What is 'Seeing' amd How Come Computers Can't· Do lt While We Can


What is 'Seeing' amd How Come Computers Can't· Do lt While We Can


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This information was taken from the Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series Program 1989-1990).

David Mumford is the Higgins Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University. He was born in Sussex England, and received his B.A. from Harvard in 1957, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He completed his Ph.D. at Harvard in 1961.

After receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Mumford became an instructor and research fellow in mathematics at Harvard, and in 1962 he was made an assistant professor. During this time he was also a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo. In 1963 he became an associate professor at Harvard, and was made Full Professor in 1967. He became the Higgins Professor of Mathematics in 1977, and from 1981-84 served as chairman of the Department of Mathematics. Dr. Mumford has twice been a visiting professor at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay, India, and in 1976-77 was a visiting professor at the Institute des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques in Paris.

Dr. Mumford was a junior fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard while completing his post-graduate work there. In 1974 he was awarded teh Fields Medal by the International Congress of Mathematics, and in 1975 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He was made an honorary fellow of the Tata Institute for Fundamental Research in 1978, and was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Science by the University of Warwick in 1983. Dr. Mumford is currently a MacArthur Foundation Fellow. His published work includes Lectures on Curves and Surfaces (with G. Bergman, 1964), Abelian Varieties (1974), and Curves and Their Jacobians (1975). He is currently at work on a book entitled: An Atlas of Kleinian Groups, which will be published by the Cambridge University Press.

His Work: Dr. Mumford has been honored for his many important contributions to the field of algebraic geometry. In the past few years he has begun to study the complex mechanisms underlying avian and human visual perception.



Creation Date

October 14, 1989

What is 'Seeing' amd How Come Computers Can't· Do lt While We Can