in the Computer and Information Science Department. He was promoted to associate professor in 1973 and professor in 1978. He was the chairman of the department from 1981-85, a period of explosive growth when the number of faculty grew from 13 to 25 and the graduate student population doubled from 100 to 200. During the same period, the department's external research funding grew from $1 million per year to $6 million annually.

A specialist in the area of computer vision, he was director of the department's Computer Vision Laboratory from 1978 until his death. He was the co-editor of "Computer Vision Systems," published by the Academic Press in 1978 and for many years the standard in the field. In 1989, the entire spring issue of the International Journal of Computer Vision was devoted to his research group.

He was the author of more than 100 articles, primarily on artificial intelligence. His other research interests included parallel programming and microcomputer communication systems for the severely handicapped.

He founded two start-up companies, VI Corp. (which later became Dataviews Corp.) and Amerinex Artificial Intelligence, Inc.

After retiring in 2003, he continued to be active in the department and was involved in several ongoing research projects.

During Homecoming in October 2007, he and his colleague, Allen Hanson, were honored by the department for their contributions to Computer Science and the field of computer vision.

He was an elected fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence and a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He was also a member of the Association for Computing Machinery and the Pattern Recognition Society.

He was awarded the Chancellor's Medal in 1990 as a Distinguished Faculty Lecturer and received a Conti Faculty Fellowship in 1998-99.

He leaves his mother, Matilda Birnbaum; a son, Seth Riseman, and a daughter, Sarah Riseman, a brother and sister, a grandson, Dae Orion Taylor; and many friends and colleagues.