Thomas S. Huang


Thomas S. Huang
Shanghai, China
Associated organizations
Bell Labs
Fields of study
Image processing
IEEE Third Millennium Medal, Honda Lifetime Achievement Award


Dr. Thomas S. Huang has made fundamental contributions to imaging and image processing throughout his illustrious career, including helping to pioneer important image-sequencing processes with wide-ranging applications.

In a career dedicated to working with images, Dr. Huang has made key contributions to multidimensional digital filtering, digital holography, compression of documents, transform coding of images, 3D motion analysis, multimodal human-computer interface, image/video databases, and more. Dr. Huang’s work includes collaborations with colleagues around the world, including work with Dr. Arun Netravali of Lucent Technologies’ Bell Labs. Together they have produced a number of papers which have inspired significant work in both industry and academia. Among the first to tackle digital image-processing research, they have solved many of the key problems of video processing.

Born in Shanghai, China, on 26 June 1936, Thomas S. Huang received his B.S. in Electrical Communication from National Taiwan University in 1956, and S.M. and Sc.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1960 and 1963, respectively.

Dr. Huang was on the faculty of MIT from 1963 to 1973. Subsequently, he became Professor of Electrical Engineering and Director of the Information Processing Lab at Purdue University. In 1980, he joined the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he holds numerous titles, including the William L. Everitt Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

During sabbatical leaves, he has worked at MIT’s Lincoln Lab, the University of Hannover (Germany), the Swiss Institutes of Technology in Zurich and Lausanne, the University of Tokyo, the University of Quebec, IBM Zurich Research Lab, and Bell Northern Research Canada. He has served as a consultant to numerous industrial firms and government agencies both in the U.S. and abroad, including Lucent Technologies’ Bell Labs, Kodak, and Canon.

Dr. Huang is a Fellow of the IEEE, and has chaired a number of conferences and committees. He is also a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, SPIE, and the International Association of Pattern Recognition. His numerous honors include the IEEE Signal Processing Society’s Technical Achievement and Society Awards, the IEEE Third Millennium Medal, and the Honda Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to Motion Analysis.

Further Reading

Thomas Huang Oral History