Winner: Professor Dacheng Tao, University of Technology Sydney

Looking for the right face in a multidimensional crowd

We ask a lot of our software systems.

We demand systems that can recognise a face in a crowd, identify one moving object in a crowd of pixels, or a group of diseased cells in a healthy eye that may indicate the presence of glaucoma.

A data analysis system that can efficiently locate and interpret such important information within massive datasets uses what is known as subspace learning: the picking apart of multidimensional data to find a phenomenon of interest.

For collaborative development of models that improve the use of big data across many scientific fields, Professor Dacheng Tao of the University of Technology Sydney has been awarded the Scopus Eureka Prize for Excellence in International Scientific Collaboration.

To develop these systems, Professor Tao works with biomedical researchers, security and intelligence authorities, law enforcement, smart-card operators, software developers and facial-recognition specialists.

“The work of Professor Tao and his international collaborators has improved scientific research across a significant number of scientific fields,” Kim McKay AO, Executive Director and CEO of the Australian Museum said. “From driverless car technology to sports science to cartoon development,” she said.

Established in 1827, the Australian Museum is the nation’s first museum and one of its foremost scientific research, educational and cultural institutions. The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are the most comprehensive national science awards, honouring excellence in Research and Innovation, Leadership, Science Communication and Journalism, and School Science.

The other finalists were:

  • Professor Stephen Stick (Telethon Kids Institute) for work with the Australian Respiratory Early Surveillance Team for Cystic Fibrosis.
  • The FANTOM5 Project, which studies gene coding: Associate Professor Geoffrey Faulkner (Translational Research Institute), Professor Alistair Forrest and Professor Peter Klinken (Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research) and Associate Professor Christine Wells and Professor Ernst Wolvetang (Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology).

Watch the video.

For more information about all the winners visit Australian Museum Eureka Prizes