Basser Seminar Series

Sensing People – Sensing Environments

Professor Thomas Sikora
Technical University Berlin

Thursday 10 November 2005, 2pm

Carslaw Lecture Theatre 157


The interface between man and machine plays a vital role in human centric communications. Our challenge is to research smart intuitive systems and devices that inherit sophisticated abilities towards sensing and interpreting humans and their environments. To this end we develop interfaces that have “eyes” and “ears”. This will allow devices and applications to understand and interpret their environments, sense users, user’s needs and user’s reactions.

In my talk I will outline a number of application scenarios and discuss how such sensing technologies can enrich communication between users and between users and machines.

Speaker's biography

Thomas Sikora is professor and director of the Communication Systems department at Technical University Berlin, Germany.

He received the Dipl.-Ing. degree and Dr.-Ing. degree in electrical engineering from Bremen University, Germany, in 1985 and 1989 respectively. In 1990 he joined Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, as a project leader responsible for video compression research activities in the Australian "Universal Broadband Video Codec" consortium. Between 1995 and 2001 he was with the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft Heinrich-Hertz-Institute (HHI) in Berlin, Germany, where he was the founding director of the "Interactive Media" Department. Dr. Sikora is co-founder of a number of Berlin-based start-up companies involved in research and development of audio and video signal processing and compression technology.

Dr. Sikora has been involved in international ITU and ISO standardization activities as well as in several European research activities for a number of years. As the chairman of the ISO-MPEG video group (Moving Picture Experts Group), he was responsible for the development and standardization of the MPEG-4 and MPEG-7 video coding algorithms. He also served as the chairman of the European COST 211ter video compression research group. He frequently works as an industry consultant on issues related to interactive digital audio and video. He is an appointed member of the Advisory and Supervisory board of a number of German companies and international research organizations.

Dr. Sikora is recipient of the 1996 German ITG award (German Society for Information Technology). He is appointed as an Associate Editor for a number of international journals including the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, EURASIP Signal Processing Journal and the EURASIP Signal Processing: Image Communication journal. He currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology. He is a member of ITG and a senior member of IEEE.