ICG/Institute/History

HISTORY

Of the Institute

With Some Observations on Computer Vision & Computer Graphics

Franz Leberl, Professor Emeritus


WELCOME

The Institute's history was compiled at the time of its 20th anniversary in 2012. A few edits followed since then. Buried in the detail are a few milestones worth highlighting:

  • Our evolution towards Visual Computing.
  • The institute's involvement in the creation of the study programs for Software Engineering and Management as well as Informatics / Computer Science.
  • Our 2 START awardees, the 3 promotions under the auspices of the President of the Republic, our entrepreneurs and Horst Bischof serving as our University’s Vice-President for Research.
  • The growth from a single 1992-professorship to a total of 7 professors by 2020, a most remarkable reflection of the growing importance of the field of visual computing.

FROM 1811 TO 1992: RUN-UP TO A NEW INSTITUTE

1811

Graz University of Technology started in 1811 as a polytechnical institute. Classes kicked off in December with Lorenz von Vest as  professor of Chemistry and Botany. The School was sponsored and presided by Archduke John. It was thererfore called "Joanneum". Over a few decades, all the then-typical technical academic disciplines had been developed: Architecture | Civil Engineering | Mechanical Engineering | Physics | Chemistry | Surveying.

1977

Computer Science is the most recent academic endeavor to be included in the University’s offerings. The Institute for Numerical Mathematics had been offering classes in computing to students of Applied Mathematics since the late 1960’s. A new institute was dedicated to Information Processing with the 1977-arrival of Prof. Hermann Maurer.  It was an extension of the team in Applied Mathematics within the School of Applied Science [Technisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät].

1985

The University’s degree programs did not include computer science. Efforts in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s to establish Computer Science failed. Then, universities in Austria were subordinated agencies of the Ministry of Science, centrally managed by Ministry staff in Vienna. In their view, Computer Science programs should be limited to Vienna and Linz. Therefore, Graz defined a novel alternative program entitled “Telematics” -- combining Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Ministry staff considered this to be sufficiently different from Computer Science and approved the program for a 1985-kick-off. 

1992

Telematics was a roaring success with high enrollment numbers. More professors were needed.  Ministerial approval was achieved for the creation of three new professorships and associated institutes. One was the Institute for Computer Graphics and Vision. 

THE INSTITUTE’S INCEPTION

FROM PROFESSORSHIP TO INSTITUTE

One new professorship was to address Computer-Aided Design [CAD]. The position was assigned to the Institute for Geometry within Applied Mathematics. However, the 1988-candidate-search was broadened to “Computer-Aided Geometry and Graphics”. The competition was won by Franz Leberl. As was typical at that time, an 1989-negotiation was at the Viennese Ministry, not at the University. This resulted in the agreement that Franz Leberl start on 1st of October 1992, and that a new Institute would then be approved.  During the 3 intervening years until 1992, the Ministry funded visiting professors to bridge the transition to the dedicated new professorship.

KICK-OFF

ORGANIZATION

1-Oct-1992 saw a new Institute for “Computerunterstützte Geometrie und Grafik” within the School of Applied Science at Graz University of Technology. This was translated into  “Institute for Computer Graphics and Vision” and thereby broadened that focus to "vision".

KICK-OFF DAY

1-Oct-1992 was a Thursday and the inaugural day of the new professor. A 3-hour class on Computer Graphics was attended by ~ 300 students of Telematics and of Applied Mathematics with a specialization in "Information Processing". 

STAFFING AND EQUIPMENT BUDGET

The 1989-negotiation with Ministry staff in Vienna had resulted in an exceptional budget for 4 University Assistants, 1 administrator and 1 engineer, and equipment worth € 0.9 million.

