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OSA | Living History

David H. Brainard

OSA Awards & Distinctions



David Brainard earned an A.B. degree from Harvard University, USA and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University, USA. He held positions at the University of Rochester, USA and the University of California at Santa Barbara, USA before joining the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) as RRL Professor of Psychology. He is also director of Penn’s Vision Research Center and Associate Dean for the Natural Sciences in Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences.

Brainard’s most well-known contributions are from his studies of color constancy, which have led to a quantitative model. Notable achievements in his work include his development and distribution of the Psychophysics Toolbox (a software package for visual psychophysics), psychophysical measurements, his ability to link psychophysical data to quantitative models, and his ability to translate insights from biological vision into practical image processing solutions. Recently, he has applied the underlying principles of color constancy to how the visual system resolves ambiguity in the visual pathway, and has developed a computational model. 

He has received the Macbeth Award from the Inter-Society Color Council and the Ira H. Abrams Memorial Award for Distinguished Teaching from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Fellow of OSA and the Association for Psychological Science. In 2021, he received OSA's Edgar D. Tillyer Award "for groundbreaking experimental and theoretical contributions to our understanding of how the visual system resolves the ambiguities inherent in sensory signals to produce a stable percept of object color."



Document Created: 11 Feb 2021
Last Updated: 11 Feb 2021