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New National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees received vital NSF support
Date:5/2/2013

F support, CERL engaged in development and research of computer-based education that ultimately led to PLATO computer systems comprising several thousand concurrently-connected terminals worldwide on nearly a dozen different networked mainframe computers by the late 1970s.

In 1972, a new display was needed for PLATO because traditional displays flickered and made users eye-weary, had no inherent memory and lacked high brightness and contrast. So Bitzer and his colleagues, Robert Willson and Gene Slottow, incorporated another of their inventions called an orange plasma display--a forerunner of today's plasma televisions.

It was a major innovation that combined memory and bitmapped graphics into one display. Plasma display is also the invention for which Bitzer and his colleagues will be honored by the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Some 50 years later, PLATO and the materials that NSF helped develop are still in use by educators around the world. The system's longevity shouldn't surprise anyone. After all, PLATO and CERL researchers helped establish important online concepts, such as message boards, e-mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, multi-player games and remote screen sharing, that are highly beneficial to commercial industries.

Physicist John Daugman received an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1988 that supported his research at Harvard University in computer vision and in neural computing. His research on using biological strategies in computational vision laid the foundation for significant breakthroughs in pattern recognition, particularly iris recognition.

Iris recognition uses mathematical pattern-recognition techniques developed by Daugman to automatically identify individuals based on the complex and random patterns visible, from some distance, in their irises--the colored area that surrounds the pupil of a person's eye.

Daugman's award supported his research on mathematical algorithm
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Contact: Bobbie Mixon
bmixon@nsf.gov
703-292-8070
National Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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