THE INITIAL TEAM

By the 1st of January 1993 all 6 positions were filled with 3 recent graduates of Telematics (Konrad Karner, Raimund Seywald, Margrit Gelautz) and with Michael Gruber (photogrammetry and several years of practical work experience, for example at Joanneum Research in Graz). Margrit Gelautz had previously earned a Magister degree in Mathematics from Graz University, and followed this up with a Dipl.-Ing. degree in Telematics. Andrea Zunegg was the administrator. The IT-infrastructure was in the hands of Dietmar Eggbauer, followed in December 1994 by Andreas Wurm (a graduate of a technical high school with a diploma in electrical engineering). Konrad Karner and Raimund Seywald focussed on Computer Graphics, Margrit Gelautz and Michael Gruber on Computer Vision.

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COMPUTER VISION | COMPUTER GRAPHICS | VISUAL COMPUTING

The Institute’s development was inspired by the unparalleled growth in the importance of visual data. Bill Gates called the period 1998–2008 the “First Digital Decennium” with its increase in PC installations, cell phone penetration, broadband accessibility and the advent of the digital image. Note that the CCD (as the heart of many digital cameras) was not invented until 1969. The Nobel-prize was awarded in 2009 to its inventors, George Smith and Willard Boyle at the AT&T laboratories. 

Bill Gate’s idea would see us currently [in 2019] at the start of a third digital decennium. Considering the appearance of 1 Terabyte USB-sticks, 4 µm pixels, near-zero sensor costs and Graphical Processing Units (GPUs) one may argue that digital infrastructure constraints to the processing of visual data have evaporated.

Miniaturization and cost reduction in combination with smart phones, personal assistants and wearable computing have converted the once exotic ideas for mixed and augmented reality to mainstream topics of research and fields of innovative commercial activities.

The Institute’s evolution builds on these dramatic changes in the digital World. Annual research contracts grew from initially € 300,000 to € 3.3 million in 2011. That level was maintained during recent years.

Annually about 4 major international conferences on Computer Vision take place, each of these motivating many thousand scientists to travel worldwide. Additionally, there are regional as well as national conferences and workshops. Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality conferences such as the annual conference by ACM-SIGGRAPH attract more than 30,000 attendees.

COMPUTER GRAPHICS AND VISION EVOLVE INTO VISUAL COMPUTING

Computer Graphics” has its roots in computer science and was an extension of applied mathematics with its long tradition in geometry and geometric algorithms. In Computer Science, the topic initially led a fringe existence. Today, however, there hardly is an academic computing team without a strong graphics group.

Computer Vision” was first associated with sensors and electronic hardware. Its original home was in electrical engineering and was called “Image Processing”. Computer Scientists initially had an interest in “patterns”, be those in languages, data bases or pixel arrangements. A globally small community developed in what was called “Pattern Recognition”.  This changed towards the end of the 1980s when mainstream computer science discovered imagery and pixel processing as an application of mathematical and algorithmic concepts. Pattern Recognition and Image Processing morphed into “Computer Vision”. With the vast talent pool in computing, the masses of motivated students, the emerging software industry and the growing access to research funds, Computer Vision and Computer Graphics developed explosively.

The Institute’s kick-off in 1992 rode that wave. However, Computer Graphics and Computer Vision were seen at the time as profoundly and internationally separated fields. It was a special opportunity for Graz that a new Institute could avoid the separation of the fields. While there may have been separate scientific communities, conferences, journals and books, there also exists a joint tool kit of methods and concepts for both Computer Vision and Graphics. In 1992 ours may have been one of the very few academic teams globally where Graphics and Vision were combined.

Today a joint view of vision and graphics has become a global trend under the name “Visual Computing”.  And the advent of Augmented Reality greatly benefitted from a tight link between those fields: here, Vision and Graphics feed off one another.

THE FIRST DECADE 1992 - 2002

A FIRST PUBLIC PRESENTATION

New professors introduce themselves to the entire University by a public inaugural speech ["Antrittsvorlesung"] for the entire University as well as family and friends. This was in early 1993. The image below is a memento from that event.

After the inaugural lecture in the early 1993 the then president of the university, Prof. H. Kahlert (standing next to Franz Leberl), consults with the owner of Anton-Paar GmbH, Ulrich Santner (with his back to the camera), and Prof. Cerjak, professor of mechanical engineering (left).

THE 3RD ANNIVERSARY – A POTEMKIN’S VILLAGE? | 1995

In 1995 we organized a 3rd anniversary via an Open House. One of the attendees was the university’s president Hartmuth Kahlert (professor of physics) who expressed his  surprise about the level of activity with the question: “Is this all for real or just a Potemkin’s Village”? It was for real.

A NAME CHANGE | 1996

The Ministry staff concerned themselves with structuring the university into Schools and Institutes. They noticed that in Graz there existed an Institute for Geometry as well as an Institute for Computer-Aided Geometry in the same School of Applied Science. The Ministry concluded that these Institutes should merge.

We changed the name to "Maschinelles Sehen und Darstellen" and the merger debate was off the table.

NEW OFFICE SPACE | 1999

The Institute's original home was rental space at Münzgrabenstrasse 11 in Graz. This image shows the professorial office in the building's attic.

Professorial desk and office at Münzgrabenstrasse 11, Graz. This was the Institute’s home from 1992 to 1999.

After 7 years in the rental space, new buildings had been erected specifically for the growing number of computer science institutes in the University campus Inffeldgasse.

The buildings on the Inffeld campus are the new home of the computer science institutes. Marked in color is the second floor of Inffeldgasse 16, home of the Institute since 1999. The Institute’s space encompasses more than 1,000 m2. (Image courtesy of Bing Maps)

VISITING PROFESSORS

On the Institute's 20th anniversary, we had counted 34 visiting scientists. Some spent a full semester or even more, and they enriched life at our Institute. The following singles out those who have spent a semester or more with us.

MICHAEL GERVAUTZ VIENNA UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY |1995/6

The Technisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultaet (School of Applied Science) offered a sigificant budget to fund visiting professors. The first and very important visitor was Michael Gervautz in 1995/6. This was from an a.o.Prof.-position at Vienna Technical University’s Institute of Computer Graphics. Michael revamped the Computer Graphics courses and stimulated research in this area. He later left his academic career, started a business and successfully sold it to Qualcomm. This morphed into globally operating, 6000 employee PTC (Parametric Technology GmbH) where he now holds a senior management position.

AXEL PINZ VIENNA UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY | 1995-1999

By 1995, Axel Pinz started a multi-year visit under an arrangement with his Pattern Recognition group at Vienna University of Technology. In Graz, he submitted and successfully defended his Habilitation thesis which resulted in his perpetual affiliation with the institute. He greatly affected the courses in Computer Vision. The Graz habilitation, in combination with his tenured position at Vienna, provided him with the title of a.o. Prof. The visit ended in 1999 when he won a full time tenured position as a.o. Prof. at the School of Electrical Engineering in Graz.

GERVAUTZ & PINZ --> STUDIERSTUBE | 1996

In 1996 Gervautz and Pinz defined a project entitled “Studierstube” and with the Austrian Science Fund FWF they developed an innovative augmented reality infrastructure which is still in use to this day. Michael Gervautz's Viennese harvest of doctoral candidates surrounding the Studierstube-project included Dieter Schmalstieg.

MILAN SONKA UNIVERSITY OF IOWA | 1999

Prof. Milan Sonka from University of Iowa’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering originates from Prague. He chose our Institute in Graz for a full year sabbatical visit in 1999. This resulted in a large cooperative “Virtual Liver Project”. In ensuing years, staff from Graz visited Iowa multiple times, several doctoral theses were completed and medical augmented reality became a celebrated achievement. Reinhard Beichel not only was one of the successful doctoral graduates from this initiative, but he also won a faculty position at the University of Iowa.

ANDREJ FERKO COMENIUS UNIVERSITY BRATISLAVA | 2001-2004

Fully 3 years, from 2001 through 2004, Prof. Andrej Ferko from Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovakia) was visiting to augment courses and teaching work in geometry and computer graphics.

HORST BISCHOF | 2000-2003

Initially, Horst Bischof joined the Institute as a "Visiting Professor" in 2000. More on the Bischof-development follows.

