The BMVA Distinguished Fellow for 2014 is Tim Cootes. Early on in its deliberations, the Distinguished Fellow Panel was astounded to see the citation rates for some of Tim’s best-known papers, including one which had in excess of 5000 citations! This naturally made him a very strong contender, though of course the award is more about real achievements than about simply numbers.
Many of the major techniques in computer vision — such as those of Canny, Harris, and Viola and Jones – have huge numbers of followers. It is a pleasure to record that the same applies for the ground-breaking shape analysis techniques of this year’s Distinguished Fellow. Indeed, the statistical shape and appearance models that he developed have been a mainstay of our armoury for over two decades. Importantly, once one has understood how active shape models work, it is difficult to think of any other way of modelling shape statistically.
Tim’s background was in Maths and Physics, and his PhD was about modelling vortices in sewage! He carried out his seminal work on shape models shortly after joining Manchester in 1991, initially through research grants and later via research council fellowships. He became a member of the permanent academic staff in mid-2001 and rose quickly to become Professor of Computer Vision in 2006.
Tim’s recent work explores the difficult problem of finding and aligning corresponding points in groups of images. Although the primary focus of Tim’s work is in the medical domain, he has also made contributions in face recognition. In fact, one of Tim’s face models has even been seen on pop videos!
Tim has also had a major involvement with the BMVA: for a few years he looked after publicity before acting as BMVA chair from 2002 to 2005. He also co-chaired the annual student papers meeting before it was moved to BMVC. Last but by no means least, Tim achieved the accolade of being awarded Fellow of the IAPR in 2010.
It is with great pleasure that we name Tim Cootes the BMVA Distinguished Fellow for 2014.
Roy Davies (DF Panel Chair)