Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
SAF Archives  search ask the scientists in the classroom cool science
scientists from previous shows
cool careers in science
ask the scientists

Photo of Sandy Pentland ALEX (SANDY) PENTLAND

Sandy Pentland is Head, Perceptual Computing Section, The Media Laboratory, where his research interests include topics in vision, graphics and representation. Currently Pentland is most actively involved in "Looking at People" (i.e., gesture recognition, vision interfaces to virtual environments) and "Image/Video Databases" (i.e., automatic image and video database annotation).

Here is Pentland's description of his research:

"Current machines are blind and deaf; consequently, only experts can use most machines, and even they must spend most of their time battling arcane languages and strange interfaces devices. The broad goal of my research group is to solve this problem by giving machines perceptual abilities that allow them to function naturally with people. Thus machines must be able to recognize people's faces, their gestures, and perceive their common working environment."


Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1982 University of Michigan, 1976


Senior Research Scientist, AI Center, SRI International Lecturer, Stanford University

Selected Publications

Perceptual Organization and the Representation of Natural Form
Pentland, A., (1986)
AI Journal, Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 1-38.
Automatic Lipreading by Computer
Mase, K. and Pentland, A., (1990)
Trans. Inst. Elec. Info. and Comm. Eng., vol. J73-D-II, No. 6, pp. 796-803, June 1990.

Eigenfaces for Recognition
Turk, M., and Pentland, A., (1991)
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience}, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 71-86.

Closed-Form Solutions For Physically Based Shape Modeling and Recognition
Pentland, A. and Sclaroff, S., (1991)
IEEE Trans. Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence}, Vol. 13, No. 7, pp. 715-730.

3-D Shape Recovery using Distributed Aspect Matching
Dickinson, S., Pentland, A., and Rosenfeld, A., (1992)
IEEE Trans. Pattern Analysis and Machine Vision}.Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 174-198.

Human Face Recognition and the Face Image Set's Topology
Bichsel, M., and Pentland, A., (1994)
CVGIP: Image Understanding, Vol. 59, No. 2, pp. 254-261.

ALIVE: Artificial Life Interactive Video Environment
Maes, P., Pentland, A., Blumberg, B., Darrell, T., Brown, J., and Yoon, J. (1994)
Intercommunication, Vol. 7, pp. 48-49, Winter 1994.

Recursive Estimation of Motion, Structure, and Focal Length
Azarbayejani, A. and Pentland, A. (1994)
Tran. Pattern Analysis and Machine Vision (in press)

Space-Time Gestures
Darrell, T., and Pentland, A., (1993)
IEEE Conference on Vision and Pattern Recognition}, NY, NY, June 1993.

Photobook: Tools for Content-Base Manipulation of Image Databases
Pentland, A, Picard, R., Sclaroff, S.
SPIE Conf. on Storage and Retrieval of Image and Video Databases II, (SPIE paper 2185-05) Feb 6-10, 1994, San Jose CA

View-Based and Modular Eigenspaces for Face Recognition

Pentland, A., Moghaddam, B., Starner, T., (1994) IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, pp. 84-90, Seattle, WA., June 1994.

A Vision System for Observing and Extracting Facial Action Parameters
Essa, I., Pentland, A., (1994)
IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition}, pp. 76-83, Seattle, WA., June 1994.

For more information:

See Sandy Pentland's answers to Ask the Scientists questions about virtual reality and computerized cars.


Scientific American Frontiers
Fall 1990 to Spring 2000
Sponsored by GTE Corporation,
now a part of Verizon Communications Inc.