THE SECOND GROUP OF SCIENTIFIC ASSISTANTS | 1996-2000

After 4 years the original 4 University Assistants had graduated with their doctorates in 1996, and left the university. A second generation of University Assistants took over: Stefan Scherer (physics), Regine Bolter, Heinz Mayer and Markus Grabner (Telematik). Their contracts again were for 4-years, to end in 2000. 

MOVING FROM ONE INITIAL TO THREE FULL PROFESSORSHIPS | 2001-2004

FIRST A LEBERL LEAVE OF ABSENCE

The period 1996 – 1999 was marked by a 40-months leave of absence of Franz Leberl to assume the position of CEO of Austria’s national research center in Seibersdorf near Vienna, today renamed the Austrian Institute of Technology AIT. Axel Pinz admirably ran day-to-day matters of research and teaching. Formal leadership was with Reinhard Posch, professor and leader of his own Institute.

THE NEED FOR A FRESH START

Leberl's 40-months-leave-of-absence ended in the fall of 1999. At that time it became evident that none of the then-existing University Assistants wanted to pursue an academic carreer in Graz. It became abundantly clear that the Insitute needed a fresh start with new people, almost like in 1992.

A Welcome-Back reception by the Institutes’ people from 1999 for Franz Leberl’s return from the function of CEO at the Austrian Research Center Seibersdorf.

LACK OF CONTINUITY

An Austrian University institute's classical structure is with a single Professor assisted by a few pre-doctoral assistants. By 1999 this had revealed itself as a bad model in a highly dynamic environment like Computer Science. Continuity was provided only by one  lonely professor, the administrator and the technical support person. Discontinuity ruled in research, teaching and technology transfer. Do we really want to restart the cycle every 4 years?

CHANGING THE INSTITUTE'S STRUCTURE

The solution was a change in the Institute’s structure. Have 3 permanent professorships at the expense of assistantships. And trust that assistantships, be they pre- or post-doctoral, would be funded from competitively acquired soft money (research grants and research contracts). 

Some creative budgeting was needed to accomplish this change. The immediate need was met with the budget for visiting professors.

TWO MULTI-YEAR POSITIONS FOR VISITING PROFESSORS

The University’s people accepted the proposals and during the year 2001 two temporary visiting professorships could be funded . One position for Computer Vision was taken by Horst Bischof, visiting for 4 years from Vienna University of Technology. A second position for Computer Graphics was filled with Andrej Ferko, visiting for 3 yars from Comenius University, Bratislava. This temporary arrangement carried the Institute through its 10th anniversary in 2002 and ended in 2004. 

SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT

The Ministry of Science staff continued to reject a Computer Science degree program in Graz. In its place they suggested a program for "Information Management". They believed that this should result in a business degree (Bak. rer. soc. oec. and Mag. rer. soc. oec.).

The Institute became deeply involved in the creation of a degree program under ministerial rules for "Information Management", but [we tricked and] created an engineering program as close to Computer Science as possible. We called it "Software Development and Knowledge Management". The Ministry approved the result,  the initial enrollment exceeded all predictions. This created the need for a new professorship and Institute for Knowledge Management.

While Telematics was a program with shared responsibility between Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, the new program was the first to be entirely “owned“ by Computer Science.

Along the way, the program was renamed into Software Engineering and Management and the degrees were changed into BSc and MSc.

10 YEARS OF TEACHING | RESEARCH | PRODUCTIVITY

A PERFORMANCE REVIEW | 2002

The research projects and affiliations with research sponsors, the teaching work, the publications record, the number of master and doctoral graduates have been documented in a brochure that appeared at the occasion of the Institute’s 10th anniversary. It offers 51 pages about the first decade of the Institute.

The personnel and budgets during the start-up decade of the Institute are contained in that same brochure, but also in the material compiled for the 20th anniversary (see further down).

