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Hartmut Neven

Google, Scientist

Hartmut Neven is a scientist working in computational neurobiology, robotics and computer vision. He is best known for his work in face and object recognition.

Neven was an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Southern California at the Laboratory for Biological and Computational Vision. He later returned as the head of the Laboratory for Human-Machine Interfaces at USC’s Information Sciences Institute.

Neven co-founded two companies, Eyematic for which he served as CTO and Neven Vision which he initially led as CEO. At Eyematic he developed real-time facial feature analysis for avatar animation. Neven Vision pioneered mobile visual search for camera phones and was acquired by Google in 2006. Today he manages a team responsible for advancing Google’s visual search technologies and he is the lead engineer for Google Goggles.

Recently Neven started to explore the application of quantum computing to hard combinatorial problems arising in machine learning. In collaboration with D-Wave he developed the first image recognition system based on quantum algorithms. It was demonstrated at SuperComputing07. At NIPS09 he demonstrated the first classifier trained on a quantum processor.

Neven studied Physics and Economics in Köln, Paris, Tübingen, Aachen, Jerusalem and Brazil. He wrote his Master thesis on a neuronal model of object recognition at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics under Valentino Braitenberg. In 1996 he received his Ph.D. from the Institute for Neuroinformatics at the Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany, for a thesis on "Dynamics for vision-guided autonomous mobile robots".

Sessions from eComm2010: Emerging Communications Conference featuring Hartmut Neven: