Talk to introduce new ways to render new views of the world in space and time

March 08, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Noah Snavely, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at Cornell University and Cornell Tech, and a researcher at Google Research, will be the second speaker this spring in the College of Information Sciences and Technology Distinguished Lecture Series.

Snavely will virtually present a talk, “Capturing and Rendering the World from Photos,” at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 25, on Zoom. This event is free and open to the Penn State community. Full details and a link to the talk can be found at

Noah Snavely

Noah Snavely, associate professor at Cornell University and Cornell Tech

IMAGE: Provided

About the talk

Imagine a futuristic mapping service that could dial up any possible view along any street in the world at any possible time. Effectively, such a service would be a recording of the plenoptic function — the hypothetical function described by Adelson and Bergen that captures all light rays passing through space at all times. While the plenoptic function is completely impractical to capture in its totality, every photo ever taken represents a sample of this function.

Snavely will present recent methods his team has developed to attempt to reconstruct the plenoptic function from sparse space-time samples of photos — including Google Street View data and tourist photos on the internet. The results of this work include compelling new ways to render new views of the world in space and time.

About the speaker

Snavely’s research interests are in computer vision and graphics, in particular 3D understanding and depiction of scenes from images. Snavely is the recipient of a PECASE, a Microsoft New Faculty Fellowship, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, and a SIGGRAPH Significant New Researcher Award.

About the Distinguished Lecture Series

The College of Information Sciences and Technology’s Distinguished Lecture Series connects researchers, experts, and thought leaders with the college community to share perspectives and insights on a variety of topics. The goal is to enrich the experience of IST students, faculty and staff by inspiring thought-provoking conversations and exposing them to a diverse array of people, backgrounds and ideas in the information sciences and related domains.

Last Updated March 08, 2021