A 10TH ANNIVERSITY CELEBRATION | 2002

An event was organized with Prof. Milan Sonka from the University of Iowa giving an inspirational talk about medical vision and graphics in the 1888-imperially impressive auditorium of the University. The talk was attended by many University VIPs, and was succeeded by a buffet and an open house at the Institute.

The 2002-event to celebrate the Institute’s 10-year anniversary with a talk by Prof. Milan Sonka, a project partner in medical vision and graphics activities. 

Prof. Milan Sonka as Keynote Speaker in front of Emperor Franz-Joseph at Graz University of Technology’s Aula.

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THE SECOND DECADE 2002 - 2012

GROWING FROM 1 TO 3 FULL PROFESSORSHIPS | 2003–2004

It was a 2003-breakthrough when approval was granted to advertize two additional full and permanent professorships at the Institute. The position for Computer Vision was won by Horst Bischof  He abandoned his tenured a.o. (außerordentliche) Professorship at Vienna University of Technology and started in Graz on the 31st of December 2003.

Prof. Horst Bischof in full academic regalia in 2014 at the occasion of a promotio sub auspiciis praesidentis rei publicae of his doctoral student Dr. Andi Wendel in the imperial aula of the University.

The second professorship for Virtual Reality was won by Dieter Schmalstieg, former doctoral candidate under funding from the Studierstube-project invented by Michael Gervautz and Axel Pinz.  Dieter Schmalstieg's transfer was also from a tenured position as an a.o.Prof. at Vienna University of Technology, and was on the 1st of October 2004. He had just won a large START research grant (at the time the second such grant ever awarded in Computer Science). He brought this grant and a significant team of researchers to Graz.

Prof. Dieter Schmalstieg with hair in youthful exuberance im 2004

Our Institue benefitted greatly from talents provided by Vienna University of Technology. Gervautz-Pinz-Bischof-Schmalstieg all came from there. Inversely, only Margrit Gelautz moved in the opposite direction and became a professor in Vienna, after learning to be a scientist at our institute.

SCHOOL OF COMPUTER SCIENCE | 2004

By 2004, Universities no longer were subordinated offices of the Ministry of Science. They became ndependent entities under their own management. Professors no longer were federal civil servants, but employees of their University. 

Graz University of Technology was free to give itself a structure to its liking. A new School of Computer Science [Fakultät für Informatik] with 8 Institutes came into existence. Ours became one of 8 Institutes in the new School, but the only one with 3 professors, the largest number of doctoral candates, the greatest publications record and soft money budget. Today, the School is the Fakultät für Informatik und biomedizinische Technik.

A NEW COMPUTER SCIENCE PROGRAM | 2006

Freedom existed now for academic programs without ministerial approval. Horst Bischof championed the setup of a true Computer Science program and served as the Dean of Students. From its 2006-start it now is a true success story.

LEBERL'S 25-YEAR SERVICE ANNIVERSARY | 2008

It was a surprse to Franz Leberl to receive the honor of a 25-year service party after a mere 16 years since the Institute's start. The government added Franz Leberl’s 1968-year in military service to the 8 years at the University from 1976 to 1984 (then as a.o. Professor of Photogrammetry). Leaves of absence were ignored. The anniversary offered a party and an extra salary.

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of Franz Leberl’s (left) civil service employment in 2008.  Shown are the 2008-University President Hans Sünkel (2nd from left) and colleague Viktor Kaufmann from the surveying and mapping group (right)

ADDING A FOURTH PROFESSORSHIP | 2009

More creative accounting made it possible to attract Gerhard Reitmayr into a 4th professorship on the 1st of June 2009. He had spent 5 post-doctoral years at Cambridge University on cutting edge research in Augmented Reality. As a doctoral graduate of Dieter Schmalstieg in Vienna, he was a "grandchild" of the Gervautz-Pinz project Studierstube. His professorship focused on "Mobile Augmented Reality". This topic was the essence of a new Christian-Doppler-Laboratory with a staff of 14 people. 

Prof. Reitmayr built the Institute’s group on mobile augmented reality in the period 2009 to 2013.

