Japanese-born Takeo Kanade is one of the country's foremost researchers in the area of computerized vision and has been the Director of the famous Robotics Insittute at Carnegie Mellon University. If you want to see an interesting application of his research, check out the demonstration of CBS' Eye Vision, used to give a 360 degree feel to coverage of sporting events. You can find a very cool demonstration of this virtualized reality software from the 2001 Super Bowl. Dr. Kanade is now working on a variety of other interesting projects including developing a vision-guided robotic helicopter, improving face recognition technologies, and a variety of projects related to incorporating computerized vision in to medical procedures.
A hat tip to reader Sid for today's suggestion.