Azriel Rosenfeld

Azriel Rosenfeld
New York, NY, USA
Death date
Fields of study
Computer image analysis
IEEE Emanuel R. Piore Award, IEEE Third Millennium Medal


Azriel Rosenfeld pioneered the study of computer image analysis, developed the field of signal processing, and was among the first to research digital geometry.

Rosenfeld was born in New York City and was ordained as a rabbi at Yeshiva University in 1952. He earned a doctorate in Hebrew literature in 1955 and a doctorate in mathematics in 1957. He designed the University of Pittsburgh’s first courses in pattern recognition, artificial intelligence, and image processing. Then, he joined the faculty of the University of Maryland in 1964 and became a research professor in 1966. In 1983, he was named the first director of the University of Maryland’s Center for Automation Research, and in 1995, he became a distinguished university professor.

He was known as the leading researcher in computer image analysis in the 1960s and 1970s, writing the field’s first textbook and serving as founding editor of its journal and co-chair of its first international conference. This work laid the groundwork for a variety of industrial vision inspection systems in the car and computer industries. He also helped developed systems for defense, applying computer vision to the problems of advanced reconnaissance, target recognition and guidance systems. His theoretical and practical research has also improved medical diagnosis, as it has been applied to biomedical image analysis.

Rosenfeld became an IEEE fellow and won the organization’s Emanuel R. Piore Award in 1985 and its Third Millennium Medal in 2000. He published over thirty books and nearly six hundred chapters and journal articles.

Further Reading

PROFESSOR AZRIEL ROSENFELD: An Interview Conducted by Michael Geselowitz, IEEE History Center, 12 July 1998.