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Professor develops mobile app to identify plant species

By Contributor
July 16th, 2011

Not every child can dream up a smartphone application and see it come to life.

But that’s what happened when eight-year-old William Belhumeur suggested his father make an app that identifies plants using visual recognition technology.

As a professor of computer science at the engineering school and director of Columbia’s Laboratory for the Study of Visual Appearance, Peter Belhumeur has worked on face recognition software since the mid-1990s.

He quickly saw that the same algorithms that can process the curve of an eyebrow or the angle of a cheekbone could be applied to the shape of a leaf.

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