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Ingrid Daubechies, Duke University – “Mathematicians helping art conservators and art historians.”


Ingrid Daubechies' Summary:

Mathematics can help Art Historians and Art Conservators in studying and understanding art works, their manufacture process and their state of conservation. The presentation will review several instances of such collaborations in the last decade or so. Some of them led (and are still leading) to interesting new challenges in signal and image analysis. In other applications we can virtually rejuvenate art works, bringing a different understanding and experience of the art to museum visitors as well as to experts.


Ingrid Daubechies' Bio:

Ingrid Daubechies is one of the world’s most cited mathematicians. She is best known for her work with wavelets in image compression. The name Daubechies is associated with several wavelets, one of which is now part of the JPEG 2000 standard, commonly used for digital movies in the US and Europe. Her other research interests involve the development of automatic methods based on mathematics to extract information from samples like bones and teeth(in biology). Ingrid has also developed sophisticated image processing techniques used to help art conservators and art historians in their work, e.g. to virtually rejuvenate some of the world’s most famous works of art.

Ingrid obtained her Ph.D. in theoretical physics. Currently, she is the James B. Duke professor in the departments of mathematics and electrical and computer engineering at Duke University. Prior to that she taught for 16 years at Princeton University, where she was the first female full professor of mathematics. She was also the first woman to receive the National Academy of Sciences Award in Mathematics and to become president of the International Mathematical Union (2011–2014). At Duke, she and Heekyoung Hahn founded Duke Summer Workshop in Mathematics for female rising high school seniors.

Ingrid has received numerous awards and honors, many of them as the first female recipient. Ingrid is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a foreign member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. In her native Belgium she was granted the title of Baroness by King Albert II. 


Photo Credit: Duke Photography: Les Todd

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