 

THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY EVENT | 2012

The 20th anniversary of the Institute’s inception motivated the creation of a summary of activities and successes in teaching and research. The two essential summaries are (1) a 2012-assembly of key performance numbers and (2) a 2014-list of all completed and pending doctoral projects.

The anniversary was recognized by a talk on Visual Computing by Professor Luc van Gool from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. This was acompanied by an Open Lab Day with a full program of presentations. 

From the 1992-start with 7-people, great things had been achieved by 2012.  Please look at these summary numbers:

  TOTAL 1992–2012 ANNUAL AVERAGE 2007–2012
Cooperators 191 65
Publications 1352 144
Diploma- & Master’s Theses 208 15
Disserations 94 8
Grants / Contract Research € 20.3 Mio € 2.8 Mio
Awards / Distinctions 50 5.6


By 2012, the Institute had accumulated 92 completed doctoral projects and had matured to an annual average of 8 fresh doctoral graduates. Overall, the Institute had developed to a peak with grant and contract research funds at nearly EUR 3 million, publications at more than 140 per year, employment at 65 positions and more than 30 doctoral candidates simultaneously working on their research.

THE UNIVERSITY VICE-PRESIDENCY FOR RESEARCH | 2011

Horst Bischof was appointed to the 4-year position of the Vice-President for Research [Vize-Rektor Forschung] of the University in 2011, and in 2019 started his 3rd 4-year term. This reflects on Prof. Bischof’s scientific achievements and skills as a research manager. He makes the Institute's staff proud, but also affects the evolution of the Institute.

To compensate for Prof. Bischof 's split focus on University affairs, a new tenure track position [Laufbahnstelle]  was advertized and was won by Thomas Pock. He assumed that position during the 20th anniversary year 2012. Upon completion of his habilitation, Tom Pock would advance automatically to a tenured Associate Professorship. However, things developed differently, as will be described below.

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MOVING THROUGH THE THIRD DECADE

 

 

PROFESSOR EMERITUS: A FAREWELL TO THE INSTITUTE’S FOUNDER | 2013

The 3rd decennium started with Franz Leberl's status change into Professor Emeritus on the 1st of October 2013.  A formal send-off was organized (see the 4-page announcement and program). Photos from the event can be seen in this gallery.

The title page of the 4-page invitation for the send-off event for Franz Leberl at the occasion of his change into Professor Emeritus.

As he thanked everyone for this farewell event Franz Leberl had this to say: 

Snapshot from an annual summer outing (around 1996) attended by 18 staff members, some stayed home and one took the picture. From the initial 1993-staff only Michael Gruber (5th from left) remained at the Institute. Axel Pinz is in the front with sun glasses. The red-haired lady with sunglasses (6th from left) is Dr. Ruth Eberhardt, then there is the Institute’s controller. Franz Leberl is 3rd from the right. Stefan Scherer is 2nd from the left and Manfred Prantl the 8th from the right in last the row.

 

 

In 1992 I was “young” at an age of 47 years. Let me reflect on the early days with a memento from a visit to the provincial exhibit [Landesausstellung] in Carinthia in 1996 with the team as it stood then.

By now I have become the beneficiary of senior discounts. And yet it is absolutely magic that the Institute remains youthful. However, it also is “mature”. Its networks are well established, many people today do understand how science and research work. There is an excellent experience pyramid with post-doctoral experts helping fresh talents with their brand new engineering diplomas [Dipl.-Ing.] and there is a great reputation that continues to grow. The Institute's leadership is powerful and set up for a wide range of visual computing excellence. So, at this time of farewell I am truly happy about the Institute, and confident about its future.

I sense that I achieved success as stated in my 1993-inaugural speech: "Success is when I have become superfluous". 

And yet, how much would I want to be young again and able to participate in the exciting new things being created with images. So much remains to be done! Thank you!

