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Tom N. Cornsweet (born April 29, 1929, in Cleveland, Ohio)[1] is an American experimental psychologist, author, inventor, and entrepreneur known best for his pioneering work in visual perception and in the development of ophthalmic instrumentation.

Academic background and scientific research Edit

Cornsweet graduated from Cornell University and enrolled in a graduate program at Brown University, working in the vision research laboratory of Lorrin A. Riggs. During his graduate studies he was co-author of an early paper describing stabilized images.[2] His 1955 Ph.D. dissertation in experimental psychology involved small movements of the eye.

He was an assistant professor at Yale University from 1955–1959, and then became professor of psychology at UC Berkeley. His interest in psychophysics led him to develop an widely-employed improvement in the staircase method.[3] As an outgrowth of the courses he taught, Cornsweet published a frequently-cited textbook.[4]

Inventor and entrepreneur Edit

In the late 1960s and early 1970s Tom Cornsweet was a key member of the Bioinformation Systems Group at Stanford Research Institute. While also teaching in the psychology department at Stanford, he designed or co-designed several innovative instruments for measuring properties of the eye, including eyetrackers,[5] auto-refractors,[6] and optical fundus scanners.[7] He left SRI to become Chief Scientist at Acuity Systems, where he developed the first commercial auto-refractor in 1973. He served as Vice-president of research and development for Sensory Technologies from 1994 to 1997. During this time Cornsweet continued to invent devices for measuring various properties of the eye and also to teach, first at the Baylor College of Medicine and later at UC-Irvine. In 1999 Cornsweet retired from UC-Irvine and co-founded Visual Pathways, where he developed a highly-automated retinal imaging system for diagnosing glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration.

Tom Cornsweet is currently (2011) Professor of Cognitive Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Ophthalmology, Emeritus University of California, Irvine, and Chief Scientist at Quantum Catch, a company developing low-cost ophthalmic instruments for detection and monitoring of disease.

Patents, publications, awards Edit

  • 35 patents, primarily in the area of optical and ophthalmic instrumentation
  • 3 books
  • more than 100 journal publications[8]
  • UC Berkeley Distinguished Teaching award 1961 Psychology[9]
  • Charles F. Prentice Medal Award[10] from the American Academy of Optometry, 1984

See also Edit

External links Edit

References Edit

  1. (1967) American Men of Science: Physical and Biological Sciences, Providence, N.J.: Bowker RR.
  2. Riggs, Lorrin A., Ratliff F., Cornsweet J., Cornsweet T. (1953). The Disappearance of Steadily Fixated Visual Test Objects. J. Opt. Soc. Am. 43: 495–500.
  3. Cornsweet, TN (Sep. 1962). The Staircase-method in Psychophysics. Am. J. Psych. 75 (3): 485–491.
  4. Cornsweet, Tom N. (1970). Visual Perception, 475, New York, NY: Academic Press.
  5. Cornsweet, TN, Crane HD (1973). Accurate two-dimensional eye tracker using first and fourth Purkinje images. J. Opt. Soc. Am. 63 (8): 921–8.
  6. Cornsweet, TN (August 1973). COMPUTER-ASSISTED AUTOMATED REFRACTIONS. The Australian Journal of Optometry 56 (8): 310–313.
  7. Kelly, DH, Crane, Hill, Cornsweet (1969). Non-contact method of measuring small eye- movements and stabilizing the retinal image.. J. Opt. Soc. Am. 59: 509.
  8. TN Cornsweet Google Scholar publications. URL accessed on 21 March 2011.
  9. UC Berkeley teaching award.
  10. Charles F. Prentice award. URL accessed on 21 March 2011.

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