FACES Awarded $60,000 Grant by NEH

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded researchers at UCR a $60,000 grant to continue their development of face-recognition software to help identify unknown subjects of portrait art.

A $25,000 grant in 2012 allowed the research team — Conrad Rudolph, professor of art history; Amit Roy-Chowdhury, professor of electrical engineering; and Jeanette Kohl, associate professor of art history — to begin establishing general parameters of the technology to recognize faces in portrait art. In one example of their success, the software was  able  to recognize two three-dimensional portraits of the same individual, a death mask and bust of 15th century Italian statesman Lorenzo de’ Medici.

In the second phase of the project, “FACES: Faces, Art, and Computerized Evaluation Systems,” the researchers will build on their initial successes to study the applicability of automated face-recognition technologies for analyzing portraits under different paradigms, including artist and period styles. They also will continue development of an algorithm robust enough to deal with the problems of angle views, aging and personal artistic style that it can determine the likelihood of a probable match.

John Martin Fischer Awarded an Additional $100,000 for Immortality Research

The John Templeton Foundation has awarded UCR philosophy professor John Martin Fischer an additional $100,000 to support research on issues related to immortality.

This latest grant will fund four graduate fellowships at UCR — two each for the next two academic years — for immortality studies, and a weeklong workshop for young scholars from around the world prior to the June 2015 capstone conference for The Immortality Project.

“We are very excited about this supplementary grant,” Fischer said.  “We are grateful both to the John Templeton Foundation and also to UCR for providing additional support that will allow us to provide the four graduate fellowships.  Specifically, the dean of the Graduate Division, Joseph Childers, has been very generous in providing additional financial resources.”

The Immortality Project was established at UCR in 2012 with a $5 million, three-year grant from the John Templeton Foundation to undertake a rigorous examination of a wide range of issues related to immortality. Fischer, a distinguished professor of philosophy who is widely regarded as the world’s leading philosopher on free will, is the project’s principal investigator.

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