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Odysseys in Technology
Pixels and Me

Sun Microsystems Laboratories

Richard F. Lyon

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Member Reception - 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Lecture - 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

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Full Lecture - 03_23_05_RICHARD_F_LYON_PIXELS_AND_ME.wmv-127MB

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Computer History Museum
1401 N. Shoreline Boulevard
Mountain View, CA 94043

Registration for the event is now closed. Seats are still available for those who register at the door.

Free. Suggested donation of 10.00 at the door from non-members.
RSVP is required.

Call (650) 810-1898 for information.

Computers have revolutionized image media. Richard Lyon, one of the current pioneers of digital cameras, has found that several generations of pioneers in this field have been entangled with the terms “picture element” and “pixel” and that studying the history of the terminology is a fruitful approach to the history of the people and technology. Vladimir Zworykin's television research group at RCA popularized the term “picture element” in the 1930s, while the TV researchers at Bell Labs ignored that term, preferring “image element.” Fred Billingsley and others at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory developed computerized image processing and propagated the term “pixel” in the 1960s, while image processing researchers at Bell Labs ignored that term, preferring “pel.” In the early 1970s, “pixel” was spread through computer image processing publications from NASA, USC, IBM, Stanford, University of Missouri, and other places, eventually coming to be applied to elements of image sensor hardware, such as Lyon's optical mouse in 1980 and digital camera sensors more recently. Many of the people involved in this complex history have provided their personal recollections and documents to help piece the story together, and more such inputs will be solicited from the Computer History Museum audience.

Odysseys in Technology, A Computer History Museum Speaker Series Sponsored by Sun Microsystems Laboratories, presents people and perspectives behind extraordinary innovations and advancements in the computer technology-related world. Each event in the Series provides stimulating interaction with authentic experts whose achievements have transformed how things are done or viewed, and to examine how their personal stories might inform the present and future. These programs occasionally feature technologies or point events, with the objective to apply lessons of history to present day understanding and inspiration.

The Computer History Museum offers a variety of membership levels. To find out more, please visit our individual membership or call 650-810-2722.


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