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IS&T: Color Science: Perceiving Color and Individual Differences

  • 16-Nov-2016
  • 6:00 PM
  • Munsell Color Science Lab, RIT

Wednesday, November 16

Imaging Science & Technology (IS&T)

Color Science: Perceiving Color and Individual Differences

Mark D. Fairchild

Program of Color Science / Munsell Color Science Laboratory

Rochester Institute of Technology

The presentation will combine two talks given at the recent IS&T Color & Imaging Conference in San Diego. Part 1 will explore the perception of a color for a general technical audience while part 2 will focus on some current research on individual differences.

Part 1: In the natural daylight environment, colors are most often perceived due to a sensor process that is initiated by a photon that was effectively (and sometimes literally) emitted by the sun some 90 million miles away. These photons reach us about 8 minutes after leaving the sun. This presentation begins with a photon departing the sun and asks the question, what are the chances we detect it? The system examined includes light leaving the sun, penetrating the atmosphere, striking a piece of grass, being reflected to an eye, and then being absorbed by one of the retinal photoreceptors. Sensory and perceptual phenomena occurring after the photon is converted to other forms of energy in the brain are also briefly discussed.

Part 2: Individual differences in color matching functions are well known and have recently been well modeled and quantified. The phenomenon even carries a unique name, observer metamerism. However, to date, no research has explored the effects of observer metamerism (or other individual differences in physiological mechanisms) on chromatic adaptation and color appearance. This paper presents a computational study of the effects of observer metamerism on predicted corresponding colors, the result of chromatic adaptation.


Presenter Bio

Mark D. Fairchild, Associate Dean of Research & Graduate Education, College of Science

Professor & Director, Program of Color Science / Munsell Color Science Laboratory

Rochester Institute of Technology


Mark D. Fairchild is a Professor and Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education of RIT’s College of Science and Director of the Program of Color Science and Munsell Color Science Laboratory. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Imaging Science from R.I.T. and Ph.D. in Vision Science from the University of Rochester. Mark was presented with the 1995 Bartleson Award by the Colour Group(Great Britain) and the 2002 Macbeth Award by the Inter-Society Color Council for his research work in color appearance and other areas of color science. He is author of over 300 technical publications and the book, Color Appearance Models, 3rd Ed., which serves as a reference to the fundamentals of color appearance and the formulation of specific models. He served as Color Imaging Editor for IS&T’s Journal of Imaging Science and Technology for 3 years and was named a Fellow of IS&T (the Society for Imaging Science and Technology) in 2003 for his contributions to digital color imaging. In 2007, Mark was presented with the Davies Medal by the Royal Photographic Society for his contributions to photography in the digital field of imaging science. He received the 2008 IS&T Raymond C. Bowman award for excellence in education and he was named a Fellow of the Optical Society of America in 2012 for his contributions to research and education in color and imaging sciences. He was chair of CIE Technical Committee 1-34 on color appearance models, is currently a member several other CIE technical committees dealing with color appearance and image technology issues. Mark is an active member of IS&T, ISCC, CORM, CIE-USNC, OSA, SID, AAAS, and ACM-SIGGRAPH.

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