Franz Leberl addressing the festive attendees at his farewell event changing into Professor Emeritus during his thank-you at the end of the event

Franz Leberl addressing the festive attendees at his farewell event changing into Professor Emeritus during his thank-you at the end of the event

The main class room of the Institute was given a new name

The main class room of the Institute was given a new name

Inside that class room is an assembly of all theses supervised by Franz Leberl, as well as a bust that was 3D-printed from data collected automatically by a structure from motion workflow. 

Inside that class room is an assembly of all theses supervised by Franz Leberl, as well as a bust that was 3D-printed from data collected automatically by a structure from motion workflow.

FROM REITMAYR TO LEPETIT | 2014

In 2013 the number of professors dropped to two: Bischof - Schmalstieg. .Not only did Franz Leberl change into an Emeritus, but also Gerhard Reitmayr left for a career  in industry. By the way, Prof. Reitmayr had won a professorial offer to move to the University of Innsbruck. But he declined this offer as well, in favor of a carreer in industry. He currently works at Qualcomm in San Diego (USA) as head of a team for Augmented Reality innovation.

To fill the Reitmayr-vacancy, a term-unlimited full professorship for Mobile Augmented Reality was advertized and won by  Vincent Lepetit from France, then coming to Graz from the prestigious Swiss Federal Institute in Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland). The position is now titled Computer Vision for Augmented Reality.

Prof. Vincent Lepetit joined the Institute on the 1st of February 2014 to continue the development of Mobile Augmented Reality.

Vincent Lepetit currently splits his time between his position in Graz and a professorship at the Laboratoire Bordelais de Recherche en Informatique at the Université de Bordeaux (France).

PROFESSORSHIP ON MOBILE VISION, THEN ON VISION-LEARNING-OPTIMIZATION | 2014

Soft money arrived from the Austrian Institute of Technoilogy [AIT] to fund a term-limited 5-year professorship on "Mobile Vision". This was won by Tom Pock, thereby abandoning his tenure track position (see above). Since the 1st of June 2014, Tom Pock augments the three professors Bischof-Schmalstieg-Lepetit by a 4th professorship. The abandoned Laufbahnstelle was advertized and won by Fritz Fraundorfer who transferred from Munich Technical University back to Graz.

Since then, a new term-unlimited tenured full professorship was created in Vision, Learning and Optimization. Tom Pock won that position. His previously held soft-money term-limited professorship was essentially "upgraded".

 

Prof. Tom Pock assumed his professorship on the 1st of June 2014 to advance the field of Mobile Vision.

TOWARDS 7 PROFESSORSHIPS | 2020?

The current 3rd decennium of the Institute will see the development of 3 additional professorships by way of tenure track associate professorships (so-called "Laufbahnstellen"). These tenure track positions have been advertized and have been won by 

        Fritz Fraundorfer:           3D vision, vision for robotics, camera drones

        Denis Kalkofen:             Situated visualization for augmented reality

        Markus Steinberger:      High performance graphics

Upon completion of their respective habilitation processes, each of these assistant professors will earn the right to award doctorates (the "venia legendi") and will be fully tenured with the title of "Associate Proessor". They will bring the number of professors at the Institute to 7.    

START AWARDS | 2002 AND 2012

The Institute is now the only one at Graz University of Technology with two START Prize Winners. The START-prize is the highest paid award for young researchers with a prize money currently in excess of € 1 million. Dieter Schmalstieg won it in 2002. In 2012, the second winner was Thomas Pock for his work on Variational Methods in Computer Vision.

PROMOTIONES SUB AUSPICIIS PRAESIDENTIS REI PUBLICAE | 2004 - 2013

Until 1918 it was the Austro-Hungarian Emperor who personally presented the doctorate to someone who had perfect grades all throughout his or her scholastic-academic career since age 14. He presented the honoree with a ring. This tradition has transitioned to the President of the Republic, personally attending the promotion ceremony and providing a special ring. The most talented young people get attracted to the Institute and its topics. As a result, three graduates have achieved this highest doctoral accomplishment:

  • Reinhard Danzl (2004):          Integrating Shape from Stereo and Shape from Focus.
  • Andreas Wendel (2013):        Scalable Visual Navigation for Micro Aerial Vehicles.
  • Markus Steinberger (2013):   Dynamic Resource Scheduling on Graphics Processors.

