Shimon Ullman

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Shimon Ullman
Born 28 January 1948 (1948-01-28) (age 69)
Institutions Weizmann Institute of Science
Alma mater Massachusetts Institute of Technology (PhD)
Thesis The Interpretation of Visual Motion (1977)
Doctoral advisor David Marr[1]
Notable students

Shimon Ullman (שמעון אולמן, born January 28, 1948 in Jerusalem) is a professor of computer science at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. Ullman's main research area is the study of vision processing by both humans and machines. Specifically, he focuses on object and facial recognition, and has made a number of key insights in this field, including with Christof Koch the idea of a visual saliency map in the mammalian visual system to regulate selective spatial attention.[2][3]


He received his Ph.D. from MIT in 1977 advised by David Marr.[1] He was the first student to graduate under Marr, although technically John Hollerbach was the first student to join the group.[4]


He is the author of several books on the topic of vision, including High-level vision: Object recognition and visual cognition.[5]

Ullman is the former head of the Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at the Weizmann Institute.

Awards and honours[edit]

Ullman was awarded the 2008 recipient of the David E. Rumelhart Prize for Theoretical Contributions to Cognitive Science.[6] In 2014 he received the EMET prize in the field of computer science for his contributions to AI and computer vision.[7]

In 2015 Ullman will be awarded Israel Prize in mathematics and computer science.[8]

He is the co-founder of Orbotech and a former member of Israel's Council for Higher Education.


  1. ^ a b c Shimon Ullman at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. ^ Koch, C.; Ullman, S. (1987). "Shifts in Selective Visual Attention: Towards the Underlying Neural Circuitry". Matters of Intelligence. p. 115. doi:10.1007/978-94-009-3833-5_5. ISBN 978-94-010-8206-8. 
  3. ^ "Saliency map". 
  4. ^ Asaro, Peter; Sabanovic, Selma (16 May 2012). "JOHN HOLLERBACH: An Interview Conducted by Peter Asaro and Selma Sabanovic". IEEE History Center. Retrieved 18 March 2017. 
  5. ^ Shimon Ullman, High-level vision: Object recognition and visual cognition, MIT Press, 1996.
  6. ^ Shimon Ullman Research Biography,David E. Rumelhart Prize for Theoretical Contributions to Cognitive Science.
  7. ^ The EMET Prize for Art, Science and Culture
  8. ^ Weizmann Institute professors to be awarded Israel Prizes, The Jerusalem Post, March 1, 2015