VISTA ramps up for enriched summer school, major international conference

VISTA image showing an eyeball

The Vision: Science to Applications (VISTA) program at York University is hosting two major events this month: a summer school, running from June 5 to 9  ̶  a joint venture with the Centre for Vision Research (CVR); and an international CVR/VISTA conference from June 13 to 16. These are the first events that are being sponsored by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF).

VISTA is hosting two major events in June 2017
VISTA is hosting two major events in June 2017

VISTA is a collaborative program funded by the CFREF as part of a $120 million multi-partner investment, which builds on York’s world-leading interdisciplinary expertise in biological and computer vision. Together with over 50 academic, public and for-profit partners from around the world, VISTA will propel Canada as a global leader in the vision sciences by integrating visual neuroscience with computer vision to drive innovation.

Robert Haché

The impact of VISTA will be extraordinary. “VISTA will lead to human-centred computer vision applications that seamlessly interact with the real world to improve health, safety, productivity and quality of life,” says Vice-President Research & Innovation Robert Haché.

York CVR-VISTA Vision Science Summer School bolstered by VISTA win
CVR, an international leader in the field, regularly offers a one-week, all-expenses-paid undergraduate summer school on vision science, organized by Professor Richard Murray. This year’s summer school, from June 5 to 9, will be substantially expanded from previous years as a result of the VISTA initiative and the related increase in the number of faculty members and students engaging in vision research at York.

The summer school program is designed for undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing a career in scientific research.  Although it is too late to apply for this summer, the program is intended for students who are planning to apply to graduate school in the fall of 2017, and who are interested in investigating vision science as a possible area of research.  Citizens of all countries are eligible.

This June’s program includes talks by CVR faculty members on current research topics in vision science, as well as hands-on experience in CVR laboratories. The curriculum reflects the wide range of research areas at CVR, which includes research on human visual perception, computer vision, visual neuroscience, 3D film, immersive environments and visual disorders.
Vision and the Real World Conference offers compelling line-up

CVR and VISTA also are hosting an international conference, Vision and the Real World, from June 13 to 16, organized by Professor Laurence Harris. This four-day event, for which registration is still open, offers a stellar lineup of invited international speakers as well as an open poster session.

Conference themes include:

  • Neural processing under natural conditions;
  • Vision and limb control: mechanisms and applications;
  • Visual knowledge: priors and learning;
  • Seeing in 3D; and
  • Vision: Science to Applications Symposium.

VISTA team invites York community to keynote session

Douglas Crawford

“The VISTA/CVR team would like to extend an invitation to the York community to attend the keynote session, ‘Vision: Science to Applications Symposium,’ on Tuesday the 13th, from 2:30 to 6:00 pm,” Professor Doug Crawford, scientific director, VISTA emphasizes.

The speakers for this session include Piotr Jasiobedzki, Product Development Manager and Staff Scientist at MDA (Macdonald Dettwiler & Associates); Marlene Behrmann, Professor, Carnegie Mellon University; Perry Johnson-Green, Senior Program Scientist, Canadian Space Agency; and Mary Pat McAndrews, Neuropsychologist and Senior Scientist, University Health Network.

To learn more about the summer school, visit the website or write to Richard Murray ( To read more about the international conference, and register, visit the website. To learn more about the VISTA program, visit the website. To learn more about CFREF, visit the website.