These promotion ceremonies are a big deal. Of course this is true for the doctoral achiever, but it also applies also for the University. There is considerable press and media coverage. 

The 2004-doctoral promotion of Reinhard Danzl under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Austria, Dr. Heinz Fischer, at the Aula of Graz University of Technology

The 2014-doctoral promotion of Andreas Wendel under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Austria, in this case represented by the Governor of the State of Styria, Mr. Franz Voves. 

The 2014-doctoral promotion of Markus Steinberger under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Austria, Dr. Heinz Fischer.

 

LIVING THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT

Regularly, previous associates of our Institute have started or helped start a business. If the following list of these entrepreneurial initiatives is incomplete, we apologize. We find it truly rewarding to see such a list counting more than 20 entries already, by last count in 2014.

2014 ReactiveReality GmbH office@reactivereality.com
  Stefan Hauswiesner Augmented reality (Diss)
  Philipp Grasmug 3D reconstruction and tracking (DA)
2013 Holistic Imaging GedbR info@holistic-imaging.com
  Philipp Meixner Automated valuation of buildings (Diss)
  Mathias Ruether Industrial control of geometric quality (Diss)
2013 Automotive software consultancy sternig.sabine@gmail.com
  Sabine Sternig Object detection (Diss)
2013 Unser Kraftwerk GmbH office@unserkraftwerk.at
  Gerhard Schall Mobile augmented reality (Diss)
2013 Reecon e.U. office@reecon.at
  Bernhard Reitinger Medical computer vision (Diss)
2013 Upicto AG grabner@upicto.com
  Helmut Grabner Boosting for image classification (Diss)
2012 Fecom OG office@fecom.at
  Heinz Fleischhacker Vision-based quality assessment
2012 Wolftank AG pwerth@wolftank.com
  Peter Werth Stereo matching for electron microscopy (Diss)
2011 Maresch Consulting e.U. (R&D consultant @ Konica-Minolta) markus.maresch@gmail.com
  Markus Maresch Streetside stereo imaging (Diss)
2008 HELLA Automation  
  Peter Duracher Micro-controller (DA)
2008 Ing.-Büro für interdisziplinäre techn. Projekte & Expertisen madritsch@madritsch.de
  Franz Madritsch Tracking a human computer interface (Diss)
2006 Braincell consult & research GmbH  
  Peter Uray Point clouds (Diss)
2003 Alicona Imaging GmbH stefan.scherer@alicona.com
  Stefan Scherer 3D microsocopy (Diss)
  Manfred Prantl Active vision in robotics (Diss)
2003 signion GmbH erwin.kienegger@signion.de
  Erwin Kienegger Orthophotos and GIS (Diss)
2002 3GSM GmbH andreas.gaich@3gsm.at
  Andreas Gaich Imaging during tunneling (Diss)
2001 Hofer Powertrain GmbH martin.berger@hofer.de
  Martin Berger [Peter Werth] Pose determination in robotics (Diss)
1998 akaryon GmbH niederl@akaryon.com
  Franz Niederl Interactive WWW and Remote Sensing (Diss)
1997 No Limits IT GmbH → Geodata GmbH →  UVM Systems alois.maierhofer@geodata.at, johannes.holzer@hotmail.com
  Hannes Holzer 3D in historic city centers (DA)
  Alois Maierhofer, Michael Gruber Radiosity (DA)
1995 Sensotech Forschungs- und Entwicklungs GmbH wp@sensotech.at
  Wolfgang Poelzleitner Inspecting wood boards (Diss)
1995 LOGICDATA Electronic & Software Entwicklungs GmbH duracher@aon.at
1993 Vexcel Imaging GmbH →  Microsoft leberl@icg.tugraz.at
  Franz Leberl see leberl.info/node/376
1987 AuthorConsultant & S/W- developer kontakt@kofler.info
  Michael Kofler R-trees in urban 3D models (Diss)

 



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