Anyone familiar with digital image processing will surely recognize the image of Lena. While going through some old usenet discussions, I got to know that Lena has a history worth all the attention that has been paid to her over the years by countless image processing researchers.lenaLena Sjööblom, (also spelled Lenna by many publications) was the Playboy playmate in November 1972 and rose to fame in the computer world when researchers at the University of Southern California scanned and digitized her image in June 1973. (Lena herself never know of her fame until she was interviewed by a computer magazine in Sweden where she lives with her husband and children).According to the IEEE PCS Newsletter of May/June 2001, they were hurriedly searching for a glossy image which they could scan and use for a conference paper when someone walked in with a copy of Playboy. The engineers tore off the top third of the centerfold and scanned it with a Muirhead wire photo scanner (a distant cry from the flatbed scanners of today) by wrapping it around the drum of the scanner. (Now you know why the image shows only a small part of the entire picture.. discounting of course, the fact that the complete picture would raise quite a few eyebrows. Follow the link at the bottom of this article to see the complete picture.)
Wasn't she invited as a guest speaker for some compression conference, or was that just a dry dream I had after reading about her being tracked down for the aforementioned interview?
Yes, it's true! Lenna attended the 50th Anniversary IS&T conference in Boston held in May 1997.According to all reports, the event went spectacularly. Everyone was excited to finally meet Lenna in person and get her autograph. And she got a chance to meet some of the many people who have been using her picture as the basis of their research.
Ah, how nice to be able to put a name to the face. I've seen her image on countless sites and always wondered about her.
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