Photo of Andrew Schofield
1995 …2021

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Personal profile

Contact Details

Email: a.schofield@aston.ac.uk

Phone:+44 (0)121 204 3313 

 

Research Interests

My research focuses on human visual perception with applications in computer vision and robotics. I also study changes in visual perception in older adults.

My main focus is on the perception of visual texture (second-order vision) and how this enables humans to distinguish between changes in illumination from changes in the material properties of surfaces. This is combined with an interest in shape-from-shading, the role of shadows in object perception, and depth perception.

In Computer Vision the same mechanisms that we think are used by humans to separate illumination and material changes can be used by machines for the same purpose (intrinsic image extraction). Here I am also interested on how human edge and surface processing can be modelled with machine learning and deep neural networks to aid in the reconstruction of 3D shape from 2D images.

Older adults find it harder to see visual texture than younger adults and this may lead to difficulty in judging the shape of uneven surfaces such as steps. Here I am interested in how step markings might be manipulated to influence toe clearance in older adults.

I am a member of the Aston Insitute for Health and NeurodevelopmentCognition & Neuroscience Research Group, Aston Laboratory for Immersive Virtual Environments (ALIVE) and the Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing (ARCHA).

Research Projects/Collaborations

ROSSINI: Reconstructing 3D structure from single images: a perceptual reconstruction approach. 2019 - 2023: ESPRC funded joint with Surrey and Southampton.

ROSSINI will develop a new machine vision system for 3D reconstruction that is more flexible and robust than previous methods. Focussing on static images, we will identify key structural features that are important to humans. We will combine neural networks with computer vision methods to form human-like descriptions of scenes and 3D scene models. Our aims are to (i) produce 3D representations that look correct to humans even if they are not strictly geometrically correct (ii) do so for all types of scene and (iii) express the uncertainty inherent in each reconstruction. To this end we will collect data on human interpretation of images and incorporate this information into our network. Our novel training method will learn from humans and existing ground truth datasets; the training algorithm selecting the most useful human tasks (i.e. judge depth within a particular image) to maximise learning. Importantly, the inclusion of human perceptual data should reduce the overall quantity of training data required, while mitigating the risk of over-reliance on a specific dataset. Moreover, when fully trained, our system will produce 3D reconstructions alongside information about the reliability of the depth estimates.

Teaching Activity

Final year module Visual Perception and Illusions

Qualifications

BEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Brunel.

Diploma in Psychology (Conversion), Open.

PhD Communication and Neuroscience, Keele.

PhD Supervision

Austyn Tempesta (University of Birmingham)

Krishna Kumar Perumal (Unviversity of Birmingham)

Hannah Broadbent (Joint University of Nottingham)

Timmion Skervin (External advisor for Liverpool John Moores University)

Emil Skog

Membership of Professional Bodies

Applied Vision Association (Member and past Chair).

Vision Sciences Society

British Machine Vision Association

Visual Image Interpreation In Humans and Machnies (EPSRC Network, Chair)

Professional/editorial offices

Member of EPSRC Peer Review College + occational panel member / chair

Employment

Sept 2019 - Present: Deputy Head of Psychology, Aston University.

Oct 2018 - Present: Reader in Psychology, Aston University.

2016 - 2018: Deputy Director of Education, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham.

2006 - 2018: Senior Lecturer, Psychology, University of Birmingham.

1999 - 2006: Lecturer, Psychology, University of Birmingham.

1996 - 1999: Research Fellow, University of Birmingham.

1995 - 1996: Higher Scientific Officer, Forensic Science Service.

1993 - 1995: Research Fellow, Electronics, Brunel University.

Responsibilities

Director of Research Degree Programmes: HLS (2020 - )

Deputy Head of Psycology (2019 - 2021)

Acting Dean of the Aston Graduate School (Feb-July